Wal-Mart to Sell Broadband Access

With Wal-Mart's "Always Low Prices" does this mean we can look forward to dropping prices on broadband?  There are still areas of the country that cannot receive DSL or cable modem service, and that is where this initiative focuses.

Wal-Mart's presence in rural American life continues to grow. Today, the company announced it will begin selling HughesNet Broadband service at 2,800 stores across the nation, with a notable presence in rural areas where terrestrial broadband services are still largely unavailable.

“Wal-Mart is perhaps the only retail store in the country that reaches as many people as HughesNet,” said Mike Cook, senior vice president, North America Division, Hughes. “This relationship is a powerful way to make broadband a reality for the millions of Americans and small business owners who cannot get high-speed Internet access from cable or DSL providers. Through Wal-Mart, we are able to offer more Americans the opportunity to experience the convenience and benefits of high-speed Internet in business and every day life.”

Despite the push by the Bush administration to get broadband to every American, it just isn't happening.  And looking at the relatively abysmal speeds for U.S. broadband vs. other countries (an example would be Japan at 61Mbps average while the U.S. average is 1.9MBps), even if it did we would still lag in speed.  Unfortunately for us, Internet2 isn't the solution (see prior post).

And the big question is: will the Wal-Mart "orb of savings" replace Margaret Easley as the HughesNet spokesperson!?  That would be terrible.