Dish brings broadband to rural US, seeks programming for Internet TV

By on September 28, 2012, 12:00 PM

Dish Network is expanding its broadband offering with the official launch of dishNet, a satellite-based service that will go live Monday and aims to bring high-speed internet to rural places in the US with slow or no access at all. Plans start at $39.99 for 5Mbps download and 1Mbps upload with a cap of 10GB of data per month, when bundled with a Dish programming package and a two-year contract. Upgrading to 10Mbps download speeds and 20GB of data allowance will cost $49.99 per month.

Existing Dish subscribers and those who pick up the TV service for the first time are eligible for the aforementioned dishNet rates and get free next-day installation. Otherwise, anyone subscribing to dishNet as a standalone service will need to pay $99 upfront for installation and the full monthly fee which goes up $10 more. The company also offers wireline service through local exchange carriers in 14 states. These plans will be folded into the dishNet brand and will start at $29.95 for 7 Mbps download, with upgrades to 12 Mbps for an additional $5 or 20 Mbps for $10 more.

Although the latencies and data caps involved with satellite-based Internet services make it a tough sell next to traditional broadband in urban areas, it’s still a big deal as roughly one-in-four US rural residents lack a high-speed connection. The company already offers satellite web access in select parts of the country through a partnership with ViaSat but now it is making broadband access available nationwide.

In other news, Bloomberg reports that Dish has approached cable networks such as MTV, Univision, and Scripps Networks Interactive (owner of the Food Network and HGTV) regarding the possibility of offering access to their content live over the Internet. Apparently they’re still far from reaching a deal but the idea is to offer channels individually or as part of small bundles at a discounted price, instead of as part of large bundles that force customers to pay expensive fees for channels they ultimately don’t watch.

User Comments: 15

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Littleczr Littleczr said:

10gb cap? get your trash out of here.

noel24 said:

Good quality video on YT is 200MB. 10GB is like 2 days of using internet nowadays. Pop-up adverts probably eat that alone, if one browse a lot. Heck, using 56k modem on a phone line 14 h/day wil give you more. 10Mbps with this cap is a false advertising and someone should suit their sorry asses. For reading news, tenth of that would be sufficient, but it wouldn't look that great in a commercial, would it? Where are politicians and regulatory agencies when You need one?

Guest said:

noel24 when I just look websites it is like 30 megs per hour (50 max), when you look at videos it is like 300-500 per hour, that is what netlimiter say. So if you take out youtube those 10gb are great if you only look at websites and don't download anything.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

10GB? I burn through that much every other day...

Scavengers Scavengers said:

Oh man, I just downloaded Rage from steam last night and it is almost 22 gigs.


Jim$ter said:

10GB??!? Is Dish owned by the Cellular companies? Caps need to DIE!!!!


10 GB wow thats a typo.....


I get 300 GB a month for the same price ...

I use up 10 GB a day easy on the weekend alone...

Guest said:

This kind of thing we need in scotland but limited data is so last century ......

Emexrulsier said:

Scotland needs more than decent internet...

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

While I agree the cap is a bit outragous, this services is targeted at people who really can't get internet anyother way other than via cell phone service.

Places where there are no phone or cable lines. You have to do all your phone/tv/internet via cell phone or satalite - all "over the air". Or where you are so far out you have the choice of VERY slow DSL or VERY crappy dial-up over POS phone lines that you can barely make a call out on.

Compred to what the cell phone companies want for their internet services and what their caps are this isn't so bad.

If you have access to even decent DSL, then you are not their target consumer.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

10 GB wow thats a typo.....

Not a typo. In fact, its a fair bit higher than the 7.5GB cap that their competitors (HughesNet, Wildblue/Exede) offer. One thing not mentioned in the article that HughesNet and Wildblue/Exede offer is 5 or 6 hours of time where your download doesn't count against you. Dish's prices are also better. The others are $50 a month for that service, HughesNet has horrible download speeds (1.5Mbps) and Exede says up to 12Mbps.

My parents are unable to get broadband any other way, so they were looking at satellite offerings recently.

TJGeezer said:

No wonder they're only marketing to bandwidth-starved areas. The U.S. now has some kind of "broadband everywhere" government initiative - I wonder if Dish will get subsidies for pushing this out, unrealistic data caps and all. All these companies are very good at sucking on the government teat while screaming about how their customers want everything for free.

Emexrulsier said:

Am I right in thinking upload on a satelite connection is still managed by copper? Back in "the day" you used a satellite to manage the downstream and a normal phone line to deal with the upload.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Am I right in thinking upload on a satelite connection is still managed by copper? Back in "the day" you used a satellite to manage the downstream and a normal phone line to deal with the upload.

I don't think so anymore. Exede's 12Mbps down service says 3Mbps up. It can't use dialup for that, and if it used dsl, then there would be no need for the customer to have satellite service because DSL would be a far better option.

Sphynx Sphynx said:

This is why I'm glad I don't live in a rural community.

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