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Deutsche Welle signs up for new Outernet satellite venture

German international channel Deutsche Welle is contributing content to a new satellite-based initiative designed to bring web content to parts of the world where there is no internet infrastructure or where the web is heavily censored.

Deutsche Welle is providing content to Outernet, a new US-based service that went live this week.

Outernet plans to make use of satellites to deliver selected data – audio, video, text and applications – to simple receivers that users can either build themselves or purchase. All software and hardware required to access Outernet is open source.

Outernet has currently leased Ku-band capacity on two GEO satellites giving coverage of North America and Europe and plans to extend its reach later this year.

The company broadcasts stripped down versions of web content to Ku-band dishes linked to DVB-S tuners and connected to a small credit-card sized device called a Raspberry Pi. This can be used with a laptop of TV to view content delivered from Outernet.

“Outernet shares many of the same values that DW holds dear and is a clear signal to those who try to censor or limit access to the Internet,” says Marco Maass, head of global partnerships at DW. “We believe that access to free information is a basic human right and we hope this partnership will contribute to net neutrality and sidestep censorship.”