Wednesday, June 7, 2006

WildBlue Signs Wholesale Deals with DIRECTV and EchoStar

WildBlue Communications signed five year wholesale distribution agreements with both DIRECTV and EchoStar Communications for its broadband Internet access via satellite.



DIRECTV and EchoStar currently offer digital television entertainment via satellite to a combined total of more than 27 million customers nationwide.



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."http://www.wildblue.com

  • In May 2006, AT&T began selling satellite-based broadband Internet access service, powered by WildBlue, to rural customers across its 13-state territory. Rural satellite-based broadband subscribers will have three service packages to choose from, with prices ranging from $49.95 to $79.95 per month, and broadband speed options ranging up to 1.5 Mbps downstream and up to 256 Kbps upstream.


  • WildBlue currently utilizes the Ka-band spot beam capacity over the United States on Telesat Canada's Anik F2 satellite, which was launched by Arianespace in July 2004. WildBlue's service provides two-way wireless high-speed Internet access. The service is being offered by over 280 rural electric and telephone companies affiliated with the NRTC (National Rural Telephone Cooperative). Service began June 2005.

  • WildBlue's next Ka-band spot beam satellite, WildBlue-1, has been scheduled for launch aboard an Ariane 5 vehicle in Q4 2006. WildBlue-1, manufactured by Space Systems/Loral, will approximately triple WildBlue's customer capacity, and is expected to handle WildBlue's continuing rapid customer growth into 2008 and beyond. WildBlue-1 is a 4.7 metric ton high power satellite based on Space Systems/Loral's 1300 spacecraft bus and provides Ka-band spot beam capacity over the contiguous United States.

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