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News tagged: WildBlue


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by Karl Bode 06:13PM Wednesday Aug 21 2013
Our user reviews for satellite broadband have traditionally been rather dismal, with users complaining of high prices, low usage caps, and inconsistent connection quality. ViaSat's new Exede service, launched last year, has changed that dynamic somewhat by offering faster speeds up to 12 Mbps with three plans offering users caps of 10 GB ($50), 15 GB ($80) and 25 GB ($130).

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The prices still aren't going to win any awards, but the speed to value ratio is significantly improved from just a few years ago.

This week Exede introduced a slightly new twist on usage caps with their Exede Evolution tier. For $65 per month, Evolution offers users unlimited data when simply browsing or e-mailing, but imposes a 5 GB month limit on everything else (file transfers, music and video streaming, etc.).

If you uh, exceed the cap, you'll have the choice of either paying $10 per additional gigabyte, or switching over to one of the other Exede tiers:
quote:
If you do hit that 5GB limit, you’ll still be able to view web pages and send and receive email at your usual speeds, but you won’t be able to watch videos or download files. The exception would be during the Early Bird Free Zone (3 a.m.-8 a.m.), when all Internet activity is full speed and unmetered. If you want full access to everything outside your Early Bird Free Zone, you can buy more data allowance for $9.99 per GB or switch to one of our classic packages with a larger Data Allowance.
Exede warns users that things like apps running on a user's smartphone may be included in your usage allotment, as will media content embedded into websites.
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35 comments


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by Karl Bode 12:33PM Friday Mar 22 2013
Comcast VP of public policy Rebecca Arbogast informed attendees of a Free State Foundation conference this week that the "alleged failing and falling state of U.S. broadband" is "based on misunderstood and misused statistics." According to Arbogast, the claim that the United States is 22nd in broadband is effectively a lie, used by critics to unfairly attack what is secretly a top ranked broadband infrastructure. Arbogast went on to argue that comparing the United States to markets in Asia is "silly at best" and that those criticizing United States broadband are just engaging in "hand wringing":
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(Arbogast said) the absolute price of broadband was essentially flat while speeds increase 900%. She pointed out that over the same time the cost of college has increased 72%.
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91 comments


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by Karl Bode 04:23PM Thursday Aug 02 2012
Stop the Cap notes that the WildBlue official forums have been filtering links to websites that are critical of the company. That's a bit of a problem, given that as our user reviews attest, there's usually plenty to be critical about.
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49 comments


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by Karl Bode 04:27PM Thursday Jul 05 2012
At the start of this year we noted how ViaSat's new 12 Mbps satellite service, well-hyped at CES, wasn't quite the revolution it was cracked up to be in the press. In addition to not being available to everyone and being offered belatedly to existing customers, the tier makes the one thing users hate about satellite broadband (caps) worse, with Exede's usage limits actually lower than the services it succeeds.
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46 comments


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by Karl Bode 12:27PM Tuesday Mar 06 2012
ViaSat's new Exede service finally offers satellite users faster speeds of 12 Mbps, but has been somewhat underwhelming for customers. It isn't available to most users, may never be available to some, and still features low daily usage caps that are worse than WildBlue's previous offerings.
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29 comments


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by Karl Bode 06:15PM Wednesday Feb 22 2012
ViaSat's new Exede service, while well-hyped by the media and CES, offers faster speeds (12 Mbps) but has been somewhat underwhelming for customers. It isn't available to most users (and may never be available to some), and still features low daily usage caps that are worse than WildBlue's previous offerings.
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23 comments


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by Karl Bode 04:27PM Monday Feb 20 2012
Recently we noted how ViaSat's new 12 Mbps satellite service, well-hyped at CES, wasn't quite the revolution it was cracked up to be in the press. In addition to not being available to everyone and being offered belatedly to existing customers, the tier makes the one thing users hate about satellite broadband (caps) worse, with Exede's usage limits actually lower than existing services. ViaSat's service costs $50 for 7.5 GB of monthly usage (up & down combined), $80 for 15 GB of usage, and $130 for 25 GB of monthly usage. Engadget got an invite to ViaSat HQ to see a 40 Mbps version (enterprise) in action. Engadget was "so impressed" with Exede they forget to mention the usage caps or the fact nobody can really get it.

20 comments


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by Karl Bode 08:19AM Friday Feb 10 2012
In 2009 ViaSat acquired residential satellite broadband service WildBlue for $568 million, and now it appears they're phasing out the WildBlue brand and service entirely. The company has confirmed to Light Reading they're phasing out the WildBlue name to focus on selling the company's new Exede service, which will be sold directly to consumers as well as via Dish, DirecTV, and a number of other rural satellite operators.
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14 comments


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by Karl Bode 09:38AM Tuesday Jan 31 2012
Earlier this month we noted how ViaSat's new 12 Mbps satellite service, well-hyped at CES, wasn't quite the revolution it was cracked up to be in the press. In addition to not being available to everyone and being offered belatedly to existing customers, the tier makes the one thing users hate about satellite broadband (caps) worse, with Exede's usage limits actually lower than existing services.
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26 comments


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by Karl Bode 09:46AM Monday Jan 23 2012
The other day we noted that while ViaSat heavily hyped their new "Exede" satellite broadband service at CES, now that the service has supposedly launched, many users note they can't actually get it yet. Existing users who have been waiting for this upgrade for years are being told they have to wait in line behind new users.
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by Karl Bode 11:47AM Wednesday Jan 18 2012
Last month at CES ViaSat spent a lot of time hyping their new "Exede" 12 Mbps satellite broadband service, which the company plans to sell through WildBlue, Dish, and other rural-focused carriers. Delivered courtesy of their new ViaSat-1 satellite, ViaSat's service will cost $50 for 7 GB of monthly usage (up & down combined), $80 for 15 GB of usage, and $130 for 25 GB of monthly usage.

Despite caps and latency, ViaSat has heavily marketed this services as having "feels like fiber" performance, in part courtesy of new web acceleration technology the company has yet to offer specifics on. ViaSat hopes the faster speeds mean Exede will improve satellite broadband's less-than-stellar reputation (see our user reviews).
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by Karl Bode 11:11AM Tuesday Jan 10 2012
As we noted yesterday ViaSat's showing off a new $50, 12 Mbps downstream, 3 Mbps upstream satellite broadband service that the company will be selling through WildBlue, Dish and National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative ISPs. As we also noted yesterday, ViaSat was being a little murky about the limitations of the service, which include a low cap, potential throttling, and involves web acceleration.
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39 comments


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by Karl Bode 11:03AM Monday Jan 09 2012
ViaSat this week is at CES promoting their new 12 Mbps satellite broadband service, which they say they'll launch next week for $50 a month. Aided by their recent successful launch of ViaSat 1, the company's new tier will be offered starting January 16th through both WildBlue and -- according to this press release -- National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative ISPs.
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61 comments


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by Karl Bode 04:31PM Monday Dec 12 2011
As we've explored, both WildBlue and HughesNet will soon have new higher-capacity satellites in orbit feeding their services, a move that may result in faster speeds -- but likely won't mean reduced prices or lower daily usage caps (dubbed "fair access policies" by the carriers). With ViSat's new ViaSat-1 preparing for commercial use after a successful launch, WildBlue has started offering new 12 Mbps service for $50 a month in Colorado, with a national deployment starting in February of next year.
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by Karl Bode 08:51AM Friday Oct 21 2011
After three delays earlier this year, ViaSat's new Ka-Band ViaSat-1 satellite was successfully launched this week from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Claimed by ViaSat to be the highest-capacity satellite ever launched, the satellite will be raised to geosynchronous orbit ten days after launch, with in-orbit testing expected to be complete sixty days after launch. "The ViaSat-1 launch is a big step in fulfilling our vision for advanced Ka-band networks," says a ViaSat spokesman. "We aim to begin consumer service by the end of 2011, and in-flight WiFi service on JetBlue next year, along with several other new, exciting applications." The new capacity should allow WildBlue, who has had to turn users away in recent years, the ability to add significantly more customers.

12 comments


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by Karl Bode 12:16PM Monday Oct 10 2011
Slow speeds, low caps and high prices have long made satellite the Rodney Dangerfield of broadband connectivity, though ViaSat has been promising that their new ViaSat-1 satellite will change all that. While the launch should provide more capacity, that capacity will likely go toward signing up more subscribers to companies like WildBlue -- who have had to turn away customers due to capacity limits.
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by Karl Bode 08:52AM Thursday May 26 2011
While AT&T and Verizon busily lobbying the FCC to "reform" the Universal Service Fund by giving them a larger slice of it for broadband deployment -- satellite operators continue to complain they're being left out of the money buffet. HugheNet, ViaSat, WildBlue and Dish recently banded together to tell the FCC they're ready to help fill in many of the nation's broadband gaps, and that they're tired of being left out of the conversation.
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by Karl Bode 01:14PM Monday Apr 25 2011
While AT&T and Verizon busily lobbying the FCC to "reform" the Universal Service Fund by giving them a larger slice of it for broadband deployment -- satellite operators continue to complain they're being left out of the money buffet. HugheNet, ViaSat, WildBlue and Dish have banded together to tell the FCC they're ready to help fill in many of the nation's broadband gaps, and that they're tired of being left out of the conversation.
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63 comments


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by Karl Bode 02:35PM Tuesday Nov 09 2010
Not too long ago we talked about how Satellite was seen as the Rodney Dangerfield of broadband connectivity, given the technology's high price, very low caps, and slow speeds. Despite all this, most satellite broadband operators cater to a captive audience that usually lack other options -- which is why total satellite users recently surpassed about a million users.
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50 comments


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by Karl Bode 06:23PM Wednesday Apr 28 2010
Not too long ago we talked about how Satellite was seen as the Rodney Dangerfield of broadband connectivity, given the technology's high price, very low caps, and slow speeds. Despite all this, most satellite broadband operators cater to a captive audience that usually lack other options -- which is why total satellite users recently surpassed about a million users. Perhaps feeling a an image boost was in order (or more likely trying to nab broadband stimulus funds), HugheNet this week released a study that claims rural satellite users feel "more in touch with the global community":
quote:
According to a recent Hughes survey of more than 23,000 HughesNet high-speed satellite Internet access subscribers, the Internet plays a vital role in helping them achieve a sense of camaraderie and maintain a connection to the global community. From sending and receiving email to reading news and shopping online, rural satellite broadband subscribers rely heavily on the Internet to stay connected.
Of course HughesNet prices range from $60 for just 1Mbps/128 kbps to $350 for 5 Mbps 300 kbps -- with daily caps ranging from 200 to 500 MB -- so that sense of global "camaraderie" doesn't come cheap. As Mobile WiMax and LTE wireless broadband get pushed into more rural markets over the next few years -- it seems likely many of these users might take their enhanced sense of community over to wireless operators if the satellite industry's promises of higher capacity satellite services don't come to fruition.

27 comments


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