Starband Launches Residential Satellite Internet Service
StarBand Communications Inc. launched its new StarBand 481 residential two-way satellite Internet service that allows for download speeds as fast as 500 kbps and upload speeds as fast as 100 kbps. It also offers limited VPN capabilities, connectivity to various operating systems, 10 e-mail accounts, free basic Web hosting and an optional static IP address.
On paper, the service offering looks good until you ask the all-important question: “How much does it cost?” To bypass the terrestrial communications infrastructure, StarBand is offering the complete hardware package at a suggested retail price of $699.99 plus a per-month charge based on the length of the subscriber contract. If the customer opts for a one-year contract, the service will cost $89.99 per month. If the customer opts for a three-year contract, the customer will pay $89.99 per month during the first year, $79.99 per month during the second year and $69.99 per month for the third year. At this pricing level, one has to question how attractive a satellite connection will be. The hardware alone costs as much, if not more than, the computer with which it will interface. In addition, the monthly service cost is coming in appreciably higher than a cable or DSL connection.