About throttling your speeds... something you should know.

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Today I learned...

We ran out of data on our 18GB plan. My speed went to .33Mbps. I inquired because I was hoping for at least the 1-5Mbps as promised and as sold.. well, no luck on a qualified response, but with sub-par services, I expected sub-par response - and they exceeded my expectations in that department..

However, I recently ‘gave up the goose’ and agreed to upgrade to the 25Mbps UNLIMITED plan. I haven’t got the router yet, but due to my ongoing frustration, I reluctantly did it. .. What I learned tonight I think that EVERYONE needs to know and understand...

First, if you run out of data on the 150GB, 25Mbps plan you will be throttled to UNDER 1Mbps! Secondly, UNLIMITED only means up to 150GB at best 10 to 25Mbps - which; if history is a prediction of forecast, I wouldn’t expect to see more than 5 to 7Mbps with regularity.. Time will tell..

Nevertheless, I thought everyone should know:
1. Unlimited is really 150GB. Will they really shut it off after 150? No, but see #3...
2. “Up to...” should be understood (and dont whine like me when your expectations aren’t met)
3. If you are paying for faster internet and more data, be prepared to get throttled to 1995 AOL dial up speed if you go over 150GB.

now, is it likely I’ll go over 150? Doubt it, but given the track record of Excede I wouldn’t be surprised if for some strange reason, my consumption ramps up!
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MichiganSteelheader

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  • lied to, mislead, oversold, poor experience

Posted 2 years ago

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Markgc, Champion

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I am on a Liberty Pass plan and I regularly get over 5Mbps during the day. Don't expect to get those speeds during the "rush hour" though.
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MichiganSteelheader

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I think I live on the busiest signal here in my rural community.. Thanks to Verizon I could post this message.
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Bradley

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I’ve noticed people who are “Champions” tend not to deal with the sub 1Mbps. Might find themselves more down the middle like me if they did experience those speeds more regularly.
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Markgc, Champion

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I see sub 1 Mbps speeds in the evenings on Liberty Pass.  I do my  browsing on fast 4G wireless but my  big data stuff like movies  and downloads is done on Viasat during the day and on the LNFZ from 3 to 6am.  I use a scheduling program for the the LNFZ activities.
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Bradley

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Which is great unless you have no cell signal and kids who like to surf YouTube during prime time. Not directed at you specifically but in general. Imagine using your slowest Liberty Pass speeds after paying $150 for an unlimited plan. Then maybe people will be a little more sympathetic to why people post in frustration. This service is all many people have to use. Phone included.

We know. The answer is already less than a month away. Heard that for years. Hope it truly is. Buffered off and on during prime time tonight. Used 7.5 of 150. No buffering all day until 7pm. If I can’t get a solid 1.5Mbps on priority data, I see why people rant and rave. I like my service generally . I can do things I never thought I would be able to with satellite internet. But dang, the company doesn’t walk on water, and for sure February better bring some pleasant changes.
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MichiganSteelheader

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This forum is to discuss the Service. Rant n rave, ideas, and support are all fair game. My post was invented to cut to the quick of what is literal. I wouldn’t say they intend to mislead or misinform, but caveat emptor. Unlimited is Not, Speed is “up to” and throttleing from their fastest service is more severe than lesser services they offer. That part is not clear.
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Jim16

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The definition of "Unlimited" has been changed by all ISP's.  Unfortunately, Viasat has had to also change that definition in order to compete.  We saw this change when the cell phone providers went to "unlimited" a while back.
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Gerald Reed

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Sadly I gave up on exede and went with tmobile all the way with their unlimited lte internationladd on only thing is i keep my ondevice data above my hotspot data and thats not really that hard.Miles above what exede gave me .
(Edited)
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Ken

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You used 15GB just for SpeedTest?!
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Gerald Reed

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Actually used 25gb fast.com is speedtest also
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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I would sadly (make that gladly) give up on satellite for that if it were an option for me - it's not and I wouldn't even be running speed tests ;)
(Edited)
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Ken

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You must seriously be worried about your speeds to check it that much.
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Gerald Reed

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Christmas family wanted duel witm tmobile in my area with against verizon att and sprint so high speeds more data.And tmobile won
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Ken

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Cellular only works intermittently where I live.  I have to position my phone in a specific location in the house to receive signal (and that only works sometimes).
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Gerald Reed

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Im rural and if got any covearge outside these new boosters are great and free.Been with tmobile 20 year so far so i knew what was like before cut exede
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Gerald Reed

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And not sure about via sat 2 glitch http://spacenews.com/boeing-investiga...
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Gerald Reed

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Still hoping for prices to come way down and gets better then i will get viasat again.
(Edited)
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Hfcomms

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They are not intentionally singling you out to throttle you when your run out of data.  It has everything however to do with the traffic load on your gateway at any given time.  I have the 25Gb plan and was a data hog downloading a lot of blockchain's and went through all 25Gb in about 10 days so now I'm on liberty pass.

This morning after 8am I downloaded two videos in HD of over 1Gb a piece.  Both videos downloaded in about a half hour per video and that on Liberty pass.  However if I tried it during prime time when everyone is using the Internet I probably wouldn't be able to watch a 480p clip on youtube without a lot of buffering.

It just depends on the time of day and network conditions on your gateway.  If a lot of people are on and your on liberty pass you might not be able to do a lot more than simple browsing.  It's simply the nature of the beast.

Like the water line coming into your house.  You might be able to run the washer and dishwasher at the same time but if while your doing that your in the shower and someone flushes the toilet your going to get a surprise.  Only so much water 'data' can go through the pipe at any one time.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Unlimited means after 150GB you get deprioritzed. It isn't a hard throttle, but if the beam is very congested, you most certainly are going to get slow speeds. However, I would expect very good speeds when the beam is not congested.

All depends on the time of day and the amount of users at any one time. That is certainly better than a hard cap throttle.
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steve heller

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I'm over my 150GB priority limit and the connection is quite usable during the day, slowing down fairly seriously in prime time.

As advertised, in other words.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Imagine that :)
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Alex Kiwerski

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So while it may not be technically "hard throttled", based on the behavior I have observed and my testing, it may as well be.  When my traffic is "de-prioritized", I see less that 256 Kbps for download speeds, and most often less than 128 Kbps, placing is slower than cellular data rates 10 years ago.  And this is for *all* traffic types.   

Viasat could do much more intelligent rate shaping when doing their version of "de-prioritization", but what they are doing is a flat out throttling, similar to what wireless phone providers do, and it makes the service pretty much unusable when it's applied.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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There's not much traffic shaping that can get around the fact that the satellite capacity is fixed/limited. When capacity is exhausted and demand is more than  that limit, speeds will drop simply as a result of the underlying protocols that will start dropping packets requiring retransmission and in extreme cases further degrade performance.

While some may argue that Viasat has oversold capacity and that may be true during peak hours and prime time, Viasat can't really base susbcriber levels on peak utilization periods without severely limiting the number of subscribers or even times that subscribers can use the service. I suppose they could but nobody would be happy then - limiting total subscribers to about a quarter of what they are now would undoubtedly mean higher pricing to maintain revenues. Perhaps I should not give them any ideas - hey let's introduce plans where you can only use the service during set hours and charge different prices ;) Sign me up for the low priced 0800 - 1530 package - while usable for me outside of those hours for basic things there's nothing I can't live without and promise to stay out of prime time traffic.  

Right now there's 140 Gbps capacity available (for a few weeks more anyway and Viasat-1 isn't getting any more of it but demand should decrease as folks or other services move to Viasat-2) to service 589,000 residential subscribers - sounds like a lot of capacity until you do the math.

I sympathize with those who can only utilize the service during prime time hours, just as I sympathize with all of those folks heading out for their I-95 commute into DC right now (at least they have the option to pay more for using the HOT lanes and even those get bogged down with no gurantee of 65 MPH).
 
While I'm skeptical of the speed claims reported by DSL Reports (it's not entirely clear what they're actually reporting but that's true for most of them unless you dig deeper), one good thing about that particular test is found in the details which reports retransmits due to dropped packets - it's that measure of quality that's more important for most activities. For me it's a reliable indicator of just how congested my beam is at any given point in time.
(Edited)
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Alex Kiwerski

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I'm well aware of the capacity limitations of Internet Service Providers, including Satellite providers. That doesn't explain the observed behavior of the "de-prioritization".

Before hitting the 150 GB "soft cap", even during prime time evening hours, I would still see between 5-10 Mbps downstream speed.  And outside of evening prime time I see closer to the 25 Mbps the Silver Unlimited plan offers.

After I hit the 150 GB "soft cap", during the late afternoon and into/through evening prime time, I am lucky to get 256 Kbps, and most often do not even see 128 Kbps of throughput.

This is why the available capacity vs number of users explanation by itself does not hold up.  Viasat(Excede) is doing far more than simply "de-prioritizing" your traffic once you hit the 150 Gbps "soft cap".

And to be clear - data VOLUME (150 GB is a measurement of data volume) is not indicative of data BANDWIDTH (ex 25 Mbp/s).

For perspective - sustained bandwidth utilization of 0.4 Mbps (or 400 Kbps) around the clock for 30 days will create 150 GB of data transfer.  400 Kilobits per second sustained is tiny for a modern connected home.
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Jim16

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O.K.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Apparently you're unaware of the difference in magnitude between terrestial-based and satellite ISP capacity, and the degree of difficulty in upgrading capacity for each.      

De-prioritization is just that - your requests/responses are pushed to the back of the queue behind others - when the queue is shorter or non existent you're spending less time in line (or traffic), when it's longer you're spending more time waiting in line than actually transferring data.

The confusion for many comes from the fact that ISPs and even the FCC continue to confuse bandwidth, speed and throughput. With truth in advertising, they'd be calling this "high capacity internet up to xx Mbps" but that doesn't have quite the marketing ring to it - while capacity (i.e. bandwidth) impacts "speed" it is but one of many factors - some of which are beyond the ISPs control - e.g. latency.

Note the recent reports of improved "speeds" here after the holidays - capacity didn't suddenly increase, utilization of that capacity decreased as folks went back to school and/or work - non-peak hours just got better, while peak hours probably remain somewhat sluggish due to increased utilization of capacity during those hours.

In fact there may be different levels of de-prioritization depending on how far above your priority data you go.

And yes, my service is pretty much "unusable" when I exceed my priority data also - but "unusable" is a relative term. Mine remains somewhat usable for browsing and email (but only because I've taken the time to eliminate most of the junk that appears on today's web pages and am not exhausting what little bit of available shared capacity with useless crap that I don;t want to see anyway).

As noted by others here, the impacts of prioritization are the same for everyone - some of us accept it and understand the reason, others don't and some don't really care what the reason is preferring to think Viasat isn't delivering on its promise. Regardless, none of us like it but have different pain thresholds.

It's not really a topic that can be handled in a social media format.  The following (including the related links and content)  explains it in more depth and is just as valid now as it was in 2011 - before "prioritization" became the norm for "unlimited" plans:

https://www.networkworld.com/article/2221112/service-providers/no-matter-what-the-fcc-says--bandwidt...
  
I'm sure Viasat would be open to any suggestions  that would alleviate the situation - short of randomly terminating subscribers to a level that can be only handled during peak hours is the only one I see and probably wouldn't go over too well on either side.

Wait for more capacity, it's really that simple and just around the corner - or alternatively find another ISP that has capacity to better meet its "up to" claims.

P.S. I don't mind folks complaining about the service, it's their right to do so and undoubtedly today, tomorrow and beyond another thread on the same topic will be started - then we can rub hands briskly under drier, wipe hands on pants and repeat. Ultimately, you either recognize it's a supply and demand issue or don't - and there are only two options to alleviate it at this point - increase supply (capacity) or decrease demand (usage). 
(Edited)
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Alex Kiwerski

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Respectfully, I actually do understand the differences between terrestrial Internet transport and satellite Internet transport.

The only point I am really making is that the de-prioritization, which as you state, really is the same thing as throttling, just on a temporary basis, is at level that is overly extreme.  Better QoS management could likely provide equal benefit to the capacity management, without degrading users that have hit the 150 GB "soft cap" to the level that they are presently (down to ISDN speeds).  That said, I do fully understand that building and implementing QoS policies can be challenging, having implemented more than a few myself over the years.

As for alternatives, obviously, if there were better alternatives for our location, it's likely that neither of us would be using satellite Internet access :-)

I am hopeful that Viasat2 will be better from not just the added capacity standpoint, but from the the capacity management standpoint as well.
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Alex Kiwerski

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As for making suggestions to Viasat, I would love to have an in-depth network engineering discussion with some of their engineers, but, so far, I have not found a contact at that level. Yet.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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My point is simply that they've bled all they can from this stone - capacity is exahausted (or nearly exhausted) during peak periods - there's nothing left to manage at that point.

Introduction of unlimited plans on a trial basis in anticipation of Viasat-2 further exacerbated the problem by increasing demand on an already limited supply.
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Ken

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... agreed to upgrade to the 25Mbps UNLIMITED plan. I haven’t got the router yet ...

First, if you run out of data on the 150GB, 25Mbps plan you will be throttled to UNDER 1Mbps!
If you haven't got the router, how are you asserting that you are being throttled after 150GB?
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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I don't think he said he was experiencing it, but rather "learned" it and is anticipating it - probably from the multitude of posts by those experiencing it or from various documents at:

https://www.exede.com/legal/

However, there's no throttling on unlimited (except for detected video streams)   - just prioritization which for all intents and purposes is the same, but a temporary condition based on current network utilization rather than a permanent one.

His direct experience at the time of posting seems limited to Liberty, which both throttles and prioritizes but overall he can expect the same experience during peak periods and exhausting his priority data (at least for now).

  
(Edited)
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James Paramore

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Like Ken, I'm wondering how you know this without actually having it. 
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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What time of the day are you experiencing .33Mbps? Speeds like that on the Liberty Pass are normal during prime time and are exactly as advertised.

It is outside of primetime when the Liberty pass shines. From midnight to 5pm I get speeds from 1 to 5 mbps. Sometimes i get speeds even higher.

After 5pm my speeds are around 256k which is exactly as advertised.
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Markgc, Champion

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That is pretty much what I see on Liberty Pass as well.  I like that my new Liberty Pass plan has a LNFZ  from 3am - 6am as well
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Same here when on Liberty Pass during prime time as advertised. During non-peak hours as advertised also 1 - 5 Mbps sometimes more when on Liberty Pass. When not on Liberty pass speed generally slower than 12 Mbps during prime time, and greater than that during non peak hours - as expected as advertised
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Sounds like the original poster expects 1 - 5 mbps all the time.  The terms specifically say these speeds are only to be expected during the day.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Loved the LNFZ, and a Liberty pass with that is a good combo. But I got a old Freedom plan for $75/month now. I don't use over 150 in a month and want my 1080p video. So it is a good package to have.