What Advantages does Liberty 30 Give Over Liberty 10?

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Good Evening -

I asked this previously in another thread, but since it was not really the topic of the thread figured I would start a separate one here in the interest of trying to get an answer.

I have been following some posts of others using Liberty and it seems there is no real advantage of going with Liberty 30 over Liberty 10, 12, or 18 other than the amount of initial priority data that a user receives.  If I can download 50 GB - 75 GB on Liberty Pass and still get reasonable speeds, then there just doesn't seem to be any incentive over the priority data allowance to subscribe to the higher plans.

This is contrast to the classic plans where speeds were at first usable then went to completely untenable once the data cap had been reached.  I am looking for some feedback for future budgeting and planning.  I don't want to be paying for the Liberty 30 plan if the Liberty 12 plan will still let me hit the 40-50 GB threshold with no slowdown beyond the 1-5 Mbps that others claim they are still getting on the Pass even at the high usage.  

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.  Are heavy users considered at different thresholds based on the plans they are on.  For instance is a Liberty 12 subscriber considered at heavy user at 30 GB and a Liberty 30 subscriber also considered a heavy user at 30 GB?  Or is the Liberty 30 user considered a heavy user at say 48 GB (18 GB on the Pass which is the same as the 12 going to 30)?  

Please feel free to let me know if I need to submit this to the customer service address if you prefer not to post the answer here.  I just don't see any incentive for users to choose a higher cap package if there is no other advantage other than the initial priority data allowance.

Looking forward for your responses.


BTW - I am on Beam 329 and I understand there are a LOT of people who would like to see the answer to this question as well.
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Brian Shackelford

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Posted 3 years ago

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Brad, Viasat Employee

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hello Brian,

The difference is largely the size of priority data. All Liberty plans have the Liberty Pass as well as the "Buy more Priority Data" option. However depending on your area, when people are jumping on for downloads you may find the Liberty 30 to be more beneficial with how much you download each month. 70GB is seen the same way no matter the plan, but if these are important downloads, it'll probably be less frustrating to have that priority data at your disposal rather than having most of the downloads occurring while you're on the Liberty pass  where you could be at fluctuating speeds of 1-5mbps. 
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Brian Shackelford

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So basically what I am hearing is that everyone is going to switch to the lowest priced plan and treat it like it is the Freedom plan. Then those that want faster speeds for the additional GB at higher speeds will pay almost double and really get no major benefits other than the extra 18 GB at higher speeds but once both hit their caps they are equally slowed. OK fair enough I suppose.

At what point then is a user seen as a heavy user where further slowing beyond the 1 to 5 Mbps occurs? Is it a percentage over the monthly cap that is paid for or is it the same for all users where once a user hits 70GB (just for example) they are slowed further whether they are a Liberty 10 or a Liberty 30 subscriber?
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Not necessarily, Brian. Basically having a higher priority data plan gives you a higher level of assurance that you’ll be at regular speed than when you’re on Liberty Pass. Once you are on the Liberty Pass portion of the plan it's really more of what is available. So you're not cut off like the classic plans but at the same time it's going to fluctuate depending on the time of day you're on, how much you're doing, ect. A lot of different factors go into it.

Our Data Allowance Policy with the Liberty Plans  state heavier users of Liberty Pass may experience slower speeds than lighter users.

So if you're a heavy user you'll be better off with the higher plan. You're more than welcome to see if the 12 works for you or not and if need be you can upgrade. 
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Joshua

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I'm also a bit curious if Exede could elaborate a bit more on the Data Allowance Policy in regards to heavier users experiencing slower speeds than lighter users. As Brian sated in his comment, is this at any given time, during a given time window, or your usage overall during that billing period.

Thanks,
Joshua
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Diane A

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I have been at around .5Mbps speeds for the last two weeks. I'm on the Liberty Pass and was told this is the speed I can expect until my data resets. What gives?
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Brian Shackelford

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Diane -

Would you be willing to elaborate as to what Liberty Plan you are on and whether your speeds are before or after or both once you hit the Liberty Pass? Would you consider yourself a "heavy" user? Finally, do you see these speeds all the time or only in the congested 4:00 PM to 2:00 am timeslots each day?
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Joshua

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Yeah, it can be very hard to predict congestion on a particular beam. I've noticed that, when I'm on the Liberty Pass, there is a large fluctuation in what speed I get that doesn't really adhere to a pattern. Some evenings I get the full 5 Mbps and others it slows to a crawl (typically only 11pm to 1am). I think it really depends on what everyone else is up to. Which can make it frustrating, especially if you are on a beam that is heavily saturated.
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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Once you go into the Liberty Pass mode, your on the lower part of the priority structure, so as there are more people using the network in your area, your speeds may be slower. There is no way to predict when the network will be burdened with many users, it is really a crap shoot. But the good news is that even on the Pass, you have a higher priority rating than those on the Classic plans that are DAPed.
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Brian Shackelford

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Brad -

Thank you for the clarification.  Can you or someone else there elaborate on what you mean by "heavier users"?  Is that a reference to the amount of data that is being pulled at any given time or is it s reference to the overall monthly usage.  I believe a lot of us interpreted it to mean overall usage, but it would appear based on your response it is referring more to the type of traffic.

Also - would it be possible to elaborate a bit on how Exede is able to offer this service now when for the longest time all we (those on congested beams) have heard repeatedly about how it is just not possible to really offer unlimited internet on satellite?  I see a lot of people being very skeptical about changing to Liberty as they believe it will end up being worse than the classic plans once a large portion of people make the change.  
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Bev, Champion

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I'm still on classic, partner refuses to give up the LNFZ becuase he "needs" his audio books, downloaded TV series and, Podcast while he is on the road. I get it, that is is only entertainment in the semi he drives and, w/o the LNFZ, we'd be out in 3 weeks and, slowed is terrible, can't even load some of the TEXT ONLY forums we both read.

Occasionally we run out now but, only on the months we get a new computer or phone (transferring data to and form the cloud for the phone since we must mail order those due to the closest carrier store being over 100 miles from us.) Most months we don't go over the 25GB but no LNFZ and we'd eat 10 GB per week easily, possibly more when GoT has new episodes.
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Brian Shackelford

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I do not want to digress too much but I am finally glad to see that Brad admits that you are basically "cut" off after you run out of priority data on the classic plans.

So you're not cut off like the classic plans but at the same time it's going to fluctuate depending on the time of day you're on, how much you're doing, ect. A lot of different factors go into it.
The problem here is that 3 or 4 years ago when I signed up for Exede I was told that I could still browse at slower more dial-up like speeds even if I went over on the classic plan.  For two years that was the way it worked.  Then about a year ago that all changed and suddenly the internet went to non-functional altogether once we went over on the classic plan.  Many of use complained and posted about Exede blocking traffic.  Exede correctly stated the did not block traffic, they slowed it so that nothing worked at all (effectively the same thing in my book) and the experience i was told and promised when I first signed on many years ago ceased to exist.

So what did I do, I upgraded my plan and stayed up late to use the free zone when possible.  Now Exede is coming out with the Liberty Plan claiming what sounds to be a very similar promise as the old classic plans except now it is you can browse at 1-5 Mbps except when there is high congestion where it may not work at all (that is not what it says, but read the policies - it is there). Additionally there is no more free zone, so if it ends up Exede decides to cut off access like they did in the classic plans (despite many, many claims to the contrary) due to someone being a "heavier user" - which is not defined anywhere so we are left to our own devices to try to determine what that threshold and the meaning of that verbage - then what recourse will those who switch to the Liberty Plan have?

Please do not think I am trying to bash the company, but I have been vocal both in my appreciation and my criticism of the service, and I really want to understand where Exede expects to go in future.  How can the Liberty plans now be an option even for severely congested beams even though not even 6 months ago our area was locked out due to the number of subscribers and it being over utilized.  Can Exede as a company make a promise and guarantee that we (the consumer) will not end up in the same position we were a year ago where things went from one experience to another.

I think Liberty is great and if Exede can commit to ensure it can deliver what it is promising for the majority of the time of 1 - Mbps service while on Liberty Pass then I believe they have a winner.   I truly look forward to being an Exede customer for many years to come (cable is not coming to my area and I am not going to move) and really am hoping and taking the gamble that the Liberty Plan will remain at the same Quality of Experience I have seen so far.  
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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I have the Liberty 10 plan, and when I go on the Liberty Pass, my download slows down to 5 Mbps. That is still fast enough for me, You Tube and other videos run without buffering. Even if it were to slow down to 1 Mbps, it would be faster than the old Wildblue, which many of us used for years before Exede came into being.
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Brian Shackelford

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The only thing I will say in response is that on the Classic Plans when we first signed on, we were told that you could continue to use the Web and do things, it would just be much slower.  That changed.  How do I know that the same won't happen on Liberty.   That is why I started this thread.  I am looking for solid information from Exede.  I appreciate everyone's opinions, but the truth is I am trying to clarify the vague information we have regarding their policies and understand what our assurances as a customer are.  Why now have things changed to where Exede can suddenly offer all these higher speeds and virtually unlimited traffic to its most congested beams?  I would love to hear some detail like they have found out how to get 30 percent more bandwidth on current equipment or some such.  

I look forward to a healthy discussion on the subject.
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Pete

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I have yet to receive a response from Viasat on this question. Any response I have seen on forums is dodgy at best.

The description of the Liberty pass, in regards to data limits, has the wording "Heavy users of Liberty Pass may experience slower speeds than lighter users of Liberty Pass."  I would like to know how Exede defines these types of users. I don't think the company's server software, that is enforcing the Network Management Policy, is as ambiguous as this statement. I would also like to know, for what period of time is a subscriber tagged as a 'heavy user'. 

I want to switch to the Liberty Plan, because it is more in line with my needs than the Exede 12-25 plan, that I am currently using. I do not typically use the LNFZ, but when I do, I am using gigabytes. I am concerned that if I decide to do daily software updates or backups during sunlight hours (once exceeding priority data), that I will be defined as a 'heavy user', and will not be able to enjoy the Liberty Pass for months, or whenever my account is removed from the 'heavy user' list. This would be a step backward.

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Pete

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Here is the response from Viasat...

Hello Pete, 

With the liberty pass speeds 

During morning/daytime hours (usually from about 2 a.m. to 5pm), Liberty Pass speeds should allow you to do most of the things you want to do online. For example, you should still be able to stream video, but not on multiple devices and you may not be able to stream high definition video.

During evening hours (usually from about 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.) when we typically have heavy traffic on the network, or you are engaging in activities that use a lot of data (such as video streaming), your speeds will be slower. Even so, Liberty Pass lets you avoid the restrictions automatically imposed when you use up your data allowance under our other internet plans.
This is only for the month that you are in, your account will not be flagged as a heavy user for months.
Is this only stating the obvious? Video streaming will not work very well when sharing 1-5 Mbps with many others, but page requests are not a problem?  Perhaps we are just saavy about corporate behavior, expecting the worst, but this is actually innocuous.  I still wonder if there is semantic trickery here, though.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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That seems to be the stock reply and probably the best we'll get  - in my case at least it's not referring to weight. My take is that "heavier use" is that incurred by multiple devices (or in some cases even a single device) having concurrent heavy data needs.     

 
(Edited)
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Brian Shackelford

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For anyone following this thread, we are seeing 300K to 700K speeds with start-pause-start-pause patterns on the our traffic.  Meaning it queues the traffic then downloads, queues and downloads.  Very apparent on the testmy.net speeds tests.  I liken these speeds to what I first experienced with Exede Classic after hitting our priority data several years ago - you know - before they completely cut you off.  I am still optimistic that after the holidays things will improve, however the language in their policies basically say "No guarantees on any data at all when heavily congested ... i.e - we don't have to guarantee or give Liberty Pass users ANY data at all during these times" (paraphrasing).  So far I can browse the web from my smartphone with some pages refreshing many times to get the full page to actually load.  I will keep updating as time moves forward.
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Kara Rogers

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I know someone who has used 150% of there liberty 12 and she swears speeds didn't slow she can still watch YouTube and all. I'm thinking about switching but I like my 12-5am free Zone.
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Brian Shackelford

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Kara -

The experience on Liberty will completely depend on your location. If you live in an area where the Beam is not loaded up with users I would expect you to see the experience you are having. For me, I am on a notoriously congested Beam and sadly do see a major slowdown in peak times.
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Chad Brown

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In my opinion it should be percentage based .. They should throttle users based off their overage percentage. If they did that a user with a 30gb wouldn't be as punished for using an extra gb or 2.. Say 120% over 30gb where someone on the 12GB would reach 120% sooner .. It would make so much more sense and give a reasonable expectation for the addition cost instead of just a small amount of priority data ..

I was on the 30 and switched to the 12.. Saved 100 bucks a month and use well over 100GB without noticing a difference ..
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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eSVT is a tool used by installers and ViaSat agents for diagnostics and at least a subset of it would be useful for us mere mortals.

NRTC - National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative, which offers Exede through a wholesale relationship with ViaSat. NRTC was one of the original investors in WildBlue.
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Trish H

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How can I tell which beam I'm on? And how loaded my beam is?


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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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Trish, Here is a link to the Beam map.

http://www.northlc.com/_images/beam_priority_map.png

Contacting a dealer might get you info on how much your beam might be loaded, but that info is not normally available.
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JEP

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Whoa, Good stuff Pete.
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Brian Shackelford

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Chad - 

Your experience is the reason I fear that lots of people with swtich to the lowest Liberty Plan and then cause congestion 24x7 on loaded beams and suddenly everyone has to up to the higher level priority data plans.  Really a marketing genius plan in the end....

Anyway we will have to see how it all plays out over the next few months.  Downside is once you switch, there is no going back.
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Chad Brown

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What do you mean no going back ?
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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You can only switch to plans currently being offered in your area - it appears Classic plans are no longer available on any Exede 12 beams, only the Exede 5 beams.
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Brian Shackelford

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I think what I have determined by their meaning of "heavier users" isn't really meant to measure the quantity of data used but really is meant more as those who do data intensive tasks such as streaming and large downloads. Those items are not possible during the very congested times on the loaded beams. The downloads do go, however a 50 MB download last night took around 20 to 25 minutes while on Liberty Pass at around 1:55 AM. My speeds were around 500 Kbps to 700 Kbps. LNFZ users and EBFZ users were definitely getting better speeds at that time - which again is expected based on the way it is presented.


So far I am undecided if I am glad I switched from the classic plan. It will really depend on the consistency of the experience from this point forward during the 6:30 PM to 2:00 AM time slots over the next week or two.

What I am imagining though is a bunch of people switching to Liberty 12 and using it as the Freedom Plan.....
(Edited)
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Chad Brown

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I have classic available still ... On 365
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Brian Shackelford

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Many of us to do not.
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Is that only to existing customers, or is it the Essential 10 offered to new customers on 365 at $39 per month? By classic I mean the original plans offering LNFZ.

The only thing I can say is that it appears all of the plan changes since August 2014 appear aimed at increasing subscriber rates and revenue - not that there's anything wrong with that. Viasat's between a rock and a hard place until they launch the new satellite. I can't see where offering the SpeedBoost option on Essential 10 is practical except for a quicker DAP (hey it was great while it lasted and one of Nostradamus' quatrains surely predicted all this). 
(Edited)
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Pete

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Would you say that a deciding factor, whether to subscribe to Liberty or not, might be which beam is serving you? 
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CyberGhosT

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317 for me ;)