Problem with slow speeds

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It is 2 and 1/2 hours into EBFZ and I'm receiving a fairly disheartening 26 kb/s download speed, occasionally reaching 120-130 kb/s but only in a few minutes at a time . Which really throws me a curve ball: trying to get some even medium sized files completed before unmetered usage ends at 8am. Along with unmetered usage ending, I have used up my monthly data allowance so when the clock strikes eight...I hope my files are done :/ My first question is is for an elaboration on the snail's pace in speed of the EBFZ I've noticed.
     On a different note...
I have been reading of the forums quite a bit this morning, and I saw a few post talking of beams, and congestion.I am fairly new to satellite services ( I wouldn't consider myself a moron by any means), but i would be deeply appreciative of someone who can thoroughly explain to me all the factors that would effect any change in service I see. 

Thanks for the help! Kyle
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Posted 5 years ago

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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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An Exede moderator here will be along shortly (I think they're on central and/or mountain time zone schedules) and request your account and contact information be sent via email (don't post here as some have done) so that they can take a look at your modem's current state to see if there are any immediate issues. In the meantime...

You can determine your beam by eyeballing the following:

If you go to and enter your ZIP Code, the plans being offered on your beam will give us some indication of the overall utilization of your beam (beam cover multiple zip codes).

I use for speed tests finding it accurate and like the fact that on displaying the results it also gives you some graphical indication of what other Wildblue/Exede users are experiencing from a speed perspective (be sure to use a download size of 12 MB or greater, some advise 25 MB, although it does automatically keep trying higher sizes until the download takes 7 seconds - enough to overcome the effects of inherent latency on satellite which skew the results on smaller downloads).

Even during the LNFZ, speeds are generally slow as more and more discover automatic download scheduling. Added congestion slows everybody down.  Frequently I don't get expected speeds until around 2:00 - 3::00 AM. On occasion, I've seen congestion bleed into the EBFZ since there's a two hour overlap.

At the same time, there have been reports of LNFZ not kicking in exactly at 12:00 AM and wouldn't be surprised to find that occurs for EBFZ also - the reverse is sometimes true on exiting the free zones - they occasionally stay active for a little while past the exit but there are few complaints about that one ;) But the biggest complaint from all of us is not having a reliable way to determine when they are in fact active.

Finally some of us are under the impression that some network tweaks are ongoing in anticipation of some big announcements and that tweaking may be impacting some users, but that's just speculation.

That should answer a few of your questions to get you started. I'm off to work right now since it's not a holiday for me but some of the other regulars will weigh in soon. It's a short commute of about 15 feet down the hallway for me but I'm expecting length delays because there's a dog jack-knifed on the hallway carpet.
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Exede Amber, Employee

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Hello Kyle, I would be happy to look into your speeds for you, to see what is going on. Please send your account information to, so that I can get started. 
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Kyle - With respect to the beam question.  There are several reasons for using beams.  First is the power gain.  Much like the reflector on a flashlight concentrates the light into a beam, the dishes on the satellite allow it to focus on geographic areas so that the ground terminal can use less power to reach the satellite.  Second is that the satellite company is allocated a frequency bandwidth in which it can operate.  Without beams, the entire USA would be sharing the same frequencies at once resulting in a lot fewer users, and/or horrendously more congestion.  The beams allow a spatial multiplexing.  For instance the beam covering Virginia can re-use the same frequencies as say a beam in Georgia without interference between the two because they are spatially separated. Another factor is the ability to control coverage.  If say Canada has different requirements or regulations than the USA, the beam capabilities can change at the border (with some overlap).  Another reason is redundancy.  I don't really know if ViaSat-1 has redundancy, but a spare beam/dish could be brought on-line if an active beam failed.
Since users in a given beam are sharing common assets, sometimes problems are shared also.  A problem on the gateway network side can affect a large group of people simultaneously, such as the recent issue with the Accelenet Server in Salt Lake City.  Also, since it is a shared asset, the beam can become congested if too many users come on line at the same time.  This tends to occurs seasonally such as kids home for Christmas and daily in the evening when many people are home from work and school.  Under utilized beams do not have a congestion problem and may in fact be blessed with higher capacity data plans such as the Freedom Plan.

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