Upcoming is the launch of France's free Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) channels on Eutelsat Communication's ATLANTIC BIRD 3 satellite.
This new service, named FRANSAT, will be available starting in June. Eutelsat's 5 degrees West neighborhood, occupied by ATLANTIC BIRD 3, has operated as a compliment to France's terrestrial broadcasting network for more than 20 years — programming is delivered directly by satellite to home that are located beyond terrestrial reception. This transition to digital is part of the Digital France 2012 Plan and in conjunction with the new broadcasting law of March 5th, 2009. The latter is designed to offer a solution to homes in areas with poor terrestrial reception for access to DTT channels, without incurring the extra cost of adjusting their existing satellite dish installation. France's free analog channels will remain available via ATLANTIC BIRD 3. In addition to the 18 SD DTT channels, FRANSAT will offer four free DTT channels broadcast in HD — TF1 HD, France 2 HD, Arte HD and M6 HD.