Hughes Network Systems Inc. (HNS) has announced its DW6000 broadband satellite terminal. The new terminal extends Hughes’ Direcway satellite connectivity to Mac users, for the first time.
The new DW6000 system supports two-way high speed satellite-based Internet service, eliminating the need for a telephone line or other terrestrial connectivity. The DW6000 can share its connection with multiple Macs or PCs connected to the same household network through its own Ethernet jack.
Direcway satellite broadband access is an alternative for people who are unwilling or unable to get cable modem or DSL connectivity but who want high-speed Internet access. Hughes Network Systems says Direcway users can get up to 500Kbps download speeds.
The DW6000 is a self-configuring system that doesn’t require users to install drivers or other software to work. It can automatically upgrade itself when new versions become available as well. In order to use the service, you’re required to have installed a small, oblong satellite dish (delivery and installation is included in the subscription agreements). And just like satellite television services, you’ll also need an unobstructed view of the southern sky in order to maintain the connection to a satellite stationed in a geosynchronous orbit high above the Earth.
Direcway service plans start at $59.99 a month, with a $599.98 up-front hardware fee. A “$99/99 Plan” is also available that waives the hardware fee in favor of a $99.99 activation fee followed by a $99.99 monthly fee for 15 months (after that, the price drops to $59.99).
Further details are available from the Direcway Web site, although Hughes still may have a few bugs to iron out, at least from its Web site: When MacCentral visited the Web site, the “Direcway Compatibility Test” failed and reported that we needed a Windows PC in order to proceed. You can also order and get more info from a toll free number — 866.556.9657.