Hughes wins $58.7M Internet services contract

Firm will use satellites to bring service to rural areas

Hughes Network Systems won a $58.7 million contract to provide high-speed satellite Internet service to areas of the country without access to broadband service.

The Agriculture Department contract was awarded to the company under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Hughes, a publicly traded firm, will serve as the only provider of high-speed satellite Internet service under the contract.

As many as 24 million American homes and small businesses don’t have access to broadband Internet through land-based services, according to a recent report by the Federal Communications Commission. Hughes offers a high-speed satellite Internet service, with more than 540,000 subscribers through its HughesNet service.

“Hughes has made huge investments in our broadband business in the belief that every American, regardless of where they live, should have an opportunity to participate in the digital world,” said Pradman Kaul, CEO of Hughes.

The project is expected to create tens of thousands of jobs and expand economic development and job opportunities in communities that have been lagging behind the tech economy, the company said.

Hughes is based in Germantown, Md.

About the Author

Tania Anderson is a contributing writer to Washington Technology.

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