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HNS Launches Networkable Broadband System

10/13/2003 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Hughes Network Systems (HNS) has launched a broadband satellite terminal that will enable multiple computers to access the Internet in a user's home or office, while significantly simplifying the set-up process.

The DIRECWAY DW6000 is a two-way high-speed satellite Internet system that provides Ethernet connectivity for home networking and requires no phone line or additional software.

"The DW6000 is self-hosted, meaning that software is no longer required on the PC, other than your browser software," said Peter Gulla, HNS consumer sales and marketing VP. "That frees up your system resources and your hard-drive space."

Additionally the receiver and transmitter circuitry that was previously housed in separate stacked boxes with the DW4000 is now integrated into a single unit.

By adding the Ethernet connection, Gulla said HNS has significantly simplified a user's ability to create wired or WiFi networks that share a single broadband connection.

"The number of PCs you connect to the network is up to you, but the same as any broadband connection, it will be a shared resource inside the home," Gulla said.

The system will be compatible with both Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

Hughes said the system will carry a $59.99 monthly service fee with a 15-month commitment for unlimited hours of high-speed Internet access. The hardware and standard installation will run approximately $599.99, including dish, modem and standard installation.

Hughes said it will also offer a 99/99 plan, in which customers pay a $99.99 up front fee, with a 15-month contract of $99.99 per month, including dish, modem and standard installation. At the end of the 15-month period, the monthly fee reverts back to the regular rate of $59.99 per month. At no extra cost, all DIRECWAY subscribers receive 10MB of server space, five free e-mail accounts, and 24-hour, seven-day per week tech support.

The supplied dish can be configured to also receive DirecTV television services using a low-cost hardware adapter, but thus far DirecTV and HNS have not instituted a bundled services program for TV and broadband.

Hughes is rolling out the product now to "all of its channels of distribution, including dealers and independent retailers that both sell and install the product and retailers that generate orders through a Web-based front end," said Sam Baumel, HNS assistant marketing VP.

Hughes' Powered By DIRECWAY distribution partners will make separate announcement in the near future.

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