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Report: News Corp. scales back Spaceway plans
Posted: Sat, May 29, 2004, 8:39 AM ET (1239 GMT)
News Corporation has changed course on its Spaceway satellite broadband project, deciding to launch only a single satellite to deliver television programming, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday. Spaceway, which News Corp. acquired last year along with DirecTV and the rest of Hughes, had been designed to provide high-speed Internet service to customers using at least two high-power satellites. However, the Journal reported that the company now plans to launch only a single Spaceway satellite, and use it instead to provide DirecTV programming. Broadband Internet access via satellite had been seen as a potential growth market for satellite communications, but the high cost of deploying such ventures, coupled with the growth of cheaper terrestrial alternatives like DSL and cable modems, has make it difficult for most satellite ventures in this area to succeed. Several other broadband Internet satellite projects are still planned, including efforts by EchoStar and WildBlue, but analysts caution that the limited size of the market could make it difficult for most of these ventures to succeed.
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