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).
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:
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.
Back in 2011 the FCC began collecting real-world user broadband data from customized routers, then issuing reports on which ISPs were failing to deliver advertised speeds. It's one of the few FCC policies in recent years that has truly paid dividends for consumers.
DirecTV's offering a new satellite broadband bundle the company hopes appeals to rural users, though it suffers from the bane of all satellite broadband: annoying usage caps. We've known since May
that DirecTV would soon be selling ViaSat's Exede satellite broadband service, and now we're getting a good look at some of the bundle pricing DircTV is offering.
ViaSat has bumped their lowest usage cap slightly for their new Exede satellite broadband service. According to user comments in our forums
, ViaSat's $50, 12 Mbps tier originally came with a 7.5 GB cap, but has now seen that usage allowance increased to 10 GB per month.
Earlier this year ViaSat launched Exede
, their faster satellite broadband service, which while providing faster speeds of 12 Mbps, still comes with some punishing and costly bandwidth caps. The service comes in flavors of 7 GB ($50), 15 GB ($80), or 25 GB ($130), with users throttled back to speeds of 128 kbps unless they shell out $10 per each additional gigabyte
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.