DISH Network Corporation, U.S. provider of satellite TV, recently announced the launch of dishNET, a high-speed satellite Internet service to be rolled out nationwide. DishNET will be available as of October 1, and provides existing DISH satellite customers with the convenience of a single bill for television and Internet service as well as a $10 monthly discount for using both services.
Aimed mostly at rural residents who go largely underserviced or ignored by wireline broadband Internet providers, dishNET promises to deliver 4G-level speeds which are often 50 percent faster than the average U.S. residential broadband connection. Indeed, customers can expect download speeds of up to 10 Mbps, fast enough for typical Web browsing and even VoIP use.
Despite its promises of high speeds, dishNET sports an affordable price point of only $39.99 per month, available with next-day installation.
At a lunch event for the service today, DISH CEO Joseph Clayton said, "Today, we are launching a revolutionary consumer broadband service that delivers high-speed Internet available in metropolitan areas to rural markets nationwide. 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."
According to recent figures from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC (News - Alert)), 19 million Americans lack access to high-speed Internet, 14.5 million of which live in rural regions. Furthermore, 23.7 percent of rural residents lack broadband access, according to the FCC's information.
"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.
DISH recently experienced a run of bad luck as an agreement with the Big Ten Network fell through earlier this month, leaving DISH subscribers unable to view a college football game.
In August, the company was sued by the FCC, which alleged that DISH had violated the do-not-call rule for telemarketing.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman