I have been a stupid customer of first direcway and now hughesnet when I moved in february 07. I was hoping I didn't need it, but since i'm rural, I still did. It is the worst possible service in the history of the internet - they never tell you about their "fair access policy" until you go over your limit and your connection speed degrades to below dial-up. I go over the limit because my computer sometimes downloads system software - which exceeds their max. If you complain, you get told its your fault, and their is nothing you can do for 24 hours. I did just get told that there is now no limit if you download between 3and6am est!
Hughesnet is a rip-off. 4-6 times the price of dsl or dial-up. They have us without other options at their own will, they make up rules as they go along, without any notice and without any option to their customers to back out because of their service. If you are unhappy with their service - tough - you were stupid enough to get sucked into their false advertising and high-speed promises!
I can not wait for dsl to make it to me, my hughesnet dish will be on the curb as soon as possible. If you are thinking about getting hughesnet - don't unless you are like me and need it for your job, because dial-up just won't work. Its not worth the expense!!