In a move to strengthen its broadband position, EchoStar Communications Corp.
has struck a deal with EarthLink Inc. to provide bundled digital-subscriber-line
service to its customers.
Dish Network will offer the DSL and satellite-TV packages through its
retailer network, giving customers credits of up to $10 monthly. Customers must
be new to EarthLink service, and they must subscribe at a minimum to Dish's
"America's Top 100" programming package. EchoStar DSL service costs $49.95
In areas where EarthLink DSL service is not available, EchoStar customers
will be offered a bundle including the Internet-service provider's dial-up
"Our agreement with EarthLink provides our customers with an attractive
entertainment and information package offering an alternative to digital-cable
packages," said Mark Jackson, senior vice president at EchoStar, in a
"The availability of discounted bundled services makes it simple for our
customers to take advantage of the best of high-speed Internet and digital
television, and it provides our company and our retailers with a strong new
offering to meet the needs of our all-digital demanding customers," he
The bundling deal is the first indication of EchoStar's new broadband
strategy since the collapse of its merger with DBS competitor DirecTV Inc.
Littleton, Colo.-based EchoStar had invested in and co-marketed
satellite-based broadband service from StarBand Communications Inc., but that
deal soured in 2002, and by April, EchoStar had halted selling the service
through its retailer network.
Former merger partner DirecTV, meanwhile, didn't have much luck with DSL.
After acquiring provider Telocity Inc. in 1999, it renamed it DirecTV DSL and
tried to offer bundled DSL and satellite-TV service. But the unit never rose out
of the red ink, and after the EchoStar merger fell through, DirecTV parent
Hughes Electronics Corp. announced that it was shuttering the unit, leaving some
160,000 customers to find other connections.