StarBand, which supplies satellite-based Internet access, announced on Tuesday a
new tier of residential service that uses the company’s StarBand 481 satellite modem. Previously, residential customers were limited to the StarBand 360 modem, which offers half the 100kbps upload speeds attainable by the 481. Customers who choose the new service also receive download speeds as fast as 500kbps, limited VPN capabilities, 10 free e-mail accounts, free basic Web hosting and a static IP address for an extra US$4.99 per month. Pricing is $699.99 for the complete hardware package, which includes the satellite dish and modem, and a one-year contract with a $89.99 per month fee or a three-year contract that drops to $79.99 per month in the second year and $69.99 per month in the third year. As MacCentral posted this article, StarBand had not yet updated its Web site with the new residential plan.