Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. announced today that it will supply a hub and 300 Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs) of its popular SkyBlaster* 360 broadband platform, to China's Central Agriculture Broadcast and Television School (CABTS).

CABTS has been nominated by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture to run the National Farmers' Science and Technology Training Center and has established the China Distance Education Network. CABTS will use the VSAT technology to provide interactive distance-learning applications to its municipal schools.

The outbreak of SARS epidemic raised the need to quickly deliver health education to farmers throughout the massive regions of China in order to prevent the spread of the deadly disease. Gilat, which has considerable experience in implementing rural satellite-based VSAT networks in China, is providing CABTS with a network consisting of a hub and 300 VSAT terminals, of which part of the equipment will be donated, in order to expand the current Interactive Distance Learning (IDL) education network already in use by CABTS.

CABTS was established in 1980. Since that time it has become one of the largest agriculture distance education schools in the world, with 38 provincial schools, 330 municipal schools, 2,408 county branch schools and 23,000 township classes, employing over 50,000 school staff. In 2000, CABTS implemented the China Distance Education Network using computers and two-way VSATs to link 54 Interactive Distance Learning stations to its provincial schools. The current initiative expands that project.

The SkyBlaster* 360 is an interactive satellite networking solution designed for IP applications. It combines industry-standard Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) technology with Gilat's inbound satellite access technology to provide high-performance, cost-effective, two-way connectivity for a wide array of content delivery and other multicast and interactive applications, including high-quality video conferencing. The SkyBlaster* 360's broadband satellite platform provides content delivery speeds capable of scaling up to 52.5 Mbps, with a high-speed, always-on 153 kbps satellite return channel.


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