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What just happened? Satellite-based Internet service provider Hughes has introduced new plans that leverage capacity from the recently launched Jupiter 3, the world's largest commercial communications satellite.
Jupiter 3 hitched a ride to space via a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in late July. The ultra high-density satellite was built by Maxar Technologies and features more than 300 spot beams designed to deliver faster speeds and reduced congestion. The unit also utilizes artificial intelligence and a dedicated fiber backbone to reroute traffic and reduce latency, respectively. The new satellite adds more than 500 Gbps of additional capacity to the Hughes Jupiter fleet.
HughesNet Internet plans can help rural customers participate in modern online activities like videoconferencing, streaming, and playing online games, said Peter Gulla, SVP of Hughes. Jupiter-powered plans afford download speeds of up to 100 Mbps – pedestrian compared to what many people already have access to via ground-based tech like fiber, but certainly better than nothing.
Pricing appears to vary depending on your region. For example, The Verge noted plans priced between $74.99 and $109.99 per month but a search for service near my address turned up a 100 Mbps down plan starting at $64.99 a month. Perhaps this is just a launch-window discount?
HughesNet also has new plans for business customers, which include commercial installation, express repair service, and 24/7 business class phone support. Fusion plans, meanwhile, blend satellite and wireless tech to further reduce latency, and Whole Home Wi-Fi can blanket your entire house with connectivity.
SpaceX's Starlink has received the lion's share of media attention as of late, but they are a newcomer compared to others.
Hughes helped pioneer the use of satellite-delivered Internet service in the 90s and while their reputation has been up and down over the years, they seem to be in good graces right now. The company was named the Best Satellite Internet Provider of 2023 and Best Internet Provider for Rural Areas by US News. CNET also recently named Hughes the best provider for reliable speeds.
Image credit: SpaceX