updated 11:40 pm EDT, Wed August 15, 2012
Broadband to be bundled with TV service
Dish Network is reportedly preparing to rollout satellite broadband service to complement its existing television services. The company already offers satellite broadband in a limited number of markets, as part of a collaborative partnership with California-based communications company ViaSat, however the upcoming service is said to utilize EchoStar satellites and coverage across the entire contiguous US.
The EchoStar satellites are also said to provide faster speeds, enabling customers to reach download speeds of 15 megabits per second, unnamed sources told Bloomberg. Speeds may initially be limited to 5 megabits per second, however, as the company gauges customer interest and the need for capacity.
Dish is expected to offer satellite-based Internet and voice alongside its television service as bundled packages, bringing the company into direct competition with wired service providers such as Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner.
Pricing for the satellite Internet service remains unclear, though it is expected to command a premium over cable access or DSL. Target customers will likely be based in rural areas that are not connected to wired service or within range of cellular alternatives such as Verizon's LTE-based HomeFusion broadband.