Hughes brings DirecPC home
Hughes Network Systems expanded its DirecPC satellite-based Internet access service to the consumer market last week, but its hefty price may deter all but the most hardcore and well-heeled Internet users.
The CompUSA chain of computer stores will sell DirecPC's enabling hardware/software package for $699, which includes a 21-inch elliptical dish and a modem card for the PC. Subscribers will have to pay $9.95 a month for access and will subscribe to one of four pricing packages costing up to $129.95.
DirecPC can deliver up to 400 kb/s downstream and uses the telephone line for the return path.
HNS is positioning DirecPC to appeal to work-at-home consumers who might otherwise use ISDN, said John Aronsohn, senior analyst at The Yankee Group. "It's for someone who is operating a business at home or whose employer pays for the equipment," he said.
HNS also announced licensing agreements with Netscape and Microsoft for their Internet browsers and a joint marketing agreement with Internet service providers Netcom and Earthlink for their access networks and services.
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