Echostar Signs Agreement To Distribute Wildblue

Scott Greczkowski

Scott Greczkowski

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ECHOSTAR SIGNS AGREEMENT TO DISTRIBUTE WILDBLUE HIGH-SPEED INTERNET SERVICE



ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – June 9, 2006 – EchoStar Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) announced today the company has signed a five-year wholesale distribution agreement with WildBlue Communications, Inc., a satellite-delivered broadband Internet service. The service, dubbed “DISH High-Speed Internet, powered by WildBlue,” will be targeted toward EchoStar’s DISH Network™ satellite TV customers located in rural markets. As part of the agreement, WildBlue is the only satellite-based Internet solution that EchoStar will offer to its customers for the next five years.

“EchoStar is pleased to not only be able to provide a high-speed Internet solution to our DISH Network customers, but also give our retailers another quality product to sell to their customers who live in rural areas.” said Jim DeFranco, executive vice president at EchoStar.

DISH Network will begin offering its high-speed Internet service by this fall, and will handle all customer acquisition, installation, customer care and billing operations; WildBlue will oversee the satellite and backbone connectivity. DISH Network pricing for its high-speed Internet offering will be announced later this year.

“Our agreement with EchoStar marks an exciting time at WildBlue,” said David Leonard, WildBlue’s Chief Executive Officer. “We have worked very hard this year to make our affordable broadband Internet service available to every home and small business across the continental U.S., and we are very pleased to be working with EchoStar to further strengthen our presence nationwide.”

With DISH High-Speed Internet, Powered by WildBlue, customers will be able to have access speeds up to 30 times faster than dial-up. The two-way satellite service provides an always-on, high-speed data connection. DISH Network customers will need to purchase a separate WildBlue satellite dish to receive the broadband service; however they do not need an additional phone or cable line.
 
jmd102354

jmd102354

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Jan 28, 2005
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PA
I already have Wildblue. Will Dish offer me a discounted price for already subscribing to Wildblue and Dish ? (package price etc.)
 
Purogamer

Purogamer

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Supporting Founder
Jul 19, 2005
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Mentor, Ohio
Did they give any specs on upload/download speeds since you'll be uploading via dish (or so it seems)? I thought the knock on this technology was that it wasn't very fast so i'm curious if it's gotten any better, or they just found someone else to foot the bill for a few years...
 
R

retorq

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 13, 2006
189
0
I'm actually looking forward to this, $50/month plus $300 intial cost beats most of the other setups I've looked at. I'm way out (well not WAAAY out, 1200 feet too far for DSL) in the desert in northern AZ. The phone comapny here knows it's the only game in town so they have no reason to upgrade the lines to run DSL to the new subdivisions going in.
 
Poke

Poke

Pub Member / Supporter
Dec 3, 2003
13,886
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WildBlue upload and download on their site.. Its not near as good as DSL or Cable but for folks that live out in the sticks its better than dial up..
 
J

jrchip01

SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 3, 2004
45
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Virginia
Have had WildBlue since Nov 2005

I am generally satisfied with WildBlue vs dial up. I have the low-end package
for $49.95/mo.

Just ran speed tests at PCPitstop and Speakeasy.

Download - 480 -520 kb/s vs 512 claimed
Upload - 80-90 kb/s vs 128 claimed

Obviously not in the same league as cable or FIOS. Cable and DSL are unavailable for the foreseeable future at my location.

For you heavy users, be aware that WildBlue will keep track of your usage in accordance with their "Fair Access Policy" (FAP) and if it exceeds certain limits will slow your access down or even kill it. I have never run into this. Here is the "fine print" from their website.

WildBlue sets usage thresholds on the amount of data you can upload and download within stated time periods. If you exceed these thresholds, WildBlue will temporarily limit the speed at which you can send and receive data over the WildBlue access network. You will still be able to use the WildBlue Internet access service but your speed will be slower. In cases of extreme and continued violation of the FAP limitations, your service may be suspended.

I would certainly like to see a "package price" for WildBlue and Dish. My Wild blue contract has another 4 months or so to run.
 
E

epauladams

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Jun 8, 2006
33
0
Fair access policy = screw the customer. I don't know how this service will handle large downloads but DirecPc (yeah, I had it a few years ago) would start slowing down downloads after a couple of months of service. I'm talking about trying to download a Linux image of one cd and being slowed down to SLOWER then dial up speeds. DSL is much better and in this little po-dunk town has extended out to about 15 miles from the main switching center.

Like I said maybe this service will be better, I certainly hope so.
 
Stargazer

Stargazer

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Supporting Founder
Sep 7, 2003
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Western WV
This FAP is one reason why I never got Satellite Broadband. The other reasons is the high cost of hardware upfront, high monthly costs of the service, and issues with ping which makes voice and gaming unreliable.
 
D

Dish-Direc

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 23, 2006
216
1
Dish & Wild Blue

Stargazer said:
This FAP is one reason why I never got Satellite Broadband.
This move would only make sense if the Wildblue transceiver could be added to the Dish Network reflector. This is a step backwards as far as I am concerned.
 
C

chadzx11

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 28, 2006
1,190
0
memphis
All I can say is: there goes the neighborhood. Dish will drive down pay rates. At least I plan to attend college full time this fall, and only install on the weekends. I am one of 4 WB certified techs in our shop, I passed the test on the first time, and I had to help the lead tech pass his. They (WB) are nitpicky on qc's, they only want "wildblue" approved cable used, but have never provided us with a make and model, only specs. The only connector on their 'approved' list is the gilbert that I am not particularly fond of. No way I am installing for someone uber picky if they aren't gonna provide specifics. Also, they renegged on giving us the APAs we were promised, so I can't do anything yet.
 
K

kelton325

SatelliteGuys Family
Feb 6, 2006
97
0
Circleville, OH
I have WB and Dish, and I can definitely say that WB is far better than dial-up. That said, it does have the lag issues - there is about a 500-750ms lag, but once the download starts, it's pretty darn fast. I have the low end package (512 down, 128 up) and it fits my need. There is lots of griping about the lag, but I've never come within half of it on either upload or download with my wife & I doing surfing and emailing an average of an hour a day. My wife just uploaded about 500 digital pics the other day and we still are at about 1/3 our limit for the rolling 30 day period. Bottom line is, unless you're a big time downloader, or need to transfer large files, you should be absolutely fine for web surfing and email.

I will say that WB has been far more reliable than Dish. It goes out less, and when it does it's only due to stormy weather - I have had very little trouble that was not weather related. When it does go out, it comes back online without much intervention (sometimes a power cycle). It's not 100% perfect, but I am completely satisfied.

For all those out there considering ordering this through Dish, I would try your local power Co-Op first if you have one. It may be cheaper to order through them than Dish, and from my experience, their Customer Service is much better as they are a more local organization in my case. If they don't make me happy, I can drive 5 minutes over the office and make someone listen to me in person. That's pretty powerful.

If Dish finds way to bundle the Internet & TV signals on one Dish however, I would be very interested in that so I could pull down the WB dish, which is about twice the size of my Dish 1000 and is a little bit of an eyesore on the roof.

Overall, very satisfied WB customer.
 
cclement

cclement

SatelliteGuys Guru
Aug 9, 2004
123
5
Minneapolis
I bought my parents WB last fall and they haven't been happier! Yes, it's only .5 MB down, but compared to the 14-22 KB they were getting on the copper phone cable buried in 1950 out in the sticks of rural Minnesota, they feel like they are on a T1 line.

As for the usage limit, I think it's fair. They aren't downloading large bittorrent files, they aren't gaming, they're just a couple of 50 year old's living in the sticks loving internet speeds MUCH faster then their old dial-up.

They are very happy WB customers.
 
kingbenj

kingbenj

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 3, 2006
34
0
Detroit, MI
I just saw this article that says both Dish and DirecTV have deals with WB...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060610/ap_on_hi_te/satellite_broadband_2

NEW YORK - Targeting rural homes, satellite-TV providers EchoStar Communications Corp. and DirecTV Inc. will resell broadband Internet access via satellite from WildBlue Communications Inc., WildBlue said Friday.

The agreement is a big deal for WildBlue, a privately held company based in Greenwood Village, Colo. It has about 60,000 customers in the United States. EchoStar and DirecTV have 27 million customers combined, many of them in rural areas with access to few, if any, choices for broadband Internet.

In addition to this newest distribution agreement, WildBlue inked a pact with AT&T Inc. last month.

As part of the latest agreement, EchoStar and DirecTV agreed not to team up with any other satellite-broadband provider for the next five years. Other satellite services include HughesNet, which was formerly a part of DirecTV, as well as Starband and Ground Control.

The value of the transactions was not disclosed.

The recent flurry of deals shows just how far satellite broadband has come since its early days. In its earlier versions, satellite broadband was far too expensive to be practical since equipment and subscription costs came to hundreds of dollars a month. Prices have since come down, making the product appealing to a broader range of customers. However, prices are higher than cable or DSL service and speeds are lower.

WildBlue charges between $50 and $80 a month for speeds up to 1.5 megabits per second. The satellite dish and other initial equipment costs $300. WildBlue spokeswoman LaRae Marsik said it will be up to EchoStar, DirecTV and AT&T to determine how to price their customer packages since WildBlue will be serving as a wholesale provider. The companies expect to offer service this fall.

For satellite-TV providers, the service is another way to offer a full line of products. Since undergoing a $100 billion makeover in the 1990s, cable companies have flaunted their ability to offer TV, Internet and phone service. Satellite TV, by contrast, has been more limited in its ability to expand beyond TV service.

Wildblue uses a satellite operated by BCE Inc., Canada's largest phone company. BCE is also a major owner of WildBlue. Other investors include Intelsat Ltd., the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Liberty Media Holding Corp.
 
Stargazer

Stargazer

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 7, 2003
16,565
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Western WV
I think Dish and Direct want to put their money into the wi-fi / wireless internet instead of the broadband satellite internet. They know that they will not be able to make it with broadband satellite for IPTV. Notice that they state that Echostar and Directv agreed not to team up with any other SATELLITE-broadband provider for the next five years. Its not like anybody else would startup a satellite-broadband service anyways. Also they state specifically for satellite-broadband because they want their own wi-fi / wireless internet for IPTV or other opportunities that may come.
 
D

Dish-Direc

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 23, 2006
216
1
Van said:
I give this a year to year and half befor Dish drops the contract like they did with starband years ago.
It will NOT last that long. Interesting to see that DIRECTV signs on with WildBlue instead of HughesNet. Does anyone know if WildBlue is available in the caribbean and latin america?
 
Van

Van

SatelliteGuys Master
Jul 8, 2004
9,326
10
Virginia Beach
It'll last that long only if the quality of service is there as opposed to what was found with staband in 2000 - 2001 wich is one of the reasons why dish broke contract with them, that and it takes longer to install a sat internet dish than it does a 4 room tv sat. Only way I can see dish staying with wildblue is if and only if wildblue agrea's to pay them $600 per install wich is about what SBC/ATT pays dish now. One thing that dish doesnt like is having a tech spend longer than they need to on any given install and if it takes a tech more than 4 hours to put in a wildblue setup thats not going to go well for dish.
 
Stargazer

Stargazer

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 7, 2003
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Western WV
Its one of those take it or leave it things. Another way to diversify to try to increase profits a little.
 
David Dietzel

David Dietzel

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 21, 2004
371
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Rancho Cucamonga
WB is at least 10 times faster than dialup for most people. I think it's great that Dish is offering it. It'll be a godsend for those who live out in the sticks and can't get DSL or cable Internet access. I fellow I know also reports a little lag with it, but otherwise he is very happy with the service.
 

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