Dish Network Jumping On Bundling Bandwagon With Nationwide Broadband Satellite Service

Are there just not enough bundled services in your life? Dish Network is betting there are customers out there who are going to jump at the chance to bundle up their pay TV satellite service with broadband Internet with a new nationwide plan. It already uses satellite broadband technology, but only in a few certain areas of the country.

BusinessWeek cites three insiders who say Dish will team up with its sister company EchoStar to execute the plan, in order to offer download speeds of around 5 megabits per second as an introductory package. EchoStar’s satellite can handle up to 15 mbps, but Dish is hoping it’ll need a lot of capacity to handle all its new customers — up to about 2 million. If it wants to get more Internet customers, it might have to make a bid to add more satellites.

Satellite technology has been changing lately, and has recently advanced enough to use higher-frequency bands for faster broadband to more people. More people equals more potential to make money, as well as offering consumers another choice in how they get their Internet.

Bundling of its services will also allow Dish to compete more directly with cable companies, so we doubt rivals like DirecTV and AT&T U-verse will be pleased with this move. And if the Federal Communications Commission approves its bid to use wireless spectrum to offer a quad-play — mobile Internet and phone service being the third and fourth services here — competitors will likely have to change up their games as well and really get serious about wooing and keeping customers.

Dish will likely offer the service starting in late September or early October to subscribers in rural areas who might not be able to get cable broadband — perhaps a welcome change for those customers.

Dish Network Said to Plan Nationwide Satellite Broadband [BusinessWeek]



Edit Your Comment

  1. dolemite says:

    Well, I guess it will be ok for watching movies, but forget any kind of gaming.

    • Velifer says:

      No, existing satellite providers put massively restrictive usage caps on ( caps at 250Mb per day–yes, megabytes per 24 hours.) That pretty much means you get perhaps 20 minutes of streaming before you have to wait for your daily dose of bytes to reset.

      I wouldn’t see Dish doing anything different. Why should they? If you’re going satellite, you don’t have any other options.

  2. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    My dad lives in out the country and has satellite internet. It is truly awful for the price and barely a step up from dial-up.

    Unfortunately though, he doesn’t have a any other options.

  3. deathbecomesme says:

    Hopefully they set realistic expectations with the customers when they sell it. The company I work for has a product called “extended dsl” which means you are too far out for us to have a guaranteed level of service but not too far where you can’t get it. These customers have no guaranteed speeds at all. You could be running at 10kbps and we still wouldn’t put in a ticket because of the TOS you agreed to when you signed up. Our CS reps can’t seem to make that clear to customers or dont care to.

  4. 2nd party post dated counter check says:

    It will probably be a good business model for them as those of us forced to use satellite internet are used to crappy service, awful customer support, and excessive pricing. Does it really matter which company gives your poor service if the industry standard is poor service? The convieniance might be worth it for some folks.

  5. Deep Cover says:

    After screwing the pooch with AMC, now you want me to trust you with broadband…I think NOT.

  6. Proselytic says:

    Ah Dish. I just cancelled Blockbuster with Dish, as it was pretty much worthless. Considering cancelling Dish altogether. They’ve been quietly cancelling channels like AMC, Sundance and others, replacing them with useless Blockbuster channels. Kind of like what Wal-mart does, replacing decent brand name products with their version of generics. Now, with less than a week’s notice, just today ABC is suddenly being removed from the lineup. My Dish is out in the open, unobstructed and pointed as best it can at the ‘arc’ for what can only be described as horrible reception. Even a small cloud can foil reception, any weather at all causes complete signal loss. Their service is atrocious to say the least and after 1 year of service the bill went up to just under $80 dollars for their 200 channel package, most of which is useless garbage. Then there is their boxes that are buggy as Hell. Why on earth would someone want to commit to that and then add Internet with horrible usage caps and crappy speeds. Dish Network is not competitive and a real headache. So bad, that even the Better Business Bureau will not rate them. Dish Network = Predator

    • Greggen says:

      I hit my 1 year, bill went to $70 a month so I called in and downgraded to their ‘basic’ plan.

      Its $14.99 a month, my DVR service is $6 a month and total bill is $22.50.

      I have 50ish real channels, buncha crap ‘shopping and info’ channels. I had ‘HD for live when

      I signed up, and still have some of my channels HD. Did have AMC before they pulled the plug.

      I would cancel, but it would cost $18.50 for each month remaining on my contract until Feb.

    • Joseph S Ragman says:

      Get them out there to fix it. Call 800-344-DISH (3474) and have them come to your home and re-peak the dish. Don’t let them leave till they have adequate signal strength to your receiver. Your service should NEVER go out unless it’s raining really hard. Make them fix it. Signal loss is not acceptable just because it’s. loudy outside.

  7. parabellum2000 says:

    Actually for 3 years, I used a sprint 3g modem. My only other alternatives were dial up or satellite. For $50/month I was getting about 1.75mb/ down and 700K up. Fortunately I didn’t have any data cap at that time. I even went so far as to get a cradlepoint router so I could share the signal throughout the house. I added a 20ft USB extension cord and placed the modem at the highest point of my ceiling. It wasn’t pretty but it was a hell of a lot cheaper than satellite broadband, and way better than dial up.

    • levarien says:

      We pretty much use this set up. The data cap kills it for us though. I end up having to be the bandwidth police, and it’s starting to make me hate myself. If any company offered a 3G hotspot data plan with no cap, I’d be a customer.

      Satellite though, I’ve seen the service in action, and was underwhelmed to say the least.

  8. HogwartsProfessor says:

    If cable and satellite companies want to get and KEEP customers, they need to offer better products and actual customer service. Doesn’t matter how nice your CSRs are; if they can’t solve the problems, the customer service sucks. And they should give long-time customers incentive to stay, by offering them perks and discounts, not just new customers. Make it attractive to stay with the company.

    It’s so simple, yet so hard for them to understand. Idiocracy, I say.

  9. Hagetaka says:

    The headline is pretty misleading. Dish has been in the Internet bundling business for years. I installed plenty of Wild Blue dishes as Dish Network installer (DirecTV has a similar arrangement with HughesNet); Wild Blue is now ViaSat (the company in the article).

    It’s still newsworthy, but as a “maybe this upgrade in capability will become a new broadband competitor to cable/DSL/wireless”.

    (My money’s on no, by the way. You’ll never fix satcom’s latency issue, it’s just pure physics)

    • NeverLetMeDown2 says:

      Latency isn’t fixed (can’t be, absent someone trying Iridium 2), but bitrates are a heck of a lot higher with the new ViaSat and Hughes satellites.

      For example, the old HughesNet plan is $50/month for 1Mbps/200kbps service, 250MB/day cap.

      The new ViaSat plan (dubbed Exede) is $50/month for 12Mbps service, 7.5GB/month (so 250MB/day) cap.

      So, you’re getting about 12x the speed (from what I’ve read, Exede is actually running at promised speeds) for the same price.

  10. oplat says:

    “the dam squirrels”

    an off handed quote from a Satellite TV executive i know in when i asked him about the ability to provide internet via Satellite. Evidently back then (10+ years ago) recieving information was no problems, sending it back up required a more powerful antenna on people’s homse. It wasn’t seen as a big problem except for the fact that squirrels kepts on getting in the way, and dying.

  11. ArizonaGeek says:

    I have a friend who had Echostar in southern Utah because no one else offered broadband anywhere close to him, there are two major issues with Echostar for someone like me, beyond the 250mb a day cap, first their download speed is 5mb but their upload speed is less than 1mb (and in my friends case, 256kb) so downloading is no issue but if you need to upload something like a bunch of large pictures for example, you might as well be on dial up. On top of that they do not support a VPN connection. So if you’re thinking you might want to work from home, using a VPN will not work. As I work in IT and work from home a lot, this just won’t do the trick.

  12. ogremustcrush says:

    Latency and bandwidth caps are such a non-starter with satellite broadband. The latency is often 5 times worse than dial-up. No way to really fix it either, just takes that long to beam into space and back. You’re better off with cellular internet, at least the cap is only monthly not daily.