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The Future of Satellite Internet: HughesNet

Rosslyn Elliott / Updated Mar 24,2023 | Pub Feb 27,2023

HughesNet Deploys Advanced Technology to Increase Digital Opportunity

In 2023, HughesNet is unveiling new breakthroughs in satellite technology that will transform the user experience of satellite Internet.

In this article, you’ll learn about HughesNet’s new technologies in 2023 and how they will improve satellite Internet service. The groundbreaking Jupiter 3 satellite will increase satellite Internet speeds for users to 100 Mbps. Meanwhile, HughesNet Fusion is rolling out the first ever low-latency satellite Internet to the public. The future of satellite internet has never looked brighter.

HughesNet will now enable millions of people to have faster satellite Internet service. If you live in a rural area, these advances will open access to a vast world of digital opportunity. High-speed, low-latency satellite Internet will bring remote work, education, and telemedicine to improve lives across the USA.

Check out a brief timeline of invention to see how HughesNet has contributed to scientific marvels in satellite engineering for decades. Review the different types of satellite now emerging in the market. Learn which satellites offer the most reliable and environmentally sustainable satellite Internet service.

HughesNet: A History of Revolutionary Advances in Satellite Technology

Previous incarnations of the company we now know as HughesNet have been making history with satellite technology from the very beginning.

Satellites launched into space for the first time in 1957 with Russia’s Sputnik series. In 1962, Bell Labs put the first commercial communications satellite into orbit. Only a year later, the next major leap forward would be from Hughes.


satellite technology began in the 1950s with the space race

First geostationary satellite launched by Hughes Aircraft Co

In 1963, Hughes Aircraft Co. achieved a major advance by successfully putting the first geostationary satellite in orbit. “Geostationary” means a satellite that flies at exactly the right speed and the right distance so that it always maintains the same position relative to the earth’s surface. In other words, by flying around the earth at the right speed, a geostationary satellite matches the earth’s rotation and appears to “stay in one spot” in the sky.

Geostationary satellites are crucial for telecommunications like phone service or Internet. A satellite that stays in one location above the earth can provide continuous observation and contact with one very large area of the earth’s surface. Using only one satellite to keep a constant signal to a massive coverage area is efficient and reliable.

Geostationary satellites can provide this wide coverage because they are 22,000 miles above the earth’s surface.  Hughes and its pioneering satellite in High Earth Orbit would set the pace for years to come.

Hughes Aircraft Co, Hughes Network Systems, and HughesNet

Hughes Aircraft Co. has a connection with HughesNet that is even more historic than most people realize. Hughes Aircraft Co. was founded by Howard Hughes in 1932. This eccentric aviator, Hollywood producer, and inventor made news headlines for decades. He even invented the only wooden airplane during World War II, the Spruce Goose. Pictures of Howard Hughes in his leather aviator jacket and goggles are etched into the American imagination. So, all these Hughes companies, including HughesNet, got their names from this early founder and legendary figure in American history.

Here’s how HughesNet sprang from these roots. In 1987, Hughes Aircraft Co, acquired a communications company and named it Hughes Network Systems. In 1996, Hughes Network Systems introduced a satellite Internet service for the public. In 2012, that satellite Internet service was officially renamed HughesNet.

So, from the very beginnings of satellite history, back when TV was black-and-white and the USA had a space race with Russia, a Hughes company has always been part of the amazing progress of satellite technology.

HughesNet leads in High-Throughput Satelllites (HTS) with Jupiter series

Taking the Internet into space required much more data-transmission capacity than previous uses of satellite communications.

HughesNet answered that need. In 2012, HughesNet put Jupiter I into orbit, significantly increasing total satellite throughput capacity to 120 Gbps. Download speeds of up to 15 Mbps were now available for individual users, a major improvement from previous performance.

In 2017, HughesNet made history again. Jupiter 2 doubled the Ka band capacity of Jupiter 1, reaching a capacity of 200 Gbps. Jupiter 2 increased satellite Internet speed for customers to 25 Mbps download speed and 3 Mbps upload speed. By meeting the FCC’s definition of high-speed Internet, HughesNet became the first company to bring broadband to satellite Internet service.

Jupiter 2 made high-speed satellite Internet available across the continental United States. HughesNet’s Gen5 service was born as a result of the power of Jupiter 2.


Jupiter 3 increases internet speed to 100 Mbps for a smiling woman working on her laptop

HughesNet’s Jupiter 3 Ultra High-Density Satellite Premieres in 2023

In 2023, HughesNet plans to launch Jupiter 3 into orbit. The Jupiter 3 satellite will have a total throughput capacity of over 500 Gbps, two to three times the total throughput capacity of Jupiter 2. That additional capacity will bring the combined Jupiter fleet to a throughput capacity of over 1 Tbps.

Jupiter 3 will grant individual users download speeds up to 100 Mbps. This level of Internet speed will transform Internet user experience in areas that do not have cable or fiber infrastructure.

Jupiter 3 will be the first High-Throughput Satellite to use the Q and V bands, which will expand availability on the Ka-band to allow more customer usage.

Jupiter 3 provides higher speeds for users, more capacity for Community Wi-Fi Hotspots

In addition to increasing Internet speeds for individual customers, Jupiter 3 will expand HughesNet’s effective strategy of providing community Wi-Fi hotspots to bridge the digital divide.

Communities will be able to set up more satellite-powered community Wi-Fi hotspots that allow hundreds of users to gain Internet access. The VSAT and Wi-Fi equipment from HughesNet will create a Wi-Fi signal zone of up to 80 meters (87 yards). These Wi-Fi zones can become zones of opportunity for customers in areas without cable or fiber Internet.

The Jupiter system already supports Community Wi-Fi solutions at over 65,000 hotspots across the globe. With Jupiter 3, these vital hotspots can continue to multiply to close the digital divide.

HughesNet Fusion: Low-Latency Satellite Internet Service

HughesNet is bringing another revolutionary development to satellite Internet service.

HughesNet Fusion, which began rolling out in late 2022, is expanding to more parts of the USA in 2023.

Using hybrid technology, Fusion combines the power of satellite Internet and wireless to leverage the strengths of both.

What is low-latency satellite Internet?

Latency is a slight delay in your Internet signal caused by how far that signal has to travel to reach your home. Latency is very minor: it is only a half-second of delay for a signal that travels four times between your home, the satellite, and that satellite’s Gateway Earth Station. For most Internet tasks, you won’t notice latency.

But when you want to do Internet activities that involve fast real-time reactions, such as videoconferencing or browsing content-rich web pages, latency can become noticeable.

Never before has a satellite Internet provider used this multipath technology of satellite and wireless to create a low-latency connection. HughesNet Fusion will prioritize latency-sensitive tasks on your network, so your Internet experience is smooth and responsive.


latency diagram shows definition of latency when lag occurs over distance, including satellite and ground stations

Other 2023 Developments in Satellite Internet: LEO Satellites and the Environmental Debate

As HughesNet brings remarkable advances to your satellite options, it’s worth noting the other major change in satellite technology. Newcomer provider Starlink, owned by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, is launching thousands of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites that orbit 342 miles up from Earth’s surface.

Because LEO satellites are not geostationary, they present some complicated issues to anyone who cares about astronomy or the environment. Here are some of the concerns.

SpaceX has already launched 3,800 satellites, and has gained permission to launch a total of 12,000. The company is seeking permission to launch a total of 30,000 satellites into Low Earth Orbit. That will be a huge number of objects flying only 342 miles from Earth’s surface.

In February of 2022, NASA issued a warning about the potential for SpaceX satellites to interfere with astronomical observations, including warnings of objects bound for collision with Earth.

SpaceX responded by pointing to their efforts to minimize environmental, astronomical, and aerospace impact from this unprecedented number of satellites. But China has already objected to the collision hazard presented to its space station by Starlink satellites.

In addition, astronomers and scientists are objecting to the light pollution caused by the glow and streak of Starlink satellites across their observation lenses. Some have suggested that researchers close their telescope shutters for ten seconds when a Starlink satellite crosses the frame. There’s something unsettling about the idea that this light pollution and the observational risk identified by NASA will go on unchecked, in favor of a grand, live experiment of chucking tens of thousands of objects into orbit.


space junk in Low Earth Orbit increases the risk of collisions, which may be a factor with Starlink's satellites

Which 2023 New Satellites Are Most Efficient and Environmentally Sustainable?

The environmental and research concerns raised about Starlink’s thousands of satellites remind us of an important point.

Technological advances can be marvelous, indeed. But as Stan Lee said, with great power comes great responsibility.

In the present moment, we can feel free, unalloyed excitement about the possibilities unlocked by HughesNet’s innovations.

HughesNet’s Jupiter system involves 3 satellites flying 22,000 miles above the earth. The potential hazard of collision with space junk or interference with research is nil. HughesNet’s advances in technology carry great benefits for many people, and no drawbacks.

But when human beings introduce new technologies that require 30,000 satellites instead of 3, there are impacts to be measured. Government agencies need to estimate the potential harms, and act to mitigate them. And as individual consumers and voters, we also have to be educated and aware about the impacts of technology on the world around us and its future. At the very least, Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites will permanently change our night sky view, for every human being on Earth. Moving bright objects will now colonize every constellation. Watching the stars will be less serene.

No one can say yet what the total impact of 30,000 LEO satellites on our planet and our astronomers will be. But everyone should be watching closely. What is certain is that for now, geostationary High Earth Orbit satellites are the known, proven and responsible choice for sustainability and science.

Summary: HughesNet’s Vision for the Future

Both HughesNet Fusion and the Jupiter 3 satellite will bring new, improved Internet speed and responsiveness to people in the USA and beyond. And these advances will expand digital opportunity for hundreds of thousands of people.

With a new total throughput capacity of 1 Tbps (1 terabit per second), the Jupiter fleet will bring user speeds to up to 100 Mbps.

HughesNet Fusion has already launched low-latency satellite Internet service in select areas of the country, and this year will bring more rollouts.

2023 will be a banner year for satellite Internet, thanks to HughesNet’s continuing commitment to innovation. The potential to bring jobs and education far out into remote parts of the Americas is an exciting step for learners and workers everywhere.


house with satellite dish showing HughesNet in the future