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Dish Satellite Broadband Set for Oct. 1 Launch

Thu, 09/27/2012 - 7:25am
Maisie Ramsay

Dish Networks said today it will launch a satellite broadband service on Oct. 1 targeted at rural consumers with slow Internet connections.

The dishNET service will be available in both rural and suburban areas, but will be more attractive to consumers that can't get fast fixed broadband service.

The FCC estimates 14.5 million Americans in rural areas of the country lack access to broadband Internet.

"Many unserved and underserved markets are years away from a telco or cable broadband build out, but dishNET is available today," Dish Broadband Vice President Brian McIntyre said in a statement.

Satellite Internet has historically been a last resort for consumers because of its slow speeds and high cost.

Dish's new service starts out at about $40 per month when bundled with its television programming. Customers that don't sign up for television will pay $10 more per month and a $100 installation fee. There is no installation fee for customers who bundle dishNET with Dish Network television.

The $40 plan offers download speeds of 5 Mbps and upload speeds of 1 Mbps, with usage capped at 10 GB. Dish is also offering a $50 plan with a 20 GB cap that comes with 10 Mbps download speeds and 1 Mbps upload speeds.

The company also said it is folding its 14-state wireline broadband service into the dishNET brand.

DishNET runs on satellites from ViaSat and Hughes, with Dish Network handling sales, installation, billing and support.

Dish Networks is also trying to get FCC clearance to build an LTE network in 40 MHz of satellite spectrum, and has clashed with Sprint over regulatory changes necessary for the plan to move forward. The FCC has yet to indicate when or if it will allow Dish to launch its LTE service.

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