Since most rural consumers must get their television service from a satellite provider, perhaps it makes sense that DIRECTV and Exede broadband services would hook up in a bundling deal.
The two companies say the TV and Internet bundle will save consumers $120 a year over the cost of obtaining both services separately. Consumers may order from either company.
DIRECTV is well-established in the TV marketplace, competing with Dish Network to provide cable TV programming services. Although they compete with cable in urban and suburban markets, DIRECTV and Dish are sometimes the only TV options for rural consumers.
Exede, owned by the same company that owns Wild Blue satellite Internet, also faces a competitor in HughesNet. Both companies recently launched new, high-speed satellites that provide faster Internet service than was available through satellites in the past. Both Exede and DIRECTV see their partnership as mutually beneficial.
“Any consumer, anywhere can now enjoy an affordable, high-speed internet bundle that includes DIRECTV service,” said Shannon Campain, senior vice president of Sales and Marketing Operations for DIRECTV. “By teaming up with Exede to offer this bundle of broadband packages of up to 12 Mbps, customers in rural and unserved markets no longer have to settle for slow DSL or dial-up service. By delivering the most robust bundle offering of any video provider, we open up more opportunities for further growth in these largely unserved areas.”
“We are thrilled to be able to offer our customers a high-quality integrated TV and Internet bundle,” said Lisa Scalpone, vice president of sales, marketing and business development for ViaSat, which owns Exede. “This agreement benefits both Exede Internet and DIRECTV customers by providing one-stop shopping for customers looking to access high-speed broadband and a video package with more than 170 HD video channels.”
Both Exede and HughesNet have improved satellite-delivered broadband with their new generation satellites. However, the service does have a drawback that DSL does not. The plans provide a set amount of data the customer may use each month. In the case of both Exede and HughesNet, the entry-level plan provides 10 GB per month. For normal web surfing that amount is adequate. However, heavy Netflix and YouTube users will find they will quickly run through their allotments.
Still, for millions of rural consumers, there aren't many better options.