The folks at
Hughes Network Systems
(HNS), a provider of broadband satellite solutions, say they’re now shipping a new satellite terminal, the DW4020, that will extend the reach of the
two-way satellite broadband service from Windows based computers to Macs, Unix-based systems and other platforms.
The DW4020 terminal will bring enhanced local area networking capability to business and consumer subscribers thanks to a four-port 10/100baseT Ethernet hub and the incorporation of a fast, self-hosted processor that eliminates the need for a dedicated host computer, according to Steven Salamoff, assistant vice president of Business Services Marketing for HNS. It operates independently of the networked computers, yielding overall greater network reliability and robustness, he added.
The Hughes- DirecWay arrangement is designed to offer satellite broadband to all enterprises, including high-speed Internet and intranet access, streamed content delivery, file or package delivery and value-added network services.
Designed with enterprise network applications in mind, the DW4020’s PowerPC features a 32-bit RISC CPU core running at 200MHz and an integrated 10/100 MAC along with 32MB SDRAM and 8MB FLASH, and four switched 10/100baseT Ethernet ports.
Earlier this year MacCentral reported
that EarthLink’s long-planned satellite Internet access for the Mac platform is at a standstill because, according to EarthLink officials, they’re “at the mercy of Hughes Network Systems (the network provider for our satellite service) as far as a Mac version of the service goes.”
However, Hughes personnel said in January that the DirecWay would soon work with a Mac thanks to a new add-on Ethernet box, that becomes a third piece of the current two-piece adapter kit. At the time we were told the box was due out by late spring, and should cost US$200 to $300 more than the current hardware package.
Although Hughes’ announcement of the DW4020 terminal focuses mainly on the enterprise environment, it’s apparently available for the home user, as well. Mac consultant Chip Dunbar has been in touch with the folks at Hughes and told MacCentral in February that the DW4020 Satellite Gateway would offer long-awaited Internet satellite access to Mac users.
“The DW4020 can be easily plugged into the two-way system, instantly giving it the ability to network multiple PCs in the home or office,” Hughes said. “This state-of-the-art accessory, which won an innovations award at the 2001 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, can network all types of computers, peripherals and operating systems, including the Mac.”
Based on similar reports and plans, look for the service to cost US$599 for installation and $59.99 per month for unlimited access.