US satellite operator Hughes Electronics is abandoning high-speed web services as it embarks on a cost-cutting programme.

The firm has announced it is shuttering its DirecTV Broadband service, part of America’s biggest satellite-TV operation DirecTV. The internet unit had 160,000 subscribers but was forecast to lose at least $110 million ($108m; £69m) this year.

The company’s cost-cutting follows the final collapse of its merger deal with rival EchoStar [WAMN: 11-Dec-02], and Hughes’ chief executive Jack Shaw warned the broadband service is just the start.

“When the merger agreement was terminated … we promised our shareholders and customers that we would move quickly to strengthen the profitability and efficiency of our company,” he said. “This decision is the first of these moves.”

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff