No more data packages just one great internet service

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Instead of trying to sell data packages with very small amounts of data I would much rather a plan of unlimited data usage with slower speeds compared to what is currently advertised but still have speeds relative to dsl. Why i suggest this is because I use up 10 gbs of data within the first couple days of the month and sometimes use as much 500 gbs in any given month. Under your current business model I would go bankrupt simply buying data. I would rather have unlimited access at slower speeds than limited access at faster speeds. With the reliability this satellite internet service and ability to be used virtually anywhere make this a viable option to people who don't have access to broadband but lets be honest here data caps are ridiculous.
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Jerry Riggins

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Posted 3 years ago

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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Hi Jerry,

I would highly suggest looking into our relatively newly available Liberty plans if they are where you live. Unlike the prior Classic Plans, the Liberty plan gives you a "soft data cap" as opposed to a hard data cap. WIth the soft cap if you go over your priority data, you can continue to use the internet with speeds of 1-5mbps for the remainder of the month. Like before it'll reset each month. A lot of our customers that were frustrated by the data cap are finding the Liberty plan to be a much more accommodating plan for them. More info here: http://www.exede.com/liberty/
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Jerry Riggins

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Thanks for that Brad but I currently use the liberty 10 and have the liberty pass thingy which works fairly well for me. What I was suggesting though was an all inclusive internet service, similar to what you offer with the liberty pass, except with functional speeds and/or realistic data caps or better yet no data caps. As it stands, the data packages available to me (liberty 10,15,30) are a joke. So instead of pushing data packages I would be much happier with an all inclusive internet plan (similar to what you currently somewhat offer) that would better fit my needs. Just expressing an idea that as a whole would improve this internet service and significantly improve my customer satisfaction.
(Edited)
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Matt Lea

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I currently have exede and I'm severely disappointed, then come to find out the only reason i can't get cable internet is because you crooks have a contract with my village. don't be fooled people this service is terrible and expensive.
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Matt Lea

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Lets also not forget that other people get unlimited data for almost the same price as i pay for 15 gigs. Thats criminal.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Hi Matt. To my knowledge we haven't made exclusive agreements with any towns or villages. We're more of a solution where people can get us if there's no DSL or Cable available (we have data limits as we have to use a satellite for bandwidth and to unlike a cable company that can just add more lines whenever they want, we have to launch a satellite in order to to do so....which we are at the end of the year).
My only guess for how that would be a potential thing is if a satellite provider such as DirecTV made exclusive deals with some of the property managers there where you live and are selling our internet as a combo offer.

 To be perfectly honest depending on the size of your town it may be one of those things where cable companies may not justify the cost of bringing it in. They look at how many potential customers are in an area and stacks it up to the cost of construction in that area to bring cable in and use that to decide if it's worth it to bring it in. Typically smaller population areas ultimately get passed unfortunately because it costs the company a lot more than they would with potential customers. 
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shawn earle

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I agree it is much better than the old systems. I use my 10gb up pretty quickly but can still watch Netflix on a single device even after I've used my priority data.
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LorrieL, Champion

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Brad, I am trying to figure something out about the Liberty plans...if someone switches to a Liberty plan but finds they do not like it as much as their previous plan, can they return to that previous plan?
I ask because I currently have a classic plan, but think if I switch to Liberty where I live I will be giving up any chance of return to a classic plan, since the ONLY plans being offered right now where I live are Liberty plans.  So I would be giving up a plan with LNFZ, with no option of returning to a plan that has a LNFZ?  Is that correct?
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Brian Shackelford

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Lorrie -

You can only switch to a plan that is currenly available in your area. If you log into your account and click on the option to change plans it will show you what is available for you to change to at that time. When I first changed to Liberty in November, the classic 15 was no longer an option, however the classic 10 was along with the various Liberty Plans. I believe at the beginning of December the classic 10 was no longer an option.

So I could have switched back to the classic 10 while it was showing as an option in November of I did not like Liberty, however if I wanted to in December it would not be possible.
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LorrieL, Champion

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I don't expect Exede to give up all data plans...some people like having these choices, but I do wish there were a plan which provided a CONSISTENT 1-5Mbps speed without all the caveats of the Liberty plan, which talk about drops in speed below those numbers depending on time of day, how heavy your usage is, and other factors.

I don't think many people really want to find that they cannot use the internet as they want to from 5p-2A, even though the impaired usage may not occur all the time.
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Jerry Riggins

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So with the liberty pass once you use the allotted amount of data the liberty pass kicks in which is unlimited usage all throughout the day but at slower speeds that can sometimes be so slow that its virtually unusable. I currently have the liberty pass and it works very well enough for me all throughout the day until about 12-1 am when the speeds spike and drop to a snails pace. That's just my experience with it and I have no idea how it will work in your area but overall
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Old Labs

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During the free zone hours (12 - 5 AM for classic plans), overall utilization peaks as classic plan users take advantage of the free period with scheduled heavy downloads. On my beam, speeds are typically very slow for everybody for the first 2-3 hours of the free zone.

On the Liberty Plans, once you're in Liberty Pass mode you are served at a lower priority than other plans where users haven't exceeded their data caps and Brian's analysis of the past month appears to bear that out during both the free zones and non-free zones.
    
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Jacqueline Tierney

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Apparently it depends on the beam you are on also.  We have never dropped lower than 1 mbps on Liberty Pass and have been able to stream freely even during prime time.  This morning at 7am I got a test just now of 18 mbps.  We can stream live events on Liberty Pass but in the lower speed range they don't always stream smoothly but we can still follow the game action  just fine, and we are happy with this because on the classic plans it was impossible to even consider watching or streaming video OR audio, or even live stats would gobble up what little data we had so we are more than happy with Liberty Pass.  Last two months with our son home quite a bit on break we went over our priority data in the first few days but still have been able to use the internet normally.  We will be streaming a bb game later this week that starts at 6:30 pm so it will be right in the middle of prime time.  We take the lower quality video stream to reduce demand and it will do a little freezing off and on but again, I am happy to be able to watch it at all.  But for satellite internet even with the improved plans you have to be able to accept some imperfections.
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Steve Frederick, Champion

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I agree that the speeds you get while on the Liberty Pass depend on network loading, and which beam you are on. I am on beam 314, central New York state, and my speeds while on the Pass run in the 5.0 Mbps range all day, including the prime time evening hours. Even during the holiday rush between Christmas and New Years I would get 3 Mbps during the prime time evening hours. Some of the beams, 329 is one of them, it appears, have a higher percentage of beam capacity being used,so while on the Pass, speeds will be on the lower end of the 1 to 5 Mbps range. But then, even the Classic plan members have been reporting low speeds during the evening hours. Until ViaSat 2 is operational, it is unlikely that speeds on the congested beams will improve a whole lot, unless subscribers find other ISP options and leave Exede, freeing up some bandwidth.
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Gregory Davis

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No data caps are not ridiculous - we are trying to SHARE this service with thousands of customers. I can't fathom the need to use 500 GB of data in a month via Viasat 1. If customers need to use this amount then they should PAY for it. There is only so much capacity here. Any customer that exceeds their plans data cap has several options available to them: pay for more, move to a larger data cap plan, live with their SLOWED speed until they reach the end of their plans monthly renewal (reset) date, or move ON to another ISP. Some of us do not have many options available with reasonable speeds and I for one am grateful the way Wildblue/Exede is managing their offerings after all it is a SHARED network. Think of it as a water pipe with a maximum capacity – you can only get so much water out of this pipe. This pipe can only handle so much water. As more and more user’s turn on their faucets the capacity of this pipe is reduced for other users – in fact the pressure is also reduced – hence SPEED is reduced. Living in a rural area our water is supplied via a well which delivers water through a 1” pipe. The main feeds off this well’s pressure system is through 3⁄4” pipe. From this we have taps to our sinks, showers, tubs that are fed through 1⁄2” feeds. These pipe reductions are there to help keep the pressure sufficient enough to meet the end point, such as a shower, sufficient enough for the end user. I notice that, at times, the difference in delivered water at a given faucet – because somewhere else in our house there is another demand for water. This maybe a simplified example of supply and demand – our internet access through Wildblue/Exede is bi-directional. Most of the day data speeds, for me, are more than acceptable – even on while on Liberty Pass. As more and more users (getting home from work/school, ...) access their Wildblue/Exede connection I have noticed my internet speeds to be somewhat slower. These slower speeds, even while on Liberty Pass, are acceptable – to OK for me. During these evening hours (5 PM – 11 PM) I, for the most part only check my various email accounts, might visit FACEBOOK, and some other news sites such as YAHOO, MSN, or FOXNEWS. My wife on the other hand will linger around FACEBOOK and view some posted videos – all of these activities – the internet speeds (even during Liberty Pass) are acceptable.
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Jerry Riggins

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Geez thanks mister you really helped my understanding with that water analogy. The only problem is the Internet isn't a fixed resource/commodity. And no I really shouldn't have to pay for how much I use because this isn't water or pizzas. I can use as much Internet as I please and guess what? I don't have to pay any extra for all that data with the liberty pass. We live in an evolving digital age it's really not that hard to use these kinds of data. So if the capability is the problem then they should invest in the technology and make it possible to provide a better overall service for all of us. And why are you defending a company that doesn't care about you?
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shawn earle

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It sucks but these limited options are all that is available to us that don't live in a metropolis The liberty pass isn't too bad though a little expensive compared to other Internet services. In my opinion Verizon and time Warner need to get off their butts and start investing some of that big money they make back into the system to accommodate some of us country folk!
(Edited)
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Steve Frederick, Champion

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I have been trying to get Time Warner to extend their cable 1 mile to serve my house for over 20 years. Their official response is that there are fewer than 20 potential customers that would be served, so they are not interested. The have offered the option to pay around $10,000 for them to run the line, but that is where it ends.

I am thankful that I am able to get my Exede service. It serves me well, and the Liberty Plan is the next best thing to getting unlimited internet. Thank you Exede.

Wildblue from 2008, and Exede since April 2012.
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Spinninghorse, Champion

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Am I wrong? Satellite internet IS a fixed resource/commodity?
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LorrieL, Champion

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When you are talking about satellite internet, it IS a fixed technology/it is the access to bandwidth that is limited/ergo your internet usage is limited; and you probably would have to know all about the finances of putting up satellites and such before you pass final judgment....Exede IS investing in putting up another satellite this year....I wonder how much that costs?  A whole different kind of "infrastructure" than you deal with with landbased internet providers...You sound like you think Exede should be able to just shoot off those satellites whenever they feel like the capacity could use a boost....I have a funny feeling it doesn't quite work that way...

Companies invest what they can and when they can, depending on LOTS of factors....living in "an evolving digital age" doesn't mean that you necessarily get what you want when you want it...

Since I know that, I am not as cynical sounding as you are...("a company that doesn't care about you").  I don't concern myself with whether exede "cares about me"--I think they want their customers to be "happy" with their service so we will stay and they will have a good reputation and get more customers...nothing wrong with that...I have had no negative experiences with Exede, nor have I read any objective articles criticizing Exede as a company (on the contrary--Exede's reviews in online articles are quite good) and so see them as being basically honest and wanting to deliver as much as they can of what customers want while still making a profit....

Being on liberty pass doesn't mean you can "use as much as you please"...there are built in speed limitations as you probably are aware?  No, you don't pay for extra data, but the slowdowns impact how much and what you can do, depending on various factors, including time of day, whether congestion is a factor, how heavy your usage is...this is all described in the Exede description of the Liberty plan....

You can use as much internet as you please, ONLY depending on where you live and which Internet provider technologies are available to you...and what you can pay for among those...

P.S.  I really liked the water analogy....You really CAN'T use as much internet as you please --there are limitations depending on which ISP technology you have, the state of the technology, and what your finances are....that water analogy explains VERY well why the Liberty Pass plans are designed to slow down when congestion is a problem....and why the more bandwidth a Liberty customer uses, the more they may be slowed down....

PPS, I don't understand why you felt you needed to post something rude about what someone else said...it is quite possible to disagree without sounding rude....and better for all concerned, including you.
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Old Labs

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With satellite internet, bandwidth is indeed a fixed commodity, and ViaSat is in fact investing in new technology with ViaSat-2 to the tune of $625 million (at last check and wouldn't be surprised if that investment has increased).

No one's defending ViaSat - at least no more than anyone's defending land based ISPs who could/can provide additional bandwidth with truck rolls, ditch witches and bucket trucks for far less.

Once a satellite is launched, it's bandwidth capacity is fixed and it's service area falls outside of the coverage area provided by the local Geek Squad VW Beetle.

When launched in late 2011 ViaSat-1 had an overall capacity of 150 Gbps - four and a half years later that capacity is on life support as new subscribers grew and demands for data have grown exponentially with today's web sites, gaming, etc.

Even with a new satellite launch expect more of the same in three to four years once it's launched; and investors tend to be funny in that they actually want a return on their investment for some reason.
(Edited)
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Gregory Davis

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Sorry, but I can't resist to continue to ADD my 2 cents here. I'll start out with a short side story here. This past weekend our church had, after church services, a pot luck dinner. One of our church members brought in a LARGE crockpot full of "delicious meatballs. One of my daughters noticed a young girl had filled half her plate with meatballs. Some of the older adults who politely waited to go through the line arrived at the meatball crockpot to discover it being EMPTY. Jerry your comments "above" remind me of the kid going into a candy shop wanting to "take it all" and not pay for it. That aside - I also want to thank you for participating in this discussion - letting Viasat as well as it's customers know that "thirst for more" is out there. I also want to thank other such as "Old Labs" and "Lorriel" for their inputs here (and other topics) as well. I somewhat feel that it's important that the readers of these "blogs" understand that there are Viasat customers out there that are happy, somewhat happy, or just OK with Viasat/Exede. Does anyone remember "Dial-up"? My first internet connection was "Dial-up". Sometimes you couldn't connect because - all the lines are BUSY. Back then you're monthly bill was based on how long (timed) you had a connection.
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Old Labs

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Just a minor correction to the above... ViaSat-1's capacity was touted as 140 Gbps not 150 Gbps. ViaSat-2 is being touted at 2.5 times the capacity or roughly 350 Gbps; however that should be tempered with the fact that ViaSat-2's coverage area also increases seven-fold, which should lower expectations regarding unlimited plans or sharply increased data allowances (not pessimistic, just realistic).