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Dish reportedly readying nationwide satellite broadband

Satellite TV provider will utilize a satellite recently launched by sister company EchoStar for a service launching this fall, sources tell Bloomberg.

Dish Network is reportedly preparing to roll out a nationwide satellite-based broadband service this fall, ramping up competition with cable companies.

While Dish already offers satellite broadband to select areas as part of a partnership with communications company ViaSat, the new service would utilize a satellite recently launched by Dish sister company EchoStar, people familiar with the situation told Bloomberg.

The satellite, which was launched last month, can support download speeds of 15 megabits per second and can handle about 2 million new Internet customers, the sources told Bloomberg. However, speeds may be limited to 5 megabits per second to accommodate more customers.

Pricing estimates for the new service were not revealed, though it's expected to be more expensive than cable or DSL. The service will likely be aimed at customers in rural areas where wired connections are prohibitively expensive and cellular alternatives are unavailable.

Dish is expected to bundle the new Internet service with TV programming packages, increasing its competition with cable companies such as Comcast and Time Warner, which also offer bundled broadband and TV programming.

CNET has contacted Dish for comment and will update this report when we learn more.