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3/27/2006
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Hughes Satellites Target Rural Broadband

The primary market for Hughes--with services including a new E-mail system and starter Web pages--includes customers who have been "overlooked" by cable and DSL providers, an executive said.

Hughes Network Systems LLC unveiled a brace of new services Monday as the broadband satellite provider continued to redefine itself after selling its DirectTV satellite television business two years ago.

Drawing on its broadband capability, Hughes is staking out a position as an ISP supplier to consumers and small businesses. Hughes believes the services will be particularly attractive to users in rural regions unable to get reliable broadband.

The enhancements include a new e-mail system, starter Web pages, and improved customer support. "Future services," Hughes said, "will include domain registration, web hosting, domain-based e-mail and blogging."

In a statement, Mike Cook, Hughes senior vice president, North American Sales and Marketing, said: "We expect (to) attract the attention of millions of other consumers and small businesses who have been overlooked by cable and DSL providers."

The firm said its existing DIRECWAY customers will be given new e-mail addresses in the Hughes.net domain along with an expanded two gigabytes of storage per mailbox.

The firm also launched its North American enterprise market offerings called HughesNet Managed Network Services. The new offering features a range of network enhancements.

At the same time Monday, Hughes unveiled new government services that stress high reliability and seamless integration among different networks.

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