Dish To Increase Broadband Speeds to Rural America
New name with tie in with Hopper DVR and TV offeringsSeptember 19, 2012 By Jeff O'Heir
Dish is increasing the speeds of the broadband connectivity it currently provides to rural areas in the U.S. The provider will announce the name of the new service - which will tie in with a unified marketing campaign around the company's Hopper DVR and satellite offerings - and pricing at the end of the month.
"The new service will be 10 to 20 times faster" than was previously offered, said Dave Arland, a Dish spokesman, adding that broadband and TV bundles will probably start at less than $50 a month. The pricing structure will include broadband data caps.
The faster speeds - 5 Mbps to consumers coast-to-coast and 10 Mbps to the West Coast and eastern half of the country, with small pockets in between - is made possible by Dish's new Exede and Hughes Gen4 EchoStar XVII satellites.
According to the FCC, out of the 19 million Americans that don't have broadband access, about 14.5 million are in rural areas. Providing those consumers with faster, more reliable connectivity "is what this is all about," said Brian McIntyre, Dish's vice president of broadband, adding that the new satellites cover between 85 and 90 percent of rural America. "This will bring speeds to rural areas that were only available in urban America."
The unified broadband/satellite TV brand is also about offering Dish customers a single bill payment, installation appointment and customer service source. "We want to change the consumer perception that Dish is just a satellite TV service provider," McIntyre said.
The benefits of the new service for retailers include an extra service to sell and the opportunity to forge tighter relationships with their customers, said Vivek Khemka, Dish's vice president of product management.