In an attempt to make the Internet more available to people in rural areas, Dish is working on expanding its Broadband Satellite services to the whole of America, a source told The Wall Street Journal's William Launder and Shalini Ramachandran, but the cost may still pose a barrier to entry for many. The satellite provider will expand this space Internet from select cities to everywhere, while also offering faster speeds from a newly launched satellite. That's great for about 20 percent of people living in our country's sparser areas, who say that they don't have broadband because of a lack of access, according to Speed Matters. But, for another 22 percent of those people, who haven't connected because of price concerns, Dish's service might not solve their lack of Internet. When it was announced at this year's Consumer Electronic's Show, Dish's Broadband Internet service started at $79.98 per month after a $99 installation fee. Woof.
For comparison's sake, Comcast offers a 20 Mbps Xfinity connection for $29.99/Month. Dish's Internet, by the way, isn't as fast as that, with 12Mbps downloading and 3Mbps uploading. Verizon FiOs runs a little higher, but still comes in at cheaper than Dish, at $69.99 plus a $59.99 installation fee, for a faster 15Mbps download speed. Of course, those services are the kinds that aren't available in these areas, likely. And, when it comes to some other satellite Internet providers, however, Dish offers a more palatable monthly bill. HughesNet has a $110 month plan with laughable 2Mbps download and 300Kbps upload speeds, for example. So, it's getting better. WildBlue, however, has a Satellite service marketed just to people in the boonies that's faster than Dish's for the same price. It also has a slower, cheaper option for $49.99 a month.
Beyond the cost issue there are all the other caveats that come with this kind of service. First, it's reliant on a big disk on top of your house. Any hint of bad weather will cause it not work (good luck checking for Weather.com updates then). Also, as the asterisk on Dish's website explains, it's kind of a hassle to get, requiring "professional installation, separate equipment from DISH Network and instalation of a separate dish." Oh, the things we will do for Netflix streaming.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.