Dish blasts out high-speed satellite broadband

Dish leaps ahead with a satellite-based broadband service with very fast speeds, including up to 12Mbps downloading and 3Mbps uploading, with prices starting at $79.98 per month.

Dish's Hopper service bundles satellite-based television programming and Web-based content through its broadband service.
Dish's Hopper service bundles satellite-based television programming and Web-based content through its broadband service. Dish

LAS VEGAS--People in rural America hankering for faster broadband service have a new option from Dish.

The company, which has changed its name from Dish Network, today at CES announced a broadband service with ViaStat that offers a big jump in speeds from those of typical satellite services. The service, which Dish announced with its Hopper whole-home DVR service, is expected to go live this summer when a new satellite is launched.

The company says the Dish Broadband service will deliver downstream rates of 12Mbps and upload speed of 3Mbps. For comparison, the fastest satellite-based broadband service from Hughes is 2Mbps download and 300Kbps upload, for just less than $110 per month.

Dish's service, an upgrade to its current Internet service, will cost $79.98 per month, with installation costing $99. That starting price includes a bundle with Dish's satellite TV service. ViaSat will handle the satellite delivery, and Dish will be the point of contact for billing and customer service.

During a press conference at CES, company CEO Joe Clayton said the Internet service is aimed at consumers in underserved markets, such as rural areas, which represent 8 million to 10 million people. "We see significant growth from this new product category," he said.

During a live blog of the event, CNET's Maggie Reardon and Matthew Moskovciak wondered how Dish would be able to deliver such a big jump in satellite broadband speeds. Worth noting is that the Internet service will offer "up to" those speeds, so actual performance may vary, depending on location. "Dish's broadband claims are tough to believe. [I] would want to see some serious testing before I relied on it," Moskovciak said.

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