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The high-flying and high-speed hopes of WildBlue Communications will officially get off the ground this June, the company said.

The service, which will use advanced Ka-band satellite technology and target rural broadband customers, will be offered initially through 300 participating National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) members. WildBlue, following the addition of consumer electronics and satellite TV dealers, hopes to make the service available nationally by Q3 2005.

WildBlue also shed some light on how it will package speed and pricing. Its 1.5 Mbps tier will sell for about $49.95 per month. Customers will also be on the hook for $299 in equipment, which borrows elements from the CableLabs DOCSIS specification. A professional installation will run $179.95, though NRTC members will waive the fee at the beginning.

"Now that we are nearing the end of our testing phase, we are as eager as our potential customers to begin providing high-speed Internet to virtually anyone anywhere. The next few months will be truly remarkable, for both WildBlue and for broadband access in general, as we reach customers and locations that haven't been able to enjoy high-speed access before," said WildBlue CEO Tom Moore, in a release.

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