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Tiscali is set to launch its broadband satellite service in the UK on March 1 - a month ahead of a similar offering from BTopenworld.

The Italian Internet giant is emailing 1,500 people who have already expressed an interest in the TiscaliSat service, inviting them to take part in a trial.

Those signing up will have to pay £230 to take part in the three-month test. After that, they can either hand back the equipment or cough up £650 to continue using the service.

Monthly subscriptions for the two-way satellite service runs at £59.99 a month.

The commercial launch of TiscaliSat is due to take place during the spring although a spokesman for the company said March 1 had been pencilled in for the service to go live.

Tiscali was due to launch its service last year but delayed it to concentrate on the reorganisation of its UK business.

Both products from Tiscali and BTopenworld are based on a satellite service from Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd.

BTopenworld's broadband over satellite service costs £900 to install. Monthly subscription costs start at £69.99. ®

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