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Juno, Hughes team on Net satellite service

The Internet communications provider and the telecommunications technology company plan to offer high-speed Net access by satellite to Juno members.

Internet communications provider Juno Online Services and Hughes Network Systems today said they plan to offer high-speed Internet access by satellite to Juno members throughout the United States.

Called Juno Express Powered by DirecPC, the new service will give Juno customers access speeds of up to 400 kbps (kilobits per second), compared to the 56 kbps currently available through top-of-the-line dial-up modems, the company said.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Juno lately has focused its energies on attracting new subscribers. In May, the company reported it had more than 10 million registered subscriber accounts, compared with 8.14 million at the end of December.

A unit of Hughes Electronics, Hughes Network Systems is a provider of wireless broadband services and technology over satellites. Juno Online Services provides Internet-related services, including free Internet access, billable dial-up service, and in some markets, high-speed broadband access.

Juno customers who wish to take part in the service will need to install a small satellite dish and satellite modem. Initial launching of the service begins later this year, with a full launch in 2001. Pricing has not been announced.