European Telecommunications Satellite Organization

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A European agency that provides satellite communications for 150 countries, with its 1 400 television channels reaching 110 million homes by 2004. The agency now has 24 satellites in service. One of the new satellites, EUROBIRD, was launched in March 2001 to cover western and central Europe for a period of 12 years, providing broadcasting and telecommunications services on 24 channels. EUTELSAT also provides coverage for Africa, many parts of Asia, and (by interconnectivity) the Americas.

In 1991 a private company was created from the original intergovernmental agency to control all activities and assets, and a new intergovernmental organization was set up to monitor the company's practice, such as non-discrimination and fair competition.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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