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DirecTV Cuts Satellite Broadband Deals With ViaSat, Hughes To Blanket U.S.

DirecTV announced agreements with satellite broadband providers ViaSat and Hughes Network Systems -- which is owned by Charlie Ergen's EchoStar -- promising it will offer TV and high-speed Internet bundles across the entire U.S. later this year.

DirecTV said it will offer ViaSat's Exede and Hughes' HughesNet Gen4 satellite broadband services, which advertise speeds topping 10 Megabits per second, to customers living in mostly unserved, rural areas. The operator did not announce specific availability or pricing.

The satellite TV operator noted it already offers triple-play bundles in various markets through deals with Verizon Communications, AT&T, CenturyLink and other telcos.

"We look forward to offering every single DirecTV customer access to fast, affordable broadband options through DirecTV, no matter where they live," said DirecTV senior vice president of emerging markets Oswin Eleonora said in a statement. "With greatly improved capacity and speeds, satellite broadband services provided by ViaSat and Hughes will fully support our customers' connected-home experience, enabling them to access a host of features like YouTube, Pandora, social TV apps and more than 7,000 VOD titles."

In February, EchoStar announced its acquisition of broadband satellite service Hughes Communications for $1.3 billion.

Dish Network also has a deal with ViaSat, which Dish says lets it offer broadband at speeds of up to 12 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream to the estimated 8 million to 10 million U.S. homes without access to broadband. Dish's broadband-and-TV bundles with ViaSat start at about $80 per month.