Dish Network made waves at CES when they announced that they would be entering the broadband business. The company's market penetration, especially in rural areas that don't have access to broadband, puts them in a great position to become of the nation's largest ISPs.
Dish Network announced that they're finally bringing satellite broadband to their customers on October 1. It's called dishNET and the company is rolling the new Internet service into their preexisting TV service. They'll even knock off $10 a month for those who subscribe to both.
"Today, we are launching a revolutionary consumer broadband service that delivers high-speed Internet available in metropolitan areas to rural markets nationwide," Dish Network CEO Joseph Clayton said. "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."
So how fast are these speeds and how large are these data plans? The basic package features 5Mbps download/1 Mbps upload with a data plan of 10 GB a month. This will set customers back $39.99 a month. The other plan features 10 Mbps download/1 Mbps upload with a data plan of 20 GB a month. The better plan will set customers back an extra $10 at $49.99 a month.
Those living in urban centers will probably scoff at the low speeds and ridiculously low data caps. Those living in rural areas that have had to live with DSL for the past 10 years will see any increase in speed and availability as a godsend. The real miracle here is that Dish has been able to decrease the price of traditionally expensive satellite broadband.
Unfortunately, satellite Internet is at the mercy of weather conditions and other forms of wireless interference. For customers who prefer landlines and can get one to their house, Dish Network is offering a wired broadband solution. Customers can get 7 Mbps down for $29.95 a month, 12 Mbps down for $34.95 a month, or 20 Mbps down for $39.95 a month.
Dish Network's satellite broadband is available wherever Dish Network operates. A lot of rural communities have access to Dish Network, and now they'll be able to get proper Internet. It's unfortunate that the data caps are so low, but many people in these areas are probably happy to take what they can get.