WildBlue Signs Wholesale Distribution Agreements With DIRECTV and EchoStar.
WildBlue Communications, Inc., a leading provider of broadband access to consumers and small offices primarily in rural areas and small cities, today announced that they have signed five year wholesale distribution agreements with each of DIRECTV, Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corporation . As part of these agreements, WildBlue is the only satellite-based Internet solution that each of DIRECTV and EchoStar will offer to their respective customers for the next 5 years. DIRECTV and EchoStar currently offer digital television entertainment via satellite to a combined total of more than 27 million customers nationwide. WildBlue provides broadband Internet access via satellite to homes and small businesses in communities not currently served, or that are underserved, by other broadband providers.
Each of DIRECTV and EchoStar intends to begin offering WildBlue high-speed Internet service in the coming months across the contiguous United States with further details on availability and pricing of their respective offerings to be forthcoming. The offerings will be provided separately under the DIRECTV and EchoStar brand names, and sub-branded as "powered by WildBlue." The WildBlue broadband offering will be focused on small town America and rural markets.
"Our agreements with DIRECTV and EchoStar are a turning point for WildBlue," said David Leonard, WildBlue's Chief Executive Officer. "We have worked very hard this year to make our affordable broadband Internet service available to every home and small business across the continental U.S., and we are pleased to be working with DIRECTV and EchoStar to further strengthen our presence nationwide and to extend their respective product offerings as well."
"We are pleased to offer this proven service as part of the portfolio offered to our customers who are interested in the power and convenience of broadband Internet access bundled with our outstanding video product," said Bruce Churchill, President, New Ventures for DIRECTV, Inc. "This is an exciting step in providing broadband access and other services to our rural customers."
"More and more people are embracing the convenience of getting their Internet service through their pay-TV provider, and EchoStar is pleased that we are now able to provide a high-speed Internet solution to our DISH Network customers," said Nolan Daines, Executive Vice President, Business Development for EchoStar.
An always-on broadband Internet connection, WildBlue's service offers access speeds that are up to thirty times faster than dial-up. WildBlue's two-way wireless service provides high-speed data in both directions, upstream and downstream. Customers do not need an additional phone or cable line in order to receive broadband Internet access.
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