David Savage writes: "AOL and MSN are about to announce the release of broadband Internet connections that will allow users to access the Internet at cable and DSL speeds via satellite dishes. The MSN service will allow users to download and upload data via a satellite dish. The AOL service on the other hand will require users to upload data through a regular dial-up connection and download through the dish. Both plans will have prices that compete with current cable and DSL prices, but will have hefty setup fees (in the hundreds of dollars). Both companies are planning to begin offering their broadband services, which will be available almost anywhere within the U.S., in the next couple of months." As the article points out, satellite access has been around for a while but whether because of cost, complexity or low marketing not made the splash that cable and DSL access have. But when the 800-pound gorillas (AOL and MSN) jump in, that scene could change a lot. I'd like a little price competition in space (since it seems more likely than among local land-bound connections), but why can't the dishes and setup be free like they are with satellite TV promotions?
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