Dish Turns a Triple-Play

6:00 PM -- DENVER -- Can Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) change its spots a bit and make it as a DSL and voice service provider and give Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) some additional headaches?

We'll soon find out as Dish expects to start testing a triple-play video, voice and Internet service bundle in Colorado within the next 30 days, Tom Cullen, Dish's EVP of sales, marketing and programming, revealed here last week at the company's retailer summit. (See Photos: Dish Network's Retailer Summit and Dish Makes Its Adaptive Streaming Move.)

That will be one of the first results of Dish's purchase late last year of Liberty-Bell Telecom, a CLEC that leases voice and DSL lines from Qwest (now CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL)), and is licensed in every Qwest state service territory except for Arizona. Dish expects to salt that one away soon, Cullen said.

Dish intends to use its own brand when it kicks off its version of the triple-play, and tuck the Liberty-Bell entity inside the broader Dish structure. Dish also intends to keep the launch relatively low-key in the early going, Cullen said. It'll wait a bit before pulling the trigger elsewhere.

"We'll see how it goes in Colorado, and then we'll make decisions on how and where to expand," Cullen said.

But forgive Dish for not being overly optimistic just yet. Liberty-Bell wasn't exactly setting the Qwest territories on fire when Dish came calling. It reportedly had just 6,000 residential customers and 4,000 business customers in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah when the deal went down late last year.

But I give points to Dish for trying something new, as this is just the latest chapter in the Dish's transformation story, which has seen it take chances on some troubled assets, including Blockbuster Inc. and two spectrum-rich satellite firms. (See Dish's Baffling Blockbuster and Charlie Ergen's Spectrum Grab .)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

Greg_D 12/5/2012 | 5:05:42 PM
re: Dish Turns a Triple-Play

DSL actually has a lot of growing up to do in order to compete with DOCSIS.

Was it DISH that partnered with Verizon to offer triple play while Fios was being built?

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:05:42 PM
re: Dish Turns a Triple-Play

Yeah, we'll have to see how they'll be able to match up speed-wise in Colorado w/Comcast, which has D3 rolled here.  Interesting that they'll also be competing a bit more heavily with the company they're leasing the lines from -- Qwest/CenturyLink -- and with the DirecTV bundle that Qwest offers now. But I'll be curious to see how the CLEC operates with Dish at the helm. JB

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:05:41 PM
re: Dish Turns a Triple-Play


I guess I think that for most people who are not buying the Internet connection at the D3 level that DSL is a perfectly reasonable and lower cost alternative.  From my experience, you can not really get a $15 Internet service from the cable guys.  You can from many DSL companies.

So, if the triple play is reasonably priced as far as I can see it has 2 advantages:

1 - There is that ability to get 1080p on VOD which I have yet to see from Cable.

2 - It seems likely that many bundles can be lower priced due to the lower cost of Internet Access.



Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:05:39 PM
re: Dish Turns a Triple-Play

Good points. Plus Dish tends to target the lower end of the market, so that might make this an even better fit if they can create bundles that undercut Comcast and even Qwest/CenturyLink. JB

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:05:23 PM
re: Dish Turns a Triple-Play

Dish confirmed that the CLEC had about 10,000 customers when it made its filings in December 2010, but hasn't revealed an updated figure since. JB


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