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Satellite Internet Access Looking Up

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, December 5, 2001

More affordable satellite Internet access may be on the way. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. With more than four million high speed Excite@Home Internet customers having been left in limbo for days, some have begun exploring other options. The Excite@Home bankruptcy knocked AT&T cable customers offline while cable companies like Comcast and Cox have scrambled to maintain service. But inquiries into high speed DSL services are up... .as are calls to companies offering DirecWay satellite connections from Hughes. VP Arunas Sleckys ...

"We see a tremendous potential here to address both those that will never see cable DSL and then those that already have the satellite dish delivering DirecTV service."

The problem is the service DirecWay re-sells through Earthlink, AOL and Juno is priced higher than cable or DSL and is usually slower. But that could be changing. Sleckys tells us Hughes is planning to sell to directly to consumers... .

"You'll see our sister company DirecTV with some attractive bundles, we believe, in the very near future."

And about the impact of the proposed purchase of the Hughes satellite services by EchoStar... .

"I think only positively in the sense that we've been saying all along that the combination of EchoStar and Hughes is very powerful. It allows us to lower the cost base both to the satellite segment and also the platforms that we deliver."

Whether the acquisition goes through or not... the addition of an affordable high speed Internet service available everywhere, would be welcome. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.