The Dish Ran Away with the DSL

Looking to close the high-speed Internet access gap, EchoStar Communications
and EarthLink announced Friday a
partnership deal to package satellite and digital subscriber line (DSL) ISP
services.

The Colorado-based EchoStar, which is awaiting regulatory clearance on a
merger with Hughes Electronics (DirecTV), said the EarthLink alliance would
provide a “competitively priced satellite television/Internet access
package.”

With the larger cable companies commanding a huge chunk of the high-speed
Internet access market, EchoStar and EarthLink are making a bold bid to tap
into that market, offering credits of up to $10 month on monthly service
charges for the bundled DSL Internet and satellite TV programming.
EchoStar’s Dish Network expects to begin offering the EarthLink DSL service
late this summer.

The deal gives EchoStar a base of approximately 4.8 million users to market
its satellite TV services while the Atlanta-based EarthLink gets to tap into
Dish Network’s 7 million subscribers.

Dish Network also plans to offer a satellite TV set-top box this spring that
combines the capabilities of DSL broadband and satellite television to
deliver video on demand and other advanced services for its satellite TV
customers.

“Also, consumers in areas not served by EarthLink DSL will have the
opportunity to obtain a discount on DISH Network services bundled with
EarthLink’s dial-up Internet access,” the companies said in a joint
statement.

“By bundling EarthLink DSL Internet access with premium digital video
services from DISH Network, we can now offer a competitive package of video
and broadband for residential customers,” said John Kortier, VP of channel
sales at EarthLink. ”

The companies believe the alliance addresses a consumer preference for
bundled communications services. Through a national broadband network,
EarthLink offer DSL services nationwide. “Our alliance with EarthLink opens
new opportunities to expand our subscriber base,” said Mark Jackson, senior
vice president at EchoStar.

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