Verizon Wireless has announced a version of its wireless broadband service that’s designed for use in rural and remote homes that can’t get DSL or cable, the Associated Press reports. The service, called HomeFusion, also could appeal to some households where DSL is the only fixed-line option, because it’s faster than most DSL services. HomeFusion could provide potent competition for satellite broadband providers, which are often “providers of last resort” for rural homes. The service requires the installation of a cylindrical antenna, about the size of a 5-gallon bucket, on an outside wall. The hardware costs $200, but the work is free. Service starts at $60 per month for 10 gigabytes of data. Dallas, Nashville, Tenn., and Birmingham, Ala., will be the first areas to get the service, later this month. By the end of the year, Verizon hopes to provide it everywhere it has coverage with its new “LTE” wireless network.

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staff and wire services reports