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ViaSat Phasing Out WildBlue Brand
Exede Branding Will Replace WildBlue
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. The move puts DirecTV's decision to stop selling WildBlue in context. ViaSat's new Exede service, while well-hyped by the media and CES, 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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jjoshua
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Scotch Plains, NJ
kudos:3

Marketing BS

Trying to make something better by changing its name.

grohgreg
Dunno. Ask The Chief

join:2001-07-05
Dawson Springs, KY

Re: Marketing BS

said by jjoshua:

Trying to make something better by changing its name.

Well, yes and no. I view it as the new ownership wanting to hide the actual roots of the product. The "WildBlue Experience" left a bad taste in a lotta folks mouths. So ViaSat is hoping the new Exede moniker will camouflage the fact that they're sellin' Wildblue in drag.

//greg//
--
HN7000S - 98cm Prodelin/2w "pure" Osiris - ProPlus - G16/1010H - NOC:GTN - NAT 67.142.115.130 - Gateway 66.82.25.10 - DNS 66.82.4.12 and 66.82.4.8 - Firefox 8/MSIE9 - AV/Firewalled by NIS2012

hdman
Flt Rider
Premium
join:2003-11-25
Appleton, WI

Re: Marketing BS

said by grohgreg:

said by jjoshua:

Trying to make something better by changing its name.

So ViaSat is hoping the new Exede moniker will camouflage the fact that they're sellin' Wildblue in drag.

//greg//

Actually, I think the term Wildblue on steroids would be a better choice of words. I'm pretty excited about coming BACK to the service since I left them many years ago. The reports are coming in from new users of the Exede service and they are all looking pretty positive. I hope to post a postivie review in a few days myself.

I think it makes sense to distance themselves from the WB name. They are not the same service at all. Different equipment, different bird....makes sense.
--
The proper way to break in a Harley: Grab a fist full of throttle, and ride it like you stole it!!!

nonegiven_

@wildblue.net

Re: Marketing BS

said by hdman:

They are not the same service at all. Different equipment, different bird....makes sense.

That's true for some of the country. Many of the current customers will remain where they are, with the old equipment, on the old satellites. Also, much of "really rural"/agricultural US will not be served by VS-1 at all. So although anyone upgrading will require new receiving equipment, they will still be on the old birds. So it's not a total revamp of the servicing equipment, yet. What Viasat did is ~sort of like your local telco upgrading some customers from copper to fiber optic for their lines, and charging most of them the same basic price for the new services, even though some are getting more than twice the speed. And many new customers get the possibility of signing up for discounts or more data (in some cases for life), while existing customers are not offered that opportunity. Changing the name of the service does not change the people that are being dealt with. It is still the same company, with the same business practices.

Of course what is making some people ~upset, is the fact if there is enough "free" to increase the speed to this amount on the older birds, right now, it means that much of the severe prime time slowdown, or flat out not working we have been experiencing, has been artificially created. That and the fact those of us who own our own equipment, who have been with the company for 6 years would have to pay $150, plus $10 more per month, for 23% less data. Or to get close to the same data as before, pay 50% more per month. Basically more speed yes, less data yes, that more than cancels out the thought of it being an upgrade for a lot of people. And not all of us will open our wallets and pay insane amounts to get it to a usable level.

Informed users, such as yourself hdman (i remember you posting well years ago), know what you are getting into. If it suits your needs as a low, not typical user, then so be it (as compared to every single neighbor I have who has a problem with the caps). But when writing reviews or stating your excitement, you need to put yourself in the shoes of others, and realize you aren't a typical internet using household.

Us long time customers remember how it was back when Wildblue started, you left well before it really went downhill. The first couple years it was what I would describe as "very good", even for a while after the traffic shaping was implemented. Many, many people need more data. As has been stated, the speed upgrade is nearly pointless without it, and not at the $s offered. Remember, it is 6 years later, price increases are expected, but 50% is a bit much, speed or no speed, if you can't do anything more with the new service. After the last couple years, things like downloads slowing to less than 1/6 of the "up to" speed on the value package, when there is nothing wrong with the equipment, not violating FAP, it does put a sour taste in a persons mouth about the company (again, same birds have been augmented for the new 5 meg speed, now). Not forgetting pages timing out, etc. as well.

Satellite can't compete with DSL service, someone should have gotten that memo to Viasat. They don't care, but many people signing up for the service will be angry when they didn't understand the caps being included. Although the temporarily increased caps will delay the bad reactions until after more installs are done. Hopefully too many don't get suckered, but as seen on other forums, it's already happening. Honestly, 3meg would have been good enough, beyond that for general web browsing, mostly pointless. Then offer more, 15GB minimum for the base package, I was expecting at least that, and that is quite a reasonable expectation I'd think. If they would provide basic service like that, fast enough to keep up with streaming video, and a decent cap, guess what? They would be providing a service that would be -good- for those of us with no option. A decent upgrade with both a modest speed increase, tweaked latency back to '06 levels, a reasonable cap upgrade as well, that would have been a good upgrade. Providing a good upgrade = a good business image, is good word of mouth support for the company. Trying to compete in markets where good land based options are available, is not good for us customers. In fact, I'd think the service should be limited to those without a DSL or WISP option. From a business perspective, they need customers, so they chose the route they did. But they are forgetting that they need to keep their current customers happy as well.

This customer isn't going to pay to downgrade service at the current pricepoint. And many existing customers will jump ship the second a viable land option is available. That seems to be OK with the company with the business model they have chosen. ...anyway, enough on that. The subject has been beaten to death, and they aren't listening nor do they care.
PDXPLT

join:2003-12-04
Banks, OR

Re: Marketing BS

said by nonegiven_ :

Us long time customers remember how it was back when Wildblue started, you left well before it really went downhill. The first couple years it was what I would describe as "very good", even for a while after the traffic shaping was implemented.

Yea, I was one of the first WB customers in this area, and it was actually pretty good. Latency of ~600 msec or so was a bit laggy, but not too bad and much, much better than HughesNet. Then "Black Thursday" happened: November 17th, I remember it well. Overnight the latency shot up to 1500~2000 msec., VPN stopped working, and browsing became painful. Then my son became old enough to start online gaming, and we kept hitting the FAP. Fortunately for us we got rid of Verizon in the area and Frontier came in, and we had DSL soon after.

There's a satellite installer that lives in the neighborhood. He put up a sign saying "12 Mbps broadband here now!". Frontier may only currently be offering 3 Mbps, but enough people remember the high latency and caps with WB that I think he'll get few takers.
ShellMMG

join:2009-04-16
Grass Lake, MI
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
You don't have teenagers, do you?

We used WB for two years until Alltel (RIP) came through. Using an Huawei aircard and a Cradlepoint router -- plus a true unlimited, unthrottled contract -- we pulled down 2.2-2.5mb on a regular basis with a 120ms latency. It was a thing of sheer beauty, especially after two years of wrestling with the FAP meter, unplugging the router, demanding no Youtube, downloading, torrenting and other activities normal broadband users enjoy. I grew to absolutely DESPISE broadband caps. HATESSSSSS them, I do!

Faster speed will be nice, but it'll help you blow through your FAP allowance in record time. And as others have asked, are they going to deal with that 1100ms latency issue? Towards the end of our contract I couldn't get SSL sites to load without timing out, which is a serious problem when banking online.

I really, sincerely hope it works out for those stuck without wired broadband. We didn't have DSL until last November and even with Frontier's absolutely horrendous customer service computing system, it's been a dream come true.

That satellite may be a different equipment and different bird, but if it's the same management it won't bode well.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
said by hdman:

Actually, I think the term Wildblue on steroids would be a better choice of words. I'm pretty excited about coming BACK to the service since I left them many years ago. The reports are coming in from new users of the Exede service and they are all looking pretty positive. I hope to post a postivie review in a few days myself.

Yes lowering already low caps is a good thing. I can see why you're excited.

DrStrange
Technically feasible
Premium
join:2001-07-23
West Hartford, CT
kudos:1

Whole-second latency? Still?

Anyone know if the new name for WildBlue does anything about the four-figure latency? Last time I had to use WildBlue, first-hop latency averaged 1500ms. It's not like anyone expects to use VOIP on it or anything, but latency measured in whole seconds?

Someone is eventually going to run them clean out of their market by offering whitespace WWAN or blimp-band to their [current] exclusive coverage areas.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Whole-second latency? Still?

said by DrStrange:

Anyone know if the new name for WildBlue does anything about the four-figure latency? Last time I had to use WildBlue, first-hop latency averaged 1500ms. It's not like anyone expects to use VOIP on it or anything, but latency measured in whole seconds?

Unless they can change the speed of light not much can be done.

grohgreg
Dunno. Ask The Chief

join:2001-07-05
Dawson Springs, KY

1 edit

1 recommendation

said by DrStrange:

Anyone know if the new name for WildBlue does anything about the four-figure latency? their [current] exclusive coverage areas.

Lag is currently within normal GEO satellite parameters; hovering either side of 600ms. There is some anticipation that it may increase proportional to loading, but that's not unusual. ViaSat clearly didn't clutter up the front end of their gateways with that ridiculous DAMA configuration. That's what pushed WildBlue pings well into four figure territory. Hopefully they learned from over 5 years of outcry following that ill-advised decision.

//greg//
--
HN7000S - 98cm Prodelin/2w "pure" Osiris - ProPlus - G16/1010H - NOC:GTN - NAT 67.142.115.130 - Gateway 66.82.25.10 - DNS 66.82.4.12 and 66.82.4.8 - Firefox 8/MSIE9 - AV/Firewalled by NIS2012

DrStrange
Technically feasible
Premium
join:2001-07-23
West Hartford, CT
kudos:1

Re: Whole-second latency? Still?

Thanks. 500-600ms is believable, considering the length of the signal path.

1500ms is totally out of line unless somebody has a satellite at two and a half times the normal geosynchronous orbital distance with ion thrusters set for station-keeping.

Betsy958

@wildblue.net

Exede

I would give anything to have cable or DSL, however I choose not to live in the city and therefore have to sacrifice which means not using streaming video and keeping the kids off U-tube. I have the new exede and it is wonderful and beats Hughes.net hands down. I can work from home connecting with VPN and have not exceeded FAP as of yet. I am just grateful there is something out there besides dial- up and when my kids are grown maybe something else will available in the country and if not, then it will be their choice to either move to city there are other options or do what my husband and I decided and monitor Internet usage for the benefit of living in the country where the grass is greener and life is quiet.
ShellMMG

join:2009-04-16
Grass Lake, MI
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..

Re: Exede

If you're getting decent speeds and pings, enjoy it while it lasts.

As other posters have said, WB started out working rather well. THEN they got greedy. They overloaded the beams and murdered pings, which not only stopped a lot of normal activity like gaming and VPN, it caused SSL sites to time out. In other words, don't think about using a secure connection at home to do your banking.

WB can change their name, but they're going to be in a big hurry to take advantage of this brief window they have before new technologies start rolling out. They need to lock as many customers as they can into long-term contracts while they have the rural market cornered. Don't be surprised if you wake up one morning to terrible load times and an email reducing your cap. Mine was cut by 25% after the first three months of my contract, but I sure didn't see a price decrease!

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4

Got a bad reputation?

Change your name and everything is good again.