StarBand Beams Data to Indian Reservations

Gilat-To-Home Inc., the two-way high-speed Internet-via-satellite provider, announced its new consumer-friendly company name last week: StarBand Communications Inc.

"We are pioneering a new category of high-speed Internet access," newly appointed president and chief marketing officer David Trachtenberg said in a press release. "StarBand means Internet access without the constraints of a cable or telephone wire."

StarBand also announced last week that it will deliver two-way broadband service to 120 locations within the Navajo, Hopi and Havasupai Indian reservations through a partnership with Northern Arizona University.

The reservations are in remote areas of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. Delivering the broadband signal to those locations reinforces an advantage that satellite has over cable modems and digital subscriber lines: The service will be ubiquitously available nationwide.

Vice president of corporate communications Sandy Colony traveled throughout the Grand Canyon area earlier this month with StarBand installers and representatives from NAU. The company used mule trains to transport satellite-receiving equipment to the more remote locations, including the Havasupai tribe, which lives in a valley on the floor of the canyon.

Under a three-year contract, StarBand will provide reduced-cost monthly access to always-on broadband service. NAU will make distance-education programming available.

At least one StarBand satellite system will be used by a local police force, giving the isolated community instant access to national crime information.