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EchoStar gears up for two-way Internet

EchoStar Communications has invested $50 million (equivalent to a 12% stake) in iSKY Inc. as part of the companies' plan to offer two-way wireless broadband Internet access and hundreds of television channels via satellite. The bundled Internet/multichannel video service will be received on a single small DBS dish, which will be distributed through EchoStar' s 23,000 retailers nationwide. The iSKY service, expected to launch in late 2001, will be delivered via Ka-band satellite to a 26-inch dish capable of both receiving and sending data, as well as receiving the EchoStar service.