Enough predictions! What do you WANT? (and will Viasat listen?)

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Hi all,

So there's speculation, excitement, concern, "change your plan" screen-cap trolling (thanks to some Photoshop wizardry), breathless parsing of every slide and comment coming out of the earnings call - and so forth - but there's no one post dedicated solely to the wishes of we, the active community (and anyone that reads and posts here I would call "active") - or, perhaps there is (or was) such a post and I missed it.

So here goes:

Reading the tea leaves, it sounds as if Viasat is going to roll out only unlimited plans with Viasat-2. Would that be what you want? Are you good with that?

There's not as much evidence concerning plans for Viasat-1, but perhaps, other than grandfathered plans, there might only be unlimited available there, as well - for new accounts and for changing plans.

What do we think? Are we OK with that? What would you want to see?

I'd like to see some combination of the following:

Budget plans

Lower speeds (10) - Lower usage allowance (12?) - with a Liberty option
Somewhat higher speeds (15 - 20) - Somewhat higher usage allowance (20) - with a Liberty option
Perhaps other variations of the above, with and without Liberty options

Streaming plans

Unlimited, with de-prioritization at 150 (VS-1) and 300 (VS-2), or even 500
Speeds in the 15-30 ballpark
Higher speed option in these packages in order to support 1080 (100 is overkill for that, IMHO - 30-50 is more than enough)
Streaming options at 480, 720 and 1080 - 4k not until VS3 (if satellite remains viable for residential at that time) - no more 320 option (other than grand-fathered plans on VS1)

Usage plans

Freedom - at 150 - with varying speed options - no "throttle" for streaming
Freedom - at 300 - with varying speed options - no "throttle" for streaming
Freedom - at 500 (?) - with varying speed options - no throttle

For myself, it will be really disappointing if there's nothing analogous to Freedom in the new plans. Our big concern is usage. We'd like to be able to stream a very modest amount (perhaps an hour or two a day), probably at 720p - but would like a more generous usage allowance, so we don't have to watch usage quite so carefully.

In my household, we are not fans of the unlimited plans, as we see little (or no) advantage relative to what we already have. "Unlimited" plans have a usage allowance, also - it's described differently by the marketing folk, but it's obviously there.

So what does everyone think? What do you want? Why not collect that in one post? Let's make sure Viasat knows what we want (how much they will consider our wants is another question altogether - but let's make sure they know what we think!)

Rique
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Rique

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Posted 4 months ago

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John

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I would like the option to stream at a higher resolution, regardless of the plan I was on. The theoretical 300 plan looks good to me.
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Bradley

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I think we are stuck with video throttling forever unfortunately.

Barring weather or outages, I’d like a base, rock solid 25Mbps with at least a 500GB cap. I want to see ViaSat take a super large Sudafed and finally clear all the congestion once and for all.
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Bradley

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The problem is Verizon did the same thing, then turned around and sold the higher streaming rates for more money. They first said it was slowing their network. I guess when they made more money on it, somehow it didn’t slow the network as much. Go figure.
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privatejordy

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At the moment? A cheeseburger and fries would be good.
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Diane Hucks

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I wanna be able to stream all day if I want to....
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Old Labs

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Obviously when wishing, go big or go home! In 4K Ultra...
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Verizon might have done that, but then they have to compete with AT&T who owns Directv and all its streaming. Honestly, AT&T wireless actually worked were I live, it would be a consideration. Alas, I am just stuck with Verizon.
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Stephen Rice

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I wouldn't mind a Liberty 12 plan that gets 1 - 5 mbps during primetime when on the Liberty Pass.
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Bradley

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Ok Stephen, once last try to get you to understand. Last night I couldn’t get speeds of 1Mbps on the first day of my billing cycle on an unlimited plan. You routinely get those speeds paying much less after using your priority data.

Most people are in my boat. You have a one seater kayak.
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Old Labs

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Nah, many of us a hermits that live out in the woods ;)
(Edited)
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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I am on 150GB Freedom. 1Mbps is typical for me in Primetime on my beam. Yes that is while under the cap.

Locaton, location, location.
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Dave Eicher

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No need for streaming either. I am on a 10 gig limited plan with free time and I am good with that.
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Markgc, Champion

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Yes I like my 12gig liberty pass plan as well and never do video streaming.
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Mark here

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I would be happy just being able to stream at 360 after exceeding my plan allowance. Even when I am within my data allowance I chose to watch at 360 to try and keep my usage as low as possible. The way it is now I can hardly use e-mail once I use up my data for the month, although I have seen an improvement in speed the last week or so when not during "prime time" which for me has been between 4pm and 11pm at which time the system is useless to me. I'm thinking if the loads are spread out between the 2 sats that will probably cure most of my problems....wishful thinking?
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Old Labs

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No logical thinking.
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Bradley

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Needs a comma.

No, logical thinking.  :)
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Old Labs

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No, that was a request. Yeah that's the ticket. It should have read: No logical thinking, please.
(Edited)
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Bev, Champion

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The only thing I would ask is that for those that aren't in the "Sweet Spots" with VS2, have options for 1080 video as well as those that remain on VS1. Even if speed are capped at 25-50 MBPS or so for those areas, we'd still have off peak full HD capability at least.
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Concentric Circles

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Are you on a plan where you can't shut off the "optimization" of video?  I can shut it off even on my 10GB Wildblue satellite plan.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Ahhh. The "sweet spots".

I am on a non video throttled plan now that gives me 150GB a month. I won't select a plan on Viasat-2 that gives that up.
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Rique

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Sounds like most of us are thinking the same (or close to it, anyhow). GMTA!

If VS-2 only has unlimited options - and IF those options require opti-throttle-mization - then I'd sure like an option of a fatter Freedom plan on VS-1 (reasoning being that many will move to VS-2, tempted by speed and the so-called "unlimited" plans).

Best case scenario for us would be to have Jumbo Freedom (how's that for a marketing name?) available on VS-2 also, along with higher speeds and no opti-throttle-mization.
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Concentric Circles

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Seriously?  They don't even REQUIRE you to use the "optimization" now.  Are they seriously going to downgrade?  Where did you hear that?
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Sophie Mae

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I actually don't mind the plan I have now with the exception of the optithrottlemization. I'm on Silver Unlimited for 100 bucks a month... if it weren't for the optimization, it'd be fantastic.

I don't think VS-2 is really gonna be an option for me. Too many tall trees in that direction. :)
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Concentric Circles

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Just go to your account and turn off the "optimization."
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Rique

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Concentric Circles, the opti-throttle-mization cannot be disabled on the unlimited plans.
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Concentric Circles

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That's simply not acceptable policy.
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BBwithdrawls

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how about charge me for 10 Mbps  and deliver 10Mbps and be done with all this up to , maybe , prioritization, only days when the sun is shining , non primetime business 
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Stephen Rice

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I think its a good idea for every company to say "up to" for legal reasons.  When I had AT&T DSL I was on an 18 mbps plan.  My speeds were usually around 6 mbps and YouTube would buffer all the time.
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Bradley

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YouTube buffers occasionally on all ISP's.  More the nature of YouTube than an ATT or ViaSat issue.  6Mbps will stream HD all day long (night prime time too) buffer free on quality programming.  
(Edited)
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Old Labs

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We should all know as early as next week...

Which is just another way of saying up to Feb 28.
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Stephen Rice

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Feb 29th.
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Stephen Rice

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YouTube doesn't buffer for me unless I am out of priority data and it is primetime.  My speed tests would usually show 6 mbps, but YouTube would still buffer.  The connection just wasn't very solid.
(Edited)
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Harvey Mueller

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Yeah I know I'm hoing to get lambasted but I have Silver Unlimited 150 and am happy. Generally peak time speed drops to 7-8 Mbps but generally is 18-20. I just hope it stays there and should w VS2 coming online. 150 G is not enought to shut off DirecTV but if Viasat would offer truly Unlimited, that is NO caps on VS1 I would ditch DirecTV.
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Rique

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Harvey, it sounds like you're on a good beam. I'd be happy with those speeds also, if not for the opti-throttle-mization applied to streaming. 
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Stephen Rice

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Shame on you for being a happy customer!  You aren't respected unless you come here to threaten to send lawyers and the FBI on Viasat.
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John

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Yes, being able to stream on demand, with reasonable limits that allow you do so, would be nice. Unfortunately, limits are necessary because of the few who will abuse the system.

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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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So Echostar (who owns Hughesnet) use to also own, but is still a partner with Dish. If Hughesnet wanted to take a jab at Viasat, they could offer Dish of Demand without resolution throttling or that data counting against usage for conbo accounts.. That would be interesting.
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Anna Morgan

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I second more Budget plans (i.e. $50/month).  I've already resigned myself to not upgrading to the new plans because I literally cannot afford anything more than what I'm paying now (Liberty 12 @ 50/month + 10 equipment fee =$60/month). I would tolerate speeds as low as 6 Mbps if it meant a higher data cap or cheaper price.  For my usage, I honestly don't need anything faster than 12 Mbps.
(Edited)
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Alex, Viasat Corporate Communications

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Thanks for all of your comments -- a very interesting discussion! We did do quite a bit of listening to customers during the trial period of unlimited plans on ViaSat-1. Much of that learning is going into the ViaSat-2 plans, which will all be unlimited with video streaming options on bronze/silver/gold and platinum plans. We will have a basic 12 Mbps plan available but probably no other 'budget' plans due to the cost of installation. 'Liberty' and 'Freedom' plans won't be part of the mix. Overall, what our customers have said over and over again is that more data to stream video is the most desirable element of a plan after good speeds. That's what we're aiming to provide with these plans. More details soon!
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Rique

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Alex, its good to know that you will have a budget plan, although I'm not in your target demo for that. Its not good to know that there will be no Freedom equivalent on VS-2 and I really encourage Viasat to re-consider that. 

... but what about VS-1? Could there possibly be a "Jumbo" Freedom plan for VS-1 customers? I expect that many of your customers will be lured by the "unlimited" plans and also by the shiny new VS-2 because of the possibility of higher speeds and "cool stuff"... but it would be really nice if you would show at least some love to those of us who might just want to stay on VS-1. I would think you'd even have a vested interest in providing some incentive for folk to stay put.

... and finally, if you are bound and determined to only offer "unlimited" on VS-2, I really hope you increase that usage allowance.

Otherwise, I'm having a hard time understanding just how it is that VS-2 was marketed as a resolution to the "digital divide" we have to deal with when using satellite. But perhaps I'm just a grumpy old fellow.

So how about larger usage allowances? Somewhere? Even VS-1? Some of us don't care about (and don't really believe in) the so-called "unlimited" options.
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John

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Thanks Alex for weighing in! Good to know folks are being listened to.

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Stephen Rice

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I predict that tomorrow is going to be a bad day.  I just ate an entire bulb or garlic.
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Old Labs

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So we're now back in the prediction business - not that there's much difference between a prediction and a want. Wants are what happens when a prediction fails.
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Bradley

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Well, at least we know some plans will offer more than 150GB now.
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Rique

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Bradley,

How do we know that? Did I miss something? I don't see where Alex said that at all.

Alex: "We will have a basic 12 Mbps plan available but probably no other 'budget' plans due to the cost of installation. 'Liberty' and 'Freedom' plans won't be part of the mix. Overall, what our customers have said over and over again is that more data to stream video is the most desirable element of a plan after good speeds."

Are you deriving what you said because Alex said "more data"? I think they construe having nothing but "unlimited" to be analogous to "more data". If they de-prioritize after 150, I wouldn't agree.

But again, perhaps I'm just being grumpy... and pessimistic. 

I am holding out hope to be pleasantly surprised, but based on everything I am reading between the lines, hope <=> expectation.
(Edited)
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Bradley

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Well he said they listened and heard good speeds and more data. He didn’t hear less video optimization, so I figured we were getting the first two.

Make no mistake, the 100Mbps is a marketing ploy. It makes for good advertising, but most of us will probably start to get the speeds we currently pay for. They can add more data and call the new satellite a success. May cost more money though.
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Shawn Willmon

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getting the 100mb would be pointless if you use it up in 1 day with the soft data caps at 150gb then youre down to 1-3mb the rest of the month
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Concentric Circles

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Two things matter to me:  price and throttled speed.

Re the price, I need a plan that doesn't go over $60, including equipment lease, which is my current plan.

Re throttled speed, it shouldn't be less than about 2mbps, real speed not advertised speed. 

So very simple requirements, essentially slowing downloads greatly is okay, as long as they can still complete.  I tend to use a lot of bandwidth overall, but I don't need very high speeds. 
(Edited)
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Deku, Champion

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the 3 things i want is to be...

1. MAKE ALL THE UNLIMITED DATA PLANS CHEAPER FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE ON VS-1 (oh boy... the people would LOVE this!!! :3   )

2. also make ALL speeds NOT drop while onto the data plans NOR being throttled AFTER the 150gbs FOR people WHO are ON the VS-1 and NO slow speeds during peek hours :3

3. AND FINAL ONE!!! :3 whoever is onto the VS-1 SHALL NO LONGER BE THROTTLED NOR DURING PEEK HOURS!!! :3 also as for the price for the unlimited people who are on VS-1 make it this way...

80$ for unlimited silver plus taxes and fees and modem fees...

110$ for the unlimited bronze plus taxes and fees and modem fees...

130$ for unlimited gold plus taxes and fees and modem fees...

this is what i ALL want into the the plans and prices so that everyone can still stay onto VS-1 IF they choose to do so :3
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Bradley

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This is why you are loved.
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Judge and Jury

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I want a static IP address, (IPv4), 100Mbps synchronous, with a 500GB cap before any throttling and absolutely no filters of any kind, no optimizers, I want pure, unadulterated Internet.  I want any post-500GB throttle set to nothing less than half-speed.  I also want a 90% speed guarantee for no less than 90% of the month in total hours, guarantee affects post-500GB throttled speed ≥50%  also.

Now Viasat, give me a price quote, you have my email address.
 
 
(Edited)
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GabeU, Champion

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Streaming is limited to a specific resolution with some of the present plans?  
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John

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In my area, streaming is limited to 480p for the 25 Silver. On some of the other plans you can choose the streaming resolution, but on the unlimited plans videos are "optimized" at a certain level, and cannot be changed by the customer.
(Edited)
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GabeU, Champion

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Thanks, John.  It's unfortunate that people can't disable/turn off the optimized setting with all plans if they would like to.  Sure, they would burn through their data much more quickly, but it's unfortunate that they can't make that choice.    
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Russtytrucker

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limited plans have a toggle switch for video optimization.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Uhhhh....yes. Where have you been the last few months????
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Stephen Rice

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I'm calling the FBI since I'm not a champion anymore.
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Michael McDowell

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Better call a LAWYER first!
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Stephen Rice

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Good point.  I should sue Viasat for hurting my feelings.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Perhaps they need to print a disclaimer on the dish. "WARNING: this internet service may hurt your feelings"
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Harvey Mueller

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No need to. I've got the super secret number to the President's task force.
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Jim16, Champion

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"I think Champions are those least likely to embarrass Viasat here at this forum.
 However, Jim16 is a Champion, so maybe I'm wrong.   ;o)"

Well, so far I haven't been too much of an embarrassment.  I'm still getting my compensation check every month.
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Jim16, Champion

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"They are getting 2Mbps and paying for 25Mbps."

That statement shows your lack of understanding.  You are not paying for 25Mbs.
You just stated something that isn't true on a forum, so maybe you should be YANKED?
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Steve Frederick, Champion

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I am paying for 150 GB on my Freedom plan. This month I have only gotten 41.0 GB. Not Viasat's fault, it is on me. I guess I need to stream more Netflix and hulu content.

By the way, I wonder who has been diverting my "Champion Compensation Checks" to another party, I have never gotten one yet.
(Edited)
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Bradley

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Actually Jim16, Champion, I said people post it. Never said that’s what I believe. But your response always makes me proud:).
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GabeU, Champion

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Actually probably closer to $250. I realize that not all of you were probably invited, but a $3000 stipend, reimbursement, compensation, whatever you want to call it is a pretty large chunk.  Make fun all you want but even reviewers on Amazon have to say if they received a discount or the product for free. 

Darn.  They must be hiding my stipend on the Apollo moon landings set.  Must be where my HN check is, too, as the same thing is claimed on that Community, as well.  
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Mark here

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I knew you were on the take!


joking  ;-)
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Jim16, Champion

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Never been compensated by Viasat except with the best internet this country boy  ever had.  Sometimes Viasat Brad will reprimand me, but that's O.K.

(Edited)
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James Paramore

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I'm doing ok with my Liberty 12/25 plan. I would like to keep the Liberty plan, maybe upgrade to the Liberty 50 some time this year, but have it the same price as the 25. I get by with the speeds I'm getting, I don't stream. It does slow to around 1-3 in prime time, but I usually go to bed around 8 PM.