Unlimited pricing policy

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  • Updated 8 months ago
  • Acknowledged
  • (Edited)
Hello Team Exede and Exede Community,

First off, it's good to see that unlimited plans are rolling out - and it is totally understandable that (just as with the Freedom plans), the current top option of Gold is only available to some beams. That makes sense, some beams are more crowded - and it even makes sense to make plans available briefly and then pull them back so that Exede can somewhat control the rate of adoption. It's a classic technique of "measure - adjust - measure - adjust" - it's good business and also makes sense technically.

However (you knew there would be a "however", correct?) - what I feel compelled to question is the pricing policies put in place along with the new plans. I'm not a big fan of offering lower rates to new members... even though I don't like it, however, I do understand that incentives are a tried-and-true business tactic, and lower rates to new members typically are temporary. What I do question, though, is this notion of offering the same plan to different beams and at drastically different pricing. In my beam, I see that Bronze is not available at all (although it's the only lower-speed Unlimited plan) - and that Silver is available, but at $150 per month. I think that's a high price, but again, the pricing is understandable given the need to limit adoption.

However - on other beams, I see that Silver is available for $100. I strenuously question that as a business practice and as a somewhat severe example of exaggerated unfairness.

IF you could not make Gold available in my beam, I get it. But WHY do I have to pay Gold pricing for Silver service? If I can only get Silver, then Silver should be available at Silver pricing... and that pricing should be consistent for all beams.

What does this imply for ViaSat 2 plans? Will there be different pricing, dependent on your beam, when ViaSat 2 rolls out?

If I were to sign up for Unlimited and then decided I did not much care for 480p streaming (and streaming would be the only reason I would consider Unlimited), could I switch back to Freedom - in reviewing the available options, Freedom does not appear to be available on my beam any longer.

If true that I can't switch back to Freedom, then Exede has offered a compromised streaming option - yet at a higher price - if I were to try it and find it did not suit my needs, I could not return to Freedom, which I like so far. If that were to be the case, then not only would Exede not be offering equitable pricing, you'd follow that up by sticking the consumer with limited options to reverse their decision. How is that good business? I just don't get it.

The bottom line is this - Given that with Silver, I would be getting 480p streaming, I should pay whatever Exede has established as the pricing for 480p streaming. I should not have to pay the pricing that's been established for 720p if I cannot get 720p.

If the point is to limit adoption, then either:

a) don't offer Unlimited at all in this beam (although not "fair" either, it's actually more in keeping with your established policy of making different plan options available in different beams, due to congestion). or...

b) charge the Silver rate for the Silver plan (in other beams, it is $100) or...

c) charge more for Silver, as you have done, but establish a rate which Exede can equitably distribute among all beams. Perhaps that rate is $150 - perhaps it is $120 - whatever it is, make your pricing equitable.

This business of setting market "winners" and "losers" really sticks in my craw. I've been a loyal customer and an advocate of Exede, but this decision was a poorly considered one by your business operations team and needs to be re-considered. My .02

Thanks,
Rique
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Rique

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Posted 8 months ago

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Ben Jumper

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I agree because I have the same price of $150 because I am not a "new customer"? I only have 480p available! What's with that? Same dish and same satellite.

Also, I just found out about the other plans that are available to me FOR LESS money and more data and a faster speed or THIS PLAN for that matter!

Current: Liberty 18; 12 Mbps, 18 GB/month I am paying $99.99 a month ++
Available for only $85 a month is the Liberty 25 - Boost 25 + Free Zone with DOUBLE the speed and MORE DATA and $15 less!

I went to exede.com and could never get out of existing customers - which you did not know because I was in an incognito browser. I was stuck in https://www.exede.com/customer-portal/ and could never get to https://www.exede.com/home despite clicking on the button "FOR HOME" and even using another browser!

I had no option but to click on an ad to get there. That stinks.

Once there I see that I can DOUBLE MY SPEED for just $10 a month on ANY plan! WHY oh WHY did you not tell me that? An e-mail would have been nice about any of these things, even if they are unfair.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Extremely well stated Rique!!!!!
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mike barber

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YES!!! Well done!
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Ron D Stricklin

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Honestly this isn't unusual at all. Your specific beam may cover more customers. It looks like a supply and demand issue. What may be reasonable for a beam that covers rural North Dakota may not be reasonable for a beam covering populated Florida. You specifically find an issue with this cost more here than there while another person may have an issue with a plan being offered here but not there. Who's sacred cow should they avoid slaughtering?
(Edited)
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Bev, Champion

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Pretty normal, take even Milk for an example. It costs less some places than others. Here, it's 2.28 a gallon, I'm sure it's different where you live. Supply and demand combined with what the average economy of an area will allow customers to afford. Whether that applies to your neighborhood or town or not is another matter, but it does apply to your area in general.

Yes, on my road 150 is beyond the budget of most, but since there are only 6 families here and, 3 of us COULD swing the 150 if we want to (as I have chosen to do.) that hardly matters when it comes to all of the area covered by my beam. The whole area includes a couple of resort and lakefront communities and, several higher wealth areas that are outside the limits of land based internet, so, for this area, that's a good price to set for Silver service.
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Mr.Anderson

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I pay 3.89 for 1 gal of whole milk at my local grocery store. or 2.29 if I drive 20 miles into the city. I guess I should invest in a milk cow.
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Rique

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Find me an example - just one example - of another major national access provider, be it a provider of LTE, cable, DSL, VoIP services, WISP... where they are charging 50% more for the exact same plan in two different markets.

Bev - milk? Really? We're not talking milk, steak, eggs or widgets. We're discussing provision of a utility service. As I mentioned before, I totally understand the desire to level adoption by pricing certain plans higher. There are ways to do it (and I suggested several ways of doing it in my post) other than literally setting up winners and losers in the marketplace. To charge customers 50% more for the exact same package is a practice I am frankly offended by. As mentioned before, I'm an advocate of Exede. I find them to be far more responsive than Hughes and I also think their technology is better. However, they are a business engaging in business practices and as a consumer, I am compelled to speak up when I think they are pursuing an unfair business practice.

Sure, you can justify their business decisions by defending their rationale. Understanding their rationale does not make what they've done in this instance right. It makes it understandable, sure. I've understood every decision they've made and I understand this one. That doesn't make it right, it doesn't make it rest easier in my belly and it certainly doesn't make me defend it.

I get why certain packages are offered in markets and not in others. If Exede believes they can support 720p on my beam, then offer it (they have not - I understand that). If Exede believes they can support 480p on my beam, then offer that - and at the same price where 480p is offered in other markets. If they think they couldn't support the adoption rate in my beam at the $100 price, then raise the price to a level where they can support the adoption rate - but make that the price in all markets.

There's a number out there... it's a number that they could have arrived at where they could have offered Silver at for all markets, while restricting adoption. Perhaps that number is $120, perhaps it is $130. Alternatively, if they wanted to offer Silver for $100, they could have done that... they could have offered it wherever they think they can support it, but restricted that offer to a day - or two - or a week. However, to insult me, a loyal customer who defends Exede, by telling me I can have the same service offered in another market only if I pay $600 more per year - for the same service - is a business decision which borders on arrogant disrespect of customers on my beam. If you can afford that, then great - go get yourself a dedicated fractional T3 and call it a day. Some of us have a budget we must keep within.

As said before, what Exede has done in this case sticks in my craw, I find it to be an indefensible business decision and I really hope it is not indicative of more money-grab decisions to come. I'm waiting for comments from Exede.

Rique
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They are limiting the video streaming to 480p on the Silver plan to conserve data. 480p is video resolution over a decade old. It is not HD and not Blu-Ray. Now on a tiny tablet, you might not notice the difference.
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mike barber

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"I've understood every decision they've made and I understand this one. That doesn't make it right"......  HERE HERE! Thank you for stating what a lot of people feel.
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Rique

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Ron Stricklin,

I apologize that I got your name wrong. I do appreciate the gratuitous sarcasm, that's always so very impressive and quite effectively supports any point one is trying to make. Nicely played.

Nonetheless... I compared Google fiber in the two markets you mentioned and the pricing was exactly the same. I didn't read articles in newspapers, I went directly to the source... Google's pricing page.

I could post screen caps of the pages in Atlanta and in KC, but that would be a waste of my time. 

Electricity... is another comparison example which speaks not at all to my original point. Find a 50% discrepancy in differing markets served by the same provider. I don't believe you can find that and document it.

Rique
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Gwalk900, Champion

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In this case it's a matter of supply and demand.
Fiber is fiber. In the case of sat Internet areas are served by beams that cover a specific geographic area. Some beams are more heavily loaded than others.
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Rique

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It is the same technology, same offering, from the same company. This has nothing to do with any comparisons with other technologies.

I think we all know and would agree that satellite is different. The point here is that there are other means by which Exede can control adoption. I vehemently object to their setting a precedent where they can charge 50% more in one market than in another market for the exact same offering.

If we, as customers, accept this kind of treatment now - they will do it again. It's not acceptable, should not be accepted and I will continue to speak out about it. I think we, as customers, have the market influence to establish what is acceptable or not. If we collectively tell Exede that this specific business practice is unacceptable - if we publicly and loudly object and demand explanation and re-evaluation, we can exert that influence. If we meekly go along, even going so far as to be apologists for this business behavior, then we're just giving Exede cover to do the same - again and again and again.

This is not right - and should never be acceptable. Bear in mind we're not talking about different options in different markets because of congestion. Nor are we talking about limiting availability of an option to a brief period of time. We are literally talking about charging Gold pricing for Silver service. Where does it stop? 

Exede, I object.

Rique
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Hi everyone,

Just wanted to hop in and address some of this. Unfortunately I am not tied to the marketing team or sales team so I can't answer much about the pricing other than "that's what we're charging". 
Regarding these plans I understand the big question seems to be how this is different than the Freedom plan. Here's the best I can tell you of how that lines up

Freedom plan will give you 150GB a month. There is no slow down after because 150GB is a solid data cap. To get more speeds or data you'll have to buy more. 

The New unlimited plans will give you unlimited usage BUT may slow after 150GB is used. We differentiate these plans based on video quality. 360p, 480p and 720p. We're suggesting these plans based on what devices you will stream on. A small device will look fine with a 360p but if you put that on a big screen it may not look the best. 480p is very much a DVD standard quality resolution. 720 is HD it's not quite 1080p but even with bunny ears that's probably the quality that your local networks may get to you. For those with a 4K TV set up, you might want to keep the Satellite TV or Cable if you want better TV resolution. It's basically a resolution vs data cap difference. 

As for the slow down disclaimer. We are warming up to ViaSat 2 with this. Consider this the opening act. We hope that the 150GB limit gets passed and you can continue without any slow down. However we're still testing limits so we may opt to slow after 150GB is reached. Unlike the Freedom plan you are NOT being cut off at that point. If you are slowed I expect it'll be similar to the Liberty Pass.

Now the big question: Should you get this plan if you have Freedom plan? I think that depends. If you are on the Freedom plan and tend to go over this might be an attractive option. If you cut the cord and are utilizing Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Sling, DirecTVNOW, HBONow, ect for your entertainment then I would HIGHLY recommend doing this plan as this is a set of plans that are allowing streaming (remember how that was our Achilles Heel not too long ago?) now we have an answer for it! 

On the other hand, we are NOT asking people to jump on these plans or to drop their Freedom plan in favor of this plan. You are allowed to be grandfathered into your plans and remain where you are. The only thing is that if you go on a vacation plan or move you will have to get whatever is being offered at the time but if you're paying month to month you can keep the plan you're on (we still have people on a old Wildblue plan from 2009 that are fine where they are!) so I guess the bottom line here is that if you have Freedom and are fine with it you're more than welcome to stay as you are and see how this plays out without any pressure.

Feel free to send an email to us at exedelistens@viasat.com if you still have questions.
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Rique

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Craig, thanks for your answer. That's exactly what I was looking for. You've earned an "A", also. :)

Rique
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op·ti·mize
ˈäptəˌmīz/
verb
verb: optimize; 3rd person present: optimizes; past tense: optimized; past participle: optimized; gerund or present participle: optimizing; verb: optimise; 3rd person present: optimises; past tense: optimised; past participle: optimised; gerund or present participle: optimising
  1. make the best or most effective use of (a situation, opportunity, or resource).
    "to optimize viewing conditions, the microscope should be correctly adjusted"

    • Computing
      rearrange or rewrite (data, software, etc.) to improve efficiency of retrieval or processing.

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Brad, Viasat Employee

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This is 1000% aimed at the likes of streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu and various similar options. Any downloaded shows like from iTunes or Amazon should play in a different resolution if I recall correct as that's not streamed online. Streaming will be reduced to reflect the plan you are on. Think of it as a toss-up. Streaming Quality vs hard data caps. We felt that gettting rid of the cap would be a better choice for our future goals. The satellite is still only able to hold so much hence why we picked the resolution types.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Also worth pointing out: Nobody is required to go with these plans. If it's not appealing, you don't have to sign up for it. You can stay on your current plan and be grandfathered in. You will remain on that plan until a change is made or if the service is interrupted. 
(Edited)
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Rique

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Exede Brad:

"The satellite is still only able to hold so much hence why we picked the resolution types."

... and that is perfectly reasonable and understandable. But why charge Gold pricing for those beams which can only "hold so much" and are thus limited to Silver plans? The inequity in what is available is okay (I'm not a big fan of it, but it's "okay" in that it is understandable). The inequity in how long something might be available in some markets is also "okay" in the same sense as the above.

(As a matter of fact, I was checking "change my plan" 4-6 times daily, in the belief that, whatever flavor of Unlimited was made available, it would only be available briefly - and a didn't want to miss the window, if I decided it was an attractive option).

... but what's NOT "okay" is limiting what's available on my beam, yet charging for that as if it is a Gold plan. That's definitely NOT "okay" in my book.

If the concern was simply that the bird is "only able to hold so much", then only making 480p and/or 360p available addresses that concern, right? But that's not enough, correct? You had to limit adoption, you had to limit the rate of adoption - it wasn't just that my beam could not support 720p - it's also that it can only support a limited quantity of 480p consumers. You could have limited that by treating it like a movie theatre... once you're "sold out", you're "sold out". You chose to limit it in a manner that is not only patently unfair, market to market... it's unfair, consumer to consumer within the beam itself. Some can afford paying $1800 a year, others simply can't. You've created winners and losers when comparing markets to one another and you've created winners and losers when comparing consumers to one another. And this is right? It's a good idea? The more I consider what Exede has done here, the more flabbergasted and disheartened I am. 

How your business folk missed that this unequal pricing would segregate "haves" from the "have nots" in a manner which would infuriate the "have nots", I can't explain. It's an awful business decision.

Rique
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Captain318

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I think maybe people would have been happier had the Unlimited service been called Freedom 150 + Liberty Pass or something like that. Unlimited means no limits. Clearly there are limits and the pricing is very high for what this package offers
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Not sure what the rush was. Plan offerings will obviously change in a few months, with different price structures too. So why upset certain segments of your customers? The best plan I can get is the Silver for $150. I get why that is. I also know that will change with Viasat-2. But for now, it is cost prohibitive for what you get AND restricts streaming quality. I am not going to pay triple what I do today for lower resolution video.
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I signed up for the new unlimited plan, I have had my finger hanging over the submit button and just pushed it.  What have I done! I got a slight adrenaline rush.
I can say that I have only gone over 150gb two times in the past year with Exede. Even though I was on a 12Mbps plan, the speeds in the LNFZ were around 25Mbps. 
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You can do a lot with the Free Zone, especially the 5 hour one. You just have to know how to queue up and manage downloads.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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While I am not one of the people that come up with plans or names or decides when to launch said plans (I probably would be paid more and wouldn't be answering complaints if so haha) I believe Unlimited isn't a far off the mark branding. It's unlimited in the aspect that there's not a data cap and restrictions of speed is only during times that the network is at it's busiest, otherwise you're on you normal speeds. Liberty Plan can almost be compared to that but it has a definitive slow down the moment you go over whereas here it's only during the busiest time and that's only IF we need to utilize it. So in that way I don't feel that Unlimited is a misleading label for this plan.

While we would LOVE to be right there with Cable and DSL, the fact remains that this connection is still by a satellite and there are limitations even with this. The video quality limit on these plans was a compromise that had to be made to get rid of a hard data cap. Think of the 150GB mark as coming up to a school zone or something. MOST of the time you're going to be OK going your normal speed but there's a few times that you may have to slow down. 7:00 on a weeknight you're probably not going to blaze by like you would at 1pm and that's just a matter of more people being on. Cable and DSL is not immune to this, they see slower speeds at this time. We put this disclosure up front so people can have a expectation if this happens but it's not like a Liberty Plan where after you hit 150GB you're slowing immediately.

Hope that explains a bit. 
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Bev, Champion

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It is Unlimited and, if we are honest here, it is possible, just less likely that you might see slower speeds during peak hours even if you haven't used 1GB yet for the month on ANY plan. That will be better once VS2 is online for us. 

After 150 GB on unlimited, you aren't throttled, just deprioritized so, off peak you may still have full speed internet. Liberty and Freedom plans slow you regardless of congestion at the time. Unlimited does not, it only slows for congestion.
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amymeme

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I am thoroughly disgusted.  The freedom plan is offered in our zip code for 49.99/month for new customers for 3 months, increasing to 69.99 per month for 3 year guarantee.  Now they want 150 per month for essentially the same plan?!!? (480P  is useless as far as I am concerned, its not 1080P,and for our needs, 12mbps works just fine)   I want the freedom plan at 12mbps at 69.99.  Otherwise, not changing.  I have my "unlimited" ATT cell phone plan that takes care of most of my FB/CNN/browsing, Netflix DVD plan works just fine for us.  At this point, it may make more sense to put in a cell phone repeater and be done with satellite.
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amymeme

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Stephen - that 70 per month is what we wanted, too, but we are second class already customers so its unavailable.  I would have paid that in a minute but anything more...we are retired, looking to reduce or contain costs, not expand by triple.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Hi Amy

You certainly are under no obligation to get this plan. We may have some similar plans to Freedom once the ViaSat 2 rollout starts early next year but this is sort of our ramp-up to what we can do. 
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Rique

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The point is not that amymeme is obliged to get the plan or not, the point is that Exede has priced her out of any choice that she might have had by not providing a single affordable Freedom or Unlimited option within her market. That's the point. Get it?
(Edited)
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amymeme

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Thank you for that Rique - what most got my dander up is that the customer service rep said something better than the Freedom plan for 69.99 was coming and I should wait a few days for an unlimited plan in the $70 range.  Flying in the clouds I was...then it finally showed up in my dashboard:  $150.  Spittin' mad I became.  Somebody else mentioned an ATT fixed wireless option at 60 per month for 160GB.  It is not in our area yet but will be coming.  My neighbors just use their cell phones tethered.  I've started doing that with my Att plan.  Even without a repeater, I can get 5-6 mbps and even watching a few tv shows while folding laundry, I've only used 1.8 GB in 11 days.  So saving 100 per month on Exede fees by staying on my Liberty 12, I can save enough money to have a decent cell phone repeater in less than 6 months.
(Edited)
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Amymeme. I can understand how you would be frustrated. I am not real thrilled with the pricing structure either. However, as Brad indicated I expect more changes (and different price tiers) once Viasat-2 comes online. That is because there will be more available bandwidth. I think right now part of the reason for the pricing is they didn't want (nor could the current system support), everybody on unlimited. The premium prices today help with that.
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BBwithdrawls

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Sitting on the sidelines watching for a while now , seems to be a lot of complaining about plans but what everyone is missing here is how satellite has made a  a huge step forward with this  , we saw that  when Hughes offered the 50 gb plans and now we see this . I'm hoping 2 or 3 more enter the market to push it even further. I wished I had other options than what I currently have  , satellite looks to be finally closing the gap and I'm glad to see it as I may finally have other options. I'm stuck with a T1 in a very rural area and pay 3 times what this gold plan is for 1.54mbps . SLA in a rural area is a running joke . no cable , no dsl, no cell coverage.