Hughes Gets Serious about Broadband Satellite

Hughes Gets Serious about Broadband Satellite

You don't find many people clamoring for satellite broadband service, which is typically reserved for those living in the boonies or any other locale where cable and/or DSL aren't options. That's because broadband satellite service pretty much sucks. The cheapest tier HughesNet offers runs $60/month, and all that gets you is 1Mbps downstream and 128kbps upstream with a paltry 200MB download allowance. For $350/month, you can bump all the way up to 5Mpbs/300Kbps with a 500MB allowance. Yeah, it's like that.

The good news is all that's about to change, or so we hope. Hughes Network announced the signing of a $115 million loan agreement with BNP Paribas and Scoiete Generate to fund the launch of Jupiter, a next-generation, high-throughput, Ka-band satellite.

According to CNet, the new satellite will offer more than 100Gbps of capacity and serve between 1.5 million to 2 million broadband customers in Canada and the U.S. Average download speeds should hover around 5Mpbs with top-level service in the vicinity of 20Mbps. But will it be affordable?

"The speed and capacity improvements with the new satellite are impressive," said Vince Vittore, a principal analyst with Yankee Group. "But I can't see a way for the pricing to be competitive. Hughes would have to figure out a way to significantly reduce the cost of the service. So I see it remaining a niche service for some time."


Hughes new Jupiter satellite will result in faster down/upstream speeds, but what will it do for pricing?

Sadly, we agree with Vittore's assessment. Hughes hasn't disclosed any pricing details related to Jupiter, but we can't imagine pricing will suddenly be in line with cable and DSL. On the bright side, that's a place Hughes wants to get to.

"When you do the math, it's conceivable that we can offer high-speed broadband service at competitive prices," said Arunas Slekys, vice president of corporate marketing for Hughes. We're not there yet, but you can see how it's on the horizon. And we think we will be able to reach a more mainstream customer base."

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It's a total, stinking, unmitigated rip-off, just like it always was and will remain.

The same is true for any satellite internet service that's offered anywhere in the US.

Also, it has a giant lag-time and is unusable for many things that other services' users take for granted. They can fix it until the cows come home, but they're way too greedy to be considered by most of the population.

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Not to mention the data caps. Top they offer is 500MB a month?! Serious? My cellphone has Unlimited data for the phone and 5GB 3G/Unlimited 4G for tethering.

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While you both pointed out fine defects that should kill the product themselves, lets not forget the over half a second latency making VOIP or gaming completely out of the question.

Also that speed is nice and all. $350 for the top tier speed, but if you ever used that speed you would use up your allowed bandwidth for the month within a few minutes.

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bob_on_the_cob:
lets not forget the over half a second latency making VOIP or gaming completely out of the question

That's what I meant by 'Lag-Time' (my own special brand of techno-babble) The costs are nuts, and the bandwidth allowance tacked onto a service that's cost rapes you monthly is a crime.

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The initial setup costs start at $500, dont forget that. It is a huge rip off and the data caps are insane. 3G broadband is way better and is finding its way to more places in the boonies and for the same price as the cheapest sat plan you get 1-3mb down speeds with dsl pings and 5gig monthly bandwith. Sat cant compete till they get off this data limiting crap and throttling their customers internet speeds during peak times.

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The download allowance alone is a complete joke.

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I call this the Pasta mark-up!

Just like restaurants, they try and make as much as they can on the cheapest product that they have. They could include this service to their customers without much overhead. They are just getting greedy!

That is why I am hoping for an All-in-one unlimited service from somebody?

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