WildBlue Communications, the latest entrant in the satellite broadband space, has inaugurated service for its first customer. The Denver-based startup, which plans to target 20 million to 25 million homes and small businesses not served by cable modems or DSL, installed a 26-inch satellite dish and modem at a home outside Denver late last week.
Bijou Telephone Cooperative, a small phone company, handled the installation for WildBlue. With the help of 280 rural electric and phone companies, WildBlue aims to make its service nationally available by September. The company is competing against two more established satellite broadband players -- Hughes Network Systems' DirecWay and Spacenet's StarBand services. But WildBlue executives think they will make headway with faster transmission speeds, greater upstream capacity and lower prices than their older rivals.