Imagine that all that a suburban or rural household in America needed was only a view of the Southern sky to get access to high-speed Internet? Utopian as it may sound to the millions of Americans who hankered for high-speed Internet access in many rural areas, this is soon going to be a reality with a relatively affordable, off-the-shelf satellite broadband Internet connection.

Hughes Network Systems, (Hughes), the global leader and North America's largest satellite broadband provider announced this week that it has tied up with the Wal-Mart to sell broadband Internet connections through the retail giant's stores giving customers in rural and suburban areas across North America the opportunity to get satellite high-speed Internet access.

The Hughes service will be sold in 2,800 Wal-Mart stores across the U.S., including locations throughout most of rural America where terrestrial broadband services, such as cable and DSL, are often not available. "The unfortunate fact of Internet connectivity in the US is that even though the country has one the highest penetrations of Internet in the world, an estimated 10 to 15 million households in the rural and suburban areas do not have access to high-speed Internet connectivity because cable and DSL operators do not reach their neighborhood," said Judy Blake a spokesperson of Hughes. "Therefore, because Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the country and are frequently located in the rural areas, tying up with the retail giant was the perfect way to educate the rural community that there is an alternative that they can get broadband."

Blake added that in as many as 800 of the Wal-Mart stores in rural and suburban America, Hughes service would be the only Internet service sold off-the-shelf.

Hughes plans to offer download speeds ranging from 700Kbps to 2.0Mbps with pricing starting as low as $59.99, Customers will be able to find Hughes service available for purchase in the Wal-Mart Connect Center in the Electronics section.


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