EchoStar, WildBlue Partner On Broadband Stimulus Bid


As it signaled in an Federal Communications Commission filing, EchoStar put in a bid for stimulus money for a satellite broadband service. Turns out its partner is John Malone's satellite broadband provider, WildBlue Communications.

WildBlue signaled several months ago it would look for government help for the half a billion dollars it would cost to launch a new satellit.

EchoStar tipped its hand in a filing at the FCC on the definition of broadband, saying coverage was more imortant than speed and pointing out it had made a stimulus money bid for satellite broadband service it was almost ready to launch.

The application, filed under the name EchoBlue Rural Broadband seeks $130 million in grants from NTIA and another $400 milllion in loans from the Ag Departemnts Rural Utility Service (RUS) for the project.

Both WildBlue and Echostar filed multiple bids.

EchoStar also filed for about $100 million in funds to use bandwidth from two existing birds to deliver satellite broadband, and for another $28.5 million for customer equipment.