News tagged: HughesNet Satellite Broadband
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.
HughesNet has announced
that the company is now offering their satellite broadband customers the ability to bundle in voice services. The company's website
doesn't get specific on pricing, only stating that plans start out at around $20 per month. "HughesNet Voice customers enjoy high Quality of Service (QoS) calling as a result of new technology Hughes developed in its latest HughesNet Gen4 service delivery system, which establishes dedicated bandwidth for voice traffic, eliminating interference with data running over their satellite Internet connection," insists the company. While the company's new Gen-4 broadband service has been well hyped, many customers state HughesNet has struggled to deliver promised performance
with the new service.
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
(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%.
Despite promises from HughesNet that their new "Gen4" satellite broadband service would revolutionize broadband, customers continue to complain about sluggish speeds and capacity issues. HughesNet's Gen4 was launched back in October
, offering users faster $60 10/1 Mbps, $80 10/2 Mbps, or $100 15/2 speed tiers (complete with 20, 30 and 40 GB caps, respectively).
After successfully launching their new EchoStar XVII satellite last July
, HughesNet today officially launched
(pdf) their new "Gen4" broadband services. Despite earlier rumblings that they'd be offering speeds up to 20 Mbps, the company's new tiers come in 10/1 Mbps, 10/2 Mbps, or 15/2 flavors, which help bring HughesNet in line with the faster services recently offered by Viasat/Exede
, as well as Verizon's new fixed LTE service Home Fusion.
Stop the Cap story continues..
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.
HughesNet and Frontier Communications, two companies with significant reputations for over-charging and under-delivering
when it comes to broadband services, this week announced
that Frontier will start reselling HughesNet services in rural markets. HughesNet's slow speeds, high prices and daily usage caps (we assume all three will be coming along for the ride) consistently see fairly awful reviews
among our users, and Frontier's DSL reviews
fare only slightly better.
Hughes says that the company's new EchoStar XVII satellite has arrived at the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, where it will be launched aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle by Arianespace. If the current schedule holds, the satellite should be launched on June 19 -- and made available for consumer use later this year. story continues..
writes in to direction our attention to a new post over at the HughesNet support forums
stating that the company will soon be implementing several improvements to a satellite broadband service that's traditionally been poorly reviewed by our users
. According to the post, HughesNet is busy building additional gateways to increase capacity, adding additional Ka-band capacity where needed, and "improving optimization to speed up web response time." That last bit usually involves caching or some kind of software acceleration to mask satellite's inevitably high latency.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Satellite broadband customers frequently aren't happy with their service (see our WildBlue
user reviews) because it's slow, expensive, has high latency, and comes with low daily usage caps. Those daily usage caps, called "fair access policies" by satellite companies, make satellite broadband particularly unsuitable for most basic broadband purposes -- such as streaming HD video.
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.
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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