Re: Does Hughes Net have to play by the same rules as large phone companies such as AT&t or Verizon.
The link you provided says, "For more details on different types of broadband connections, please visit the FCC website." which the FCC states that Satellite Broadband is considered as the following.
Just as satellites orbiting the earth provide necessary links for telephone and television service, they can also provide links for broadband. Satellite broadband is another form of wireless broadband, and is also useful for serving remote or sparsely populated areas. Downstream and upstream speeds for satellite broadband depend on several factors, including the provider and service package purchased, the consumer’s line of sight to the orbiting satellite, and the weather. Typically a consumer can expect to receive (download) at a speed of about 500 Kbps and send (upload) at a speed of about 80 Kbps. These speeds may be slower than DSL and cable modem, but they are about 10 times faster than the download speed with dial-up Internet access. Service can be disrupted in extreme weather conditions.
While you are at it, I guess Microsoft is a Public Utility, since they provide VoIP services.