Alps resort to satellite for learning network

February 5, 1999

Twenty-five isolated schools in the French Alps will be among the first to benefit from a pilot scheme to provide interactive educational services by satellite.

A total of 256 primary and secondary schools, higher education and research establishments in France will take part in the trial that starts this month. Ten sites on Renater, France's national education and research network, will provide services. There are plans for video broadcasts of physics and chemistry experiments to secondary schools, distance language teaching and information distribution between teacher training institutes.

The CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales) adopted the SAT&CLIC bid put forward jointly by the Groupe Lagard re and TPS (Television par Satellite), with a complementary Alcatel proposal. The experiment will use available networks efficiently while providing two-way communication: satellites, with their ability to broadcast simultaneously to multiple sites, can ease the pressure on terrestrial networks.

Requests would be carried by landline, with content delivered by satellite in the case of large files and by land for small ones.

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