Tag Archives: satellite Internet

ViaSat exede 12 Mb/s Satellite Broadband Pricing

ViaSat LogoIn a follow up to our earlier story on ViaSat and NRTC, ViaSat have announced their new 12 Mb/s satellite broadband service, exede. The high speed service will launch on 16 January beginning at $50 per month, offering 12 Mb/s down and 3 Mb/s up, using the new ViaSat-1 satellite.

The exede service will be welcomed by rural communities that have been unable to get high speed Internet connections because of the lack of infrastructure and the distances involved. Satellite broadband overcomes these issues to offer a “feels like fiber” experience.

With our new exede broadband service, customers across the United States will have a way to get exceptional speed whether they live in a city, suburbs or a more rural area,” said Tom Moore, senior VP of ViaSat.  “Our new exede service speeds make us very competitive with both wireless home broadband service as well as legacy DSL and many cable services.

The exede residential broadband packages all feature the same high speed but with higher data allowances at each price point. 

exede12 Services

Up to 12 Mbps downloads
and up to 3 Mbps uploads

Data Allowance (monthly)

7.5 GB

15 GB

25 GB

Package Price (monthly)




Overall, this looks like a great new service for people who were poorly served in the past, but users will have to watch out for those data limits.

NRTC Offers ViaSat Satellite Broadband

ViaSat LogoThe National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative has partnered with ViaSat to offer NRTC members faster 12 Mb/s satellite broadband through ViaSat’s WildBlue service. The NRTC represents the telecommunications and information technology interests of around 1500 rural utilities and affiliates in 48 US states.

The new ViaSat-1 high-capacity Ka-band spot beam satellite was launched back in October and includes coverage over North America and Hawaii, enabling a variety of new, high-speed broadband services for WildBlue in the U.S., Xplornet in Canada, and JetBlue Airways on its domestic U.S. fleet. Capable of 140 Gb/s, this one single satellite has more capacity that all of the other North American satellites put together.

NRTC’s electric and telephone members were the first distributors of WildBlue service, and they remain committed to ensuring that rural Americans have access to robust broadband,” said Tim Bryan, NRTC CEO.  “The enhanced satellite broadband service will make significant contributions to the communities we serve, so we are very happy to continue our relationship with ViaSat and offer the new service.”

Pricing wasn’t announced, but current WildBlue customers pay between $50 and $80 per month depending on service.  Outside of ViaSat-1’s coverage area, the NRTC will also offer 5 Mb/s broadband service through a range of delivery mechanisms. Based on figures from WildBlue, between 10 and 20 million American households are unable to get broadband through DSL or cable and for them, fast satellite broadband at a reasonable price will be warmly welcomed.

Todd and his team will try to get a demo of the satellite service at next week’s CES.

Satellite on the Brink of…Something

Satellite Internet providers WildBlue and HughesNet have said they are both working to upgrade their speed and availability “over the next few years.”

Really?  Years?  I realize it’s a major undertaking to shoot a satellite into orbit around our crowded planet.  The time to have put those satellites in place was several years ago, or worst case, right now.  Not several years from now.  That boat sailed long ago, and any efforts to catch up that take more than a few months are likely never to show a return on investment.

Many of us, even in urban areas, would have gone with satellite-based Internet years ago, if it had been anything worth having.  But satellite Internet speeds are incredibly slow, and outrageously expensive for service that amounts to enhanced dial-up.  “Blazing speed” it isn’t; and your pocketbook will be that much poorer for having subscribed in the first place.

But of course, the satellite companies will continue to move this direction, for basically one reason.  That’s because while the big wire providers (cable, telecoms) are refusing to move into rural and under-served areas, leaving those users with two choices; dial-up or satellite.  All of those rural users wanting broadband, however slow, are going to have no choice but to sign up for satellite Internet.  This of course gives WildBlue and Hughesnet big dollar signs in their eyes.

I would gladly and easily move to a rural area at the drop of a hat, and be happier for it.  But the single thing that stops me is the unavailability of quality broadband services.  Like most urbanites these days, I believe that reliable, fast broadband service should be a basic right, like electricity or water or telephone.  I wish more of the big telecoms/cable providers felt the same way or had the incentive to feel that way.