Hughes Promotes Satellite Broadband Backup

Citing last week's Comcast network outage as the kind of unforeseen event that small operators need insurance against, Hughes Network Systems has launched a backup high-speed broadband service for unexpected network down times.

HughesNet Internet Continuity provides automatic switching to satellite broadband when terrestrial internet connections go down, the company said. 

The subscription-based service is targeted at small businesses and is a form of insurance against losses due to cable, fiber or DSL downtime, the company said. The price starts at $39.99 per month.

"Last week’s Comcast outage crippled companies across the nation, leaving many without Internet, video and voice services," the company said. "With HughesNet Internet Continuity, users are automatically switched to satellite broadband any time their terrestrial Internet connection goes down."

Comcast said at the time that one of its backbone "partners" had a fiber cut (in Manhattan) that affected its business and residential broadband customers as well as video and voice.

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“Whether as a result of DSL degradation, equipment malfunction or severe weather, terrestrial Internet outages are commonplace,” said Peter Gulla, SVP of marketing for HughesNet. “For small businesses that rely on the Internet, an unexpected outage can hurt their bottom line."

The system combines a WiFi modem, antenna, radio and a router to automatically switch to satellite and back to terrestrial.

The satellite backup provides speeds of up to 25 Mbps downstream/3 Mbps upstream, so qualifies as high-speed under the FCC's definition.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.