Another effort is taking place in bringing real broadband to rural USA. This time, DirecTV, who are one of two major digital satellite TV players in that market are working with ViaSat and Hughes satellite-broadband providers to sell their services as a bundled retail package. This is in addition to teeing up with the main telcos in the US to provide multiple-pipe triple-play communications services to that market.
The Hughes satellite broadband partnership capitalises on pre-existing business partnerships that Hughes Satellite had with DirecTV, by extending this to broadband Internet service.
One of the main problems at the moment is acineving a price parity to what most wireline broadband service providers would charge for providing this service. This includes the bandwidth allowable through the satellite setup as well as equivalent quotas that match most Internet use.
Another problem that will also affect DirecTV’s satellite-broadband bundling efforts is whether there will be more than one satellite dish needed to provide both the pay-TV service as well as the broadband service. This can be of concern when it comes to the aesthetics and cost of these installations and whether people will buy a bundled satellite-TV / satellite-Internet package or not. Here, I would like to see these setups proven to work using one dish and multiple antennas.
Similarly, an “SMATV” setup which services multiple TV and Internet subscribers in a multi-tenancy location such as a ski resort should also be assessed so that proper Internet bandwidth and DirecTV multi-channel reception can occur in these locations.