Preparing to offer satellite-based broadband to its rural customers, Frontier Communications has signed a wholesale agreement with satellite broadband provider Hughes Network Systems.
The new service will be enabled by the new Ka-band satellite Hughes launched earlier this month. The satellite is being tested and is expected to be ready to support commercial services later this year.
This is the same satellite that will be used by EchoStar to also provide broadband service. (EchoStar last year bought Hughes Communications and its Hughes Network Systems subsidiary.) 
None of the companies involved have specified the data rates the satellite is going to support, other than to say they will be faster than what is now available.
Melinda White, executive vice president of revenue development for Frontier, said: “We are very excited to offer a new, high-performance broadband Internet service. This is another example of Frontier’s unwavering commitment to making broadband access ubiquitous – especially in rural America. We chose Hughes because it shares that vision and has the proven ability to bring high-quality technology to customers around the world.”
The company cuts a deal with Hughes Network Systems to provide its rural customers with service that might start to be offered no earlier than the end of this year.