US internet giant close to satellite deal

US internet giant close to satellite deal
Tom Foremski
US online services giant AOL is close to announcing a $1bn investment in a two way satellite communications system led by Hughes Electronics as interest in broadband systems offering Internet and video services increases.
Sources close to the deal report that AOL is interested in the Hughes Spaceway project announced earlier this year. Spaceway will start operating in 2002 and will offer a two-way communications capability that would overcome the ‘last mile’ problem in linking homes and businesses to high speed networks.
Hughes plans to invest at least $1.4bn in Spaceway and says it is talking with potential partners to help fund the expansion of Spaceway to Europe and Asia.
Microsoft is also interested in broadband communications and has been making several large investments in AT&T, Nextel and other companies.

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