I-Way – Orion Press Release

News Release

Thursday 10 October 1996, 15:23 GMT
Orion Network Systems


Paris, October 10 – International satellite communications provider Orion Network Systems of Rockville, Maryland (USA) and leading French Internet service provider Internet-Way SA (Paris, France) announced here today at the Networld+Interop trade show that Orion Network Systems affiliate Orion Atlantic and Internet-Way are introducing a new satellite-based Internet service, to be called “NetCast,” that promises dramatic improvements in performance and response time for World Wide Web users in Europe.

These improvements, in turn, should allow for much broader use of advanced business applications on the Web. The Orion satellite network will provide the high-speed transmission of Internet traffic from the United States to European users of NetCast.

According to Internet-Way network architect Thomas Jacobson, whose involvement in Internet satellite projects dates back to 1984, “by complementing terrestrial links with asymmetric and broadcast satellite transmission, Internet-Way and Orion can reduce European bandwidth costs by as much as 50%.”

“Coupled with recent advances in multicast protocols, this new service has the potential to reduce bandwidth costs even further,” Jacobson added. Given the Internet’s currently congested traffic profile, the architecture will also speed delivery and improve overall quality of service. NetCast will thus provide the basis for many new business applications, such as desk-top conferencing, mission critical Intranets, and electronic World Wide Web publishing for the consumer market.

The new service is being used during Interop for all Internet traffic inbound from North America. When service was activated over the weekend, the Interop Network Operations Center (NOC) team were very impressed with its performance. “It’s extremely fast,” commented NOC team member and widely recognized Internet routing expert Martin Terpstra.

“Due to the scarcity and expense of high-speed national and international data transmission circuits, Internet-Way has been exploring the benefits of Internet satellite technology for some time,” said Internet-Way Managing Director Jerome Lecat. “Internet-Way is focused on meeting the corporate information exchange needs of European businesses, bringing the global information highway directly and quickly to their desktops, and at a reasonable price. We are very pleased that Orion, well known in Europe for its integrated corporate networking solutions, is working with us to provide such a capability.”

“Orion and Internet-Way share the same view of what constitutes effective corporate use of the Internet,” said Orion Atlantic Senior Vice President of Marketing Richard Greco. “Competitive advantage is a function of the reliability, affordability and speed of information exchange between businesses and their clients. NetCast optimizes corporate inter-networking performance because of the high-speed, high-availability and end-to-end nature of its underlying technologies.”

  • Background Information on Orion Network Systems

Orion Network Systems is an international satellite communications company and operator of the state-of-the-art Orion 1 satellite that provides private, multimedia network communications services to multinational businesses and transmits video communications for television and other program distribution services. Its 41 2/3% owned affiliate Orion Atlantic, L/P., is an international partnership consisting of such leading aerospace, communications and trading companies as British Aerospace, ComDev, Kingston Communications, Lockheed Martin, Matra Hachette, and Nissho Iwai. Orion also plans to launch two additional satellites during 1999, which will extend coverage to South America, the Middle East, and the major population centers in the Asia-Pacific region.

  • Background Information on Internet-Way

Founded in 1994, Internet-Way is a leading provider of complete Internet solutions including Internet access (from 28.8 kbps to 2 Mbps), World Wide Web hosting and development services, and Intranet applications for corporations. Internet-Way operates its own national network of 15 PoPs in France.

  • Technical Information/Internet Traffic Profile

The backbone networks of European Internet Service Providers (ISPS) are typically comprised of a series of interconnected national telephone networks that run at speeds of considerably less than 2 megabits per second. An Internet point of presence (PoP) is a location where communications systems are maintained for the benefit of local users logging into the Internet service provided by a given ISP, and for the purpose of providing such users global Internet access.

Customer data traffic carried over local phone lines into such PoPs and over such backbone networks is eventually exchanged with other ISPs’ customer traffic at regional high-speed routing locations known as Network Access Points (NAPs) and routed from there to destinations on the global Internet.

The majority of global Internet traffic is directed to and from the North American Internet, which contains 80% of the hosts on the global Internet. Direct, very high-speed international data circuits are relatively scarce in Europe.

As a result, corporate Internet traffic transmitted over the multiple-hop, multi-national backbone networks of European ISPs encounters frequent congestion delay and packet loss en route to the global Internet. The high cost of such international Internet backbone is, in fact, partly to blame for the Internet’s occasional service interruptions, since it makes it economically difficult for ISPs to upgrade the backbone networks.

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