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Dish Network launches nationwide satellite broadband service with ViaSat, Hughes, calls it dishNET

Dish Network launches nationwide satellite broadband service with ViaSat, Hughes, calls it dishNET
Daniel Cooper
Daniel Cooper|@danielwcooper|September 27, 2012 9:41 AM

Dish Network's long-gestating tie-up with ViaSat and Hughes has finally arrived under the name dishNET. Sounding like an implement you'd use to clean dirty dinner plates, the nationwide satellite broadband service launches from October 1st, targeting customers in rural areas that are underserved with fixed line gear. $40 a month gets you 5 Mbps down / 1Mbps up with a 10GB data cap, while subscribers can get a $10 discount if they pick up a TV package at the same time. We asked the company if this was related to the service based upon its spectrum purchases that was hinted at back in August, and it confirmed this is just leveraging ViaSat Exede and HughesNet.

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DISH Launches dishNET Broadband, Bringing High-Speed Internet to Rural Americans with Slow or No Access

New high-speed Internet brand offers affordable satellite Internet service nationwide starting at $39.99

Combine with DISH TV service for bundle pricing, convenient payment, installation and customer service options
14.5 million underserved rural residents no longer need to wait for broadband build out

ENGLEWOOD, Colo., Sept. 27, 2012 – DISH (NASDAQ: DISH), a leading national provider of satellite TV, is expanding the availability of its broadband service with the launch of dishNET, a high-speed Internet service via satellite nationwide. Available Oct. 1, dishNET offers customers the convenience of one bill, one installation, one customer service number and a $10 monthly discount when bundled with DISH's most popular TV programming packages

Ideal for rural residents underserved, or unserved, by wireline broadband, dishNET offers 4G-level speeds that are about 50 percent faster than the typical residential broadband connections in American homes. The affordable, reliable high-speed Internet service starts at $39.99 per month and is available with next–day installation.

DISH's CEO Joseph Clayton is unveiling dishNET today at the flagship Cowboy Maloney's Electric City retail store in Jackson, Miss., the historic retail launch site of digital satellite TV and satellite radio services.

"Today, we are launching a revolutionary consumer broadband service that delivers high-speed Internet available in metropolitan areas to rural markets nationwide," Clayton said. "With nearly one-in-four rural residents lacking a high-speed connection, reaching these underserved markets is vital. Our mission is to provide broadband at an outstanding value with fast speeds and large data plans."

In Aug. 2012, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reported 19 million Americans lack access to high-speed Internet, including 14.5 million who live in rural regions. The FCC highlighted that 23.7 percent of rural residents lack broadband access.

The dishNET satellite service offers rural residents download speeds up to 10 Mbps. These speeds are fast enough for typical Internet applications, including social media, telecommuting, music streaming, online video streaming and even Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services.

"Many unserved and underserved markets are years away from a telco or cable broadband build out, but dishNET is available today," said Brian McIntyre, vice president of Broadband at DISH. "These services will have powerful, positive impacts for kids, educators, businesses, farmers and families -- no matter how far out of town they may choose to live."

Living in the Jackson area, the first official dishNET family got a preview of the new service. Jeff Thigpen, father of five and a high school athletic director in Ridgeland, Miss., is now trying dishNET Internet and DISH TV service with the Hopper™ Whole-Home HD DVR.

"We no longer have to worry about tethering a cell phone to our home computer to get on the Internet," said Thigpen. "Since my girls are required to do much of their high school homework online, dishNET will help them move much faster when submitting school work. In fact, one of my daughters says it's as fast as working on the computers at school."

The dishNET brand leverages advanced technology and high-powered satellites launched from Hughes and ViaSat to provide broadband coverage nationwide. DISH will tailor its service to suit a customer's needs, location and budget. All services are sold, installed, billed and supported by DISH under the dishNET brand.

Pricing, Packaging and Availability

In rural and outlying suburban regions nationwide, dishNET satellite broadband starts at $39.99 per month (plus equipment fees) for 5 Mbps download/1 Mbps upload speeds and data plans of 10 GB, when bundled with DISH's popular America's Top 120™ or higher programming packages and with a two-year agreement. Combining dishNET with DISH TV saves $10 per month. Most satellite customers can upgrade to a 10 Mbps /1 Mbps plan available with 20 GB of data for $49.99 per month.

Satellite broadband service includes five @dishNET.com email accounts, each with 2 GB of storage and an easy-to-configure online mail portal that combines web search, news, entertainment and weather updates.

Installation is free for new and existing DISH TV customers when dishNET is bundled with DISH's television programming and $99 when ordered as a stand-alone service. Existing DISH satellite Internet customers can upgrade to the 5 Mbps or 10 Mbps speeds for $199.99.

In addition to satellite Internet service, DISH's own competitive local exchange carrier will also fold its wireline broadband service into the dishNET brand. Urban and suburban residents living in a 14-state region and access high-speed Internet with 7 Mbps starts at $29.95 per month. Upgrade to 12 Mbps service for an additional $5 per month or 20 Mbps for an additional $10 per month. This service is available in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.