RealTime IT News

EchoStar, Gilat Bundle Satellite TV, Net Access

In a further tie-up between TV and the Internet, EchoStar Communications Corp. and Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. this week agreed to bundle Gilat's new high-speed satellite Net access with the DISH TV service.

The companies are promising always-on access at speeds up to ten times faster than IDSN speeds. The product is expected to hit consumer doorsteps by the end of this year, though at limited availability in the initial stages.

The bundled service will tap DISH TV's cable channels through the same equipment. The same receiver dish will bring access to a household PC. EchoStar (DISH) will install the reception equipment through its retail network.

The Gilat-DISH deal will include future services such as multicasting and other high bandwidth applications.

The arrangement follows Gilat's (GILTF) recent deal with MSN to create Gilat-To-Home two-way Internet access and a co-branded portal.