With Clearwire pact, satellite tv FINALLY sheds broadband commitmentphobia

Over the years, satellite-delivered television services DIRECTV (not shouting, they sp. all-caps) and EchoStar (a.

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Over the years, satellite-delivered television services DIRECTV (not shouting, they sp. all-caps) and EchoStar (a.k.a. "The Dish") have sent out conflicting signals about high-speed Internet offerings bundled with their service.

Sometimes, these companies have seemed to indicate they understood high-speed Internet service is a necessary service component for them to have to compete against cable tv systems who offer broadband access as well. But other times, these satellite companies have seemed to be disengaged over the need to place broadband Internet access in their service portfolio.

Alliances and degree of commitment have varied. But a new agreement announced yesterday may finally mean that satellite tv providers are getting ready for a long-term commitment to offer high-speed Internet.

In that agreement, wireless broadband Internet service provider Clearwire announced distribution agreements with DIRECTV and EchoStar that would enable both satellite companies to offer Clearwire’s high-speed Internet service to their customers and enable Clearwire in turn will be able to offer satellite tv services to its own customers.

The announcement notes:

Under the terms of the distribution agreements, DIRECTV and EchoStar will have access to Clearwire’s wireless high-speed network, and will be able to market a bundle that includes Clearwire’s high-speed Internet services to their residential customers.  DIRECTV and EchoStar will also have the ability to sell Clearwire’s branded services on a stand-alone basis.  Similarly, the agreements call for Clearwire to be able to sell DIRECTV and EchoStar satellite video services.

Services are expected to rev up within a few months.

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