Hughes Broadband Alliance Programme to run telemedicine and distance learning on SPACEWAY P2P platform

Germantown 15 November 2001Hughes Network Systems (HNS), a provider of broadband by satellite services, has established its new SPACEWAY Peer-to-Peer Application Center of Excellence. The centre has been initially staffed with more than 100 developers responsible for working with HNS customers and partners to build a range of next generation peer-to-peer applications. These include high-quality, secure, video-based tools for business and residential applications; distance learning-on-demand; and telemedicine. The company also has launched the Hughes Broadband Alliance Programme with Sun Microsystems, a provider of systems and services which power the Internet, and Polycom Inc., an expert in the convergence of interactive voice, video and data communications.


SPACEWAY is HUGHES' next generation broadband satellite platform. It will provide affordable, full-mesh connectivity for delivery of high-bandwidth multi-media services. The first system is scheduled to begin offering services in North America in 2003. By joining the alliance, Sun and Polycom will gain the inside track to develop next generation applications and services that are intended to operate on SPACEWAY. In addition to its unique peer-to-peer architecture, SPACEWAY incorporates many other advanced features, such as packet switching, spot beams, and bandwidth-on-demand.

Companies which participate in the Hughes Broadband Alliance Programme are expected to benefit from a diverse range of resources intended to facilitate their development processes. These resources may include consulting, education, documentation, user groups, and seminars. Their teams will be supported by the new SPACEWAY P2P Application Center for Excellence, staffed with engineers who will collaborate with partners and customers during the development and deployment processes. Planned applications include high-quality, secure video-conferencing, tele-collaboration, telemedicine, distance learning-on-demand, and virtual entertainment.

HUGHES celebrated the launch of the Broadband Alliance Programme on November 15 with a bi-coastal Web cast event keynoted by renowned analyst George Gilder, with remarks from Scott McNealy, chairman and CEO of Sun Microsystems, and Bob Hagerty, chairman, president and CEO of Polycom. Mr. Gilder told the attendees that SPACEWAY is a critical component in the evolution of broadband services. "Up to now, network operators have faced a difficult trade-off between the benefits of satellite's ubiquitous coverage and scalability, and access to point-to-point connections via terrestrial networks. Soon, SPACEWAY, with its spot beams and efficient reuse of spectrum, will be able to address both benefits without leaving anyone behind", Mr. Gilder stated.

"By leveraging Sun's JXTA Peer-to-Peer technology, the Hughes Broadband Alliance Programme will enable the development of next-generation broadband applications and services", noted Sun CEO Mr. McNealy. "Satellite communications will expand the reach of broadband applications to a larger audience by covering areas not served by terrestrial broadband providers", added Mr. Hagerty for Polycom. "Beyond personal and business applications, such as group and desktop video communications and collaboration, there is a significant and compelling need for these services in applications like distance learning and telemedicine. We envision new possibilities for interactive video communications that will reach new markets."

Leslie Versweyveld

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