Dish approved to merge with EchoStar.

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Those may not have mattered to you,
Partly. I did care about picture quality and since I had, (back then) a projection Home Theater with a VAR 120" screen I would have seen a difference but only VOOM was superior in PQ. I do recognize that sports was a big deal for many and DirecTV did have the NFL contract as I recall. I believe it was extra$$$. I also had an engineer friend who worked for DirecTV. We spoke a few times about issues he had with the company as an employer. His father and I were partners in a TV show.
 
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Let's be clear, he said "DSL" and you are responding with the capabilities of "VDSL", a very different thing. DSL averages about 6Mbps while VDSL can reach 100Mbps. Not the same animal.
DSL is a family of technologies..VDSL is part of that family...VDSL still uses copper but it comes from a fiber fed node instead of a central office..the distance is much shorter over copper so the speed is much faster