Hughes Network Systems (HNS) yesterday announced a “unified broadband” plan to include digital subscriber line (DSL) offerings as well as traditional satellite services in its portfolio for enterprise customers seeking additional reliability and flexibility in their broadband packages.

HNS Senior Vice President Michael Cook said the DSL offerings—provided through wholesale partners such as Covad Communications, New Edge Networks and Netifice Communications—let HNS design solutions that best serve customers’ broadband needs via terrestrial and satellite technologies. Now, HNS can manage customers' networks that are optimized on the basis of cost, performance and availability.

For enterprise customers focused on ensuring that broadband access is always available, a DSL-satellite combination should be especially attractive, Cook said.

“In the event of an outage on one network, the other network can pick it up,” Cook said.

In addition to DSL, Cook said HNS is monitoring developments in other technologies to supplement its broadband satellite offerings. Cook said he believes WiMAX could be a DSL-replacement technology—particularly in rural areas—and CDMA EV/DO could provide a valued mobile component to the HNS offerings.

Including terrestrial technologies is not new for HNS, which has long managed networks using multiple technologies for large individual enterprise customers such as Wal-Mart, Cook said. However, by standardizing terrestrial packages along with the satellite packages announced last month, HNS will be able to extend terrestrial-satellite solutions to small and medium-sized business, as well.

“What we’re doing here is not a major change for us; it’s recognition of what we’ve been doing all along,” he said.