By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Jackson, Miss. — Dish is expanding the availability of its broadband service with the launch of DishNet, a high-speed nationwide Internet service via satellite, with the debut at the flagship Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City retail store, here.
Available Oct. 1, DishNet offers customers the convenience of one bill, one installation, one customer service number and a $10 monthly discount when bundled with Dish’s most popular TV programming packages, the company said.
Designed for rural residents underserved, or unserved, by wire line broadband, DishNet offers 4G-level speeds that are about 50 percent faster than the typical residential broadband connections in American homes, the company said. The service starts at $39.99 per month and is available with next-day installation.
Dish’s CEO Joseph Clayton will unveil DishNet later today at Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City store, here, which is the same location DirecTV debuted in the 1990s when Clayton, as a top RCA executive, selected the NATM Buying Group member to debut the TV service.
Dish previewed the service to the media in New York City last week.
In a prepared statement, 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.”
In August 2012, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reported 19 million Americans lack access to high-speed Internet, including 14.5 million who live in rural regions. The FCC highlighted that 23.7 percent of rural residents lack broadband access, Dish said.
The DishNet satellite service offers rural residents download speeds up to 10 Mbps, fast enough for typical Internet applications, including social media, telecommuting, music streaming, online video streaming and VoIP services, the company said.
“Many unserved and underserved markets are years away from a telco or cable broadband build out, but DishNet is available today,” said Brian McIntyre, VP of broadband at Dish. “These services will have powerful, positive impacts for kids, educators, businesses, farmers and families — no matter how far out of town they may choose to live.”
Living in the Jackson area, the first official DishNet family got a preview of the new service. Jeff Thigpen, father of five and a high school athletic director in Ridgeland, Miss., is now trying DishNet Internet and Dish TV service with the Hopper whole-home HD DVR.“We no longer have to worry about tethering a cellphone to our home computer to get on the Internet,” said Thigpen in a Dish statement. “Since my girls are required to do much of their high school homework online, DishNet will help them move much faster when submitting school work. In fact, one of my daughters says it’s as fast as working on the computers at school.”
The DishNet brand leverages advanced technology and high-powered satellites launched from Hughes and ViaSat to provide broadband coverage nationwide. Dish will tailor its service to suit a customer’s needs, location and budget. All services are sold, installed, billed and supported by Dish under the DishNet brand.
In rural and outlying suburban regions nationwide, DishNet satellite broadband starts at $39.99 per month (plus equipment fees) for 5Mbps download/1Mbps upload speeds and data plans of 10GB, when bundled with the America’s Top 120 or higher programming packages from Dish and with a two-year agreement.
Combining DishNet with Dish TV saves $10 per month. Most satellite customers can upgrade to a 10Mbps /1Mbps plan available with 20GB of data for $49.99 per month.
Satellite broadband service includes five @dishnet.com email accounts, each with 2GB of storage and an online mail portal that combines web search, news, entertainment and weather updates, Dish said.
Installation is free for new and existing Dish TV customers when DishNet is bundled with Dish’s television programming and $99 when ordered as a stand-alone service. Existing Dish satellite Internet customers can upgrade to the 5Mbps or 10Mbps speeds for $199. Installation is handled by Dish technicians, the company said.
In addition to satellite Internet service, Dish’s own competitive local exchange carrier will also fold its wireline broadband service into the DishNet brand. Urban and suburban residents living in a 14-state region can access high-speed Internet with 7Mbps speeds starting at $29.95 per month. They can also upgrade to 12Mbps service for an additional $5 per month or 20Mbps for an additional $10 per month.
This service is available in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
For more on today’s event, check TWICE.com.
For more information on package details or to sign up for DishNet and Dish’s pay-TV programming, call (800) 823-4929 or visit Dish.com/DishNet.
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