By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Jackson, Miss. — More details were provided by Dish CEO Joe Clayton at this morning’s introduction of DishNet — a high-speed nationwide Internet service via satellite, available on Oct. 1 — in terms of pricing, marketing and future plans.
DishNet, which debuted at the flagship Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City retail store, here, comes in three packages that are bundled with the company’s TV services.
The DishNet service is $39.99 a month for 5GB anytime data and 5GB bonus data with up to 5Mbps download speed and 1Mbps upload speed. The step up to $49.99 is 10GB anytime data and 10GB bonus data and up to 10Mbps download and Mbps upload speed. The $69.99 package is 15GB anytime data and 15GB bonus data with up to 10Mbps download and 2Mbps upload speeds. A package bigger than the $69.99 offer is also being prepared, possibly for small business and other uses but availability has not yet been set.
While Clayton said the goal “is to sell bundles,” if customers want to buy the DishNet without the TV service, it is $10 more per package.
Stan Kozlowski, Dish’s sales VP, said that for retailers there is a commission for the initial sale and residual revenue per sale for an undisclosed length of time depending upon how long a consumer continues with the service.
Kozlowski noted that Dish may be able to deliver a “real triple play’ and include “under our own infrastructure” wireless phone service pending Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval, maybe later this month. If Dish can enter that market, “we would be the third largest wireless carrier, behind AT&T and Verizon.”
Vivek Khemka, product management VP, said if consumers exceed their monthly data plans, they can buy “tokens” to extend their service and will have ample warnings if they are about to exceed their plans.
DishNet offers customers the convenience of one bill, one installation and one customer service number, the company said.
Designed for rural residents underserved, or unserved, by wireline 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 need for DishNet is evident. Jeff Joseph, senior VP of communications and strategic relationships with the Consumer Electronics Association, who spoke at the event said that the FCC reported 19 million Americans lack access to high-speed Internet including 14.5 million who live in rural regions and the U.S. ranks 18th worldwide in broadband penetration.
Clayton said that DishNet will be backed by a marketing and ad budget “in the millions of dollars” that would be targeted to the secondary and tertiary markets DishNet is designed for. The effort will include TV, radio and print ads, and social media efforts that are “targeted to these communities” and the retailers that serve them, according to Dish CEO.
Tonight a “hootenanny” will be held at Cowboy Maloney’s, here, with country singer Phil Vassar and “American Idol’s” Skylar Lane, who comes from the Jackson area, to celebrate DishNet’s debut. Parts of the concert will appear on Dish’s Facebook page next week.
This is the third time that Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City store, here, has worked with Clayton to debut a new digital satellite service. The first was DirecTV in 1994, and the second was Sirius Satellite Radio in 2002.
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