Should I switch to Viasat ll?

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I have the opportunity to switch from Liberty 25 plan on beam 339 to the new Viasat II satellite and get 40 GB for less money than I now spend..My service now has been great and I am hesitant to switch but I'm told the new satellite would be faster during peak traffic times..I would not however be able to have access to the data extender which has really reduced my consumption..Just wondering if anyone has switched and how well it is working for you..Should I switch? 
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Billy Hearnsberger

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Posted 7 months ago

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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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The video resolution downgrader is already built into the "unlimited" plans. What are you waiting for? New bird for less money. Downside?
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Billy Hearnsberger

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My installer is the one that told me about Viasat ll and the 40 GB plan..  When I called Exede they told me there is no 40 GB plan for me on Viasat ll..They said that would be on Viasat l if it was in fact a 40 GB plan so already I'm getting conflicting information.. Exede told me there is no plan on Visat ll for less money than I am paying now..The lowest plan on Viasat ll is well over $100.00 after taxes and lease..So with all this conflicting info. you can see my dilemma..I just wish I could get good reliable information and know that it would work as trouble free as what I now have..   
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Michael McDowell

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It has been suggested by some on this forum that one way to be sure to upgrade to Viasat-2 would be to sign up for either a 50Mbs or 100Mbs plan and then downgrade your service to a lower level. Of course this will only work IF lower tier plans ARE available on Viasaat-2.  And I don't think that has been established yet.  Anyone out there on Viasat-2  have any lower tier plans showing on your Dashboard?
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Jab

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RE: "upgrade to Viasat-2 would be to sign up for either a 50Mbs or 100Mbs plan and then downgrade"

Read the fine print...before signing up.  I suspect VS-2 is for high-rollers, not "bums-r-us."  The only downgrade option may be 50Mbps plan...if you ain't got the bucks, you may shoot craps.
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Michael McDowell

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Yep,... that is the question.  If you did have one of those plans and wanted to downgrade, would they just downgrade you on Viasat-2 or would they go to the expense of moving you back to Viasat-1?
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Jab

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In news print, VS-2 will be mostly a commercial satellite (businesses, corporate, aircraft, government, ships).  VS-1, Anik-F2, and WB-1 for consumers.  Anyone who can afford $150-$200/month represents VIPs; most householders don't have this type of pocket change.
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Michael McDowell

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The 40 GB plan is probably the Bronze pkg and that has very low video resolution for streaming.  If you can live with less video resolution, go for it!
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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If you can't get on Viasat-2, I wouldn't give up Liberty for the Bronze plan.
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Michael McDowell

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I agree with that!
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James Paramore

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There is no 40GB plan. There is the Bronze Unlimited 12 that has 40GB priority on VS-1, you keep your same modem. I have it, gave up the Liberty 12/25 for it. I get more data for less money, same speeds. But I don't stream, and don't need a free zone. 
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Billy Hearnsberger

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My installer assures me I will need a new dish and new modem and I will be on Viasat 2..She said it will give me 40GB and will cost $80.00 plus tax...So something is wrong here...
 
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Old Labs

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There's not necessarily something wrong... some are assuming that the Bronze Plan (or lower priced plans)  will not be offered on Viasat-2 - that's never been stated with certainty and nobody here knows what Viasat's business strategy is. But the promotional materials I've located do suggest lower priced plans will be available on Viasat-2 and not simply the premium plans.   
 
Viasat-2 is obviously fully capable of supporting the Bronze Plan at 12 Mbps which provides a 40 GB data usage threshold before you are subject to prioritization. It doesn't have the optional video data extender feature since that's built-in on the "unlimited data" plans and you can't turn it off. However, on the Bronze plan detected video streams will be throttled to a lower speed than what you are currently accustomed to on your Liberty plan resulting in lower quality (typically 360P).

In fact, there's no need for an installer visit if you were staying on Viasat-1.

Viasat-2 requires new equipment and would be pointed in a much differnt direction than what you're currently pointed at. Go through your installer and hold him/her to the promise.

If the reduced video quality isn't a concern, you'd be receiving the equivalent of more priority data and simple prioritization (without throttling as you get on a Liberty Plan) and at least for now congestion wouldn't be an issue. I assume that $80 includes the modem lease fee because that's what shows on the promotional materials ($70 + $10).
(Edited)
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Billy Hearnsberger

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I believe you are correct on everything you say..She told me the new dish would be pointed in a more southeasterly  direction and the $80.00 includes the lease.. 
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Old Labs

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Yep that would be correct:

http://www.n2yo.com/?s=42740|37843

From where you're at, Viasat-1 is towards the southwest while Viasat-2 is towards the southeast. 

P.S. The only public statement so far regarding bandwidth allocation on Viasat-2 was:
we anticipate that a significantly smaller portion of our total bandwidth of the fleet including ViaSat-2 would be allocated to residential than the 90% to 95% on our current fleet.  
(Edited)
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Billy Hearnsberger

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So is there any reason not to switch other than the fact my internet has NEVER worked better than now and I have zero complaints other than a little slower speeds during peak hours?
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Your Liberty plan has unrestricted video quality.  The unlimited plans restrict video quality.

If you Liberty plan is working better than it ever has before, I certainly wouldn't switch.  I'm on Liberty 12 and I have no plans to switch to Viasat 2, unless I can get something with more priority data and unrestricted video quality for $60.99 or less per month.

I used 122 GB of data last month on my Liberty 12 plan.  Its pretty hard for an "unlimited" plan to beat that with its restricted video quality.
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Billy Hearnsberger

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I'm only using about 15 GB a month and hate to risk messing up something that ain't broke just to save $12.00 a month...Thanks for your help!
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Old Labs

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That (video quality) and you might be required to agree to a new 2 year commitment when switching to Viasat-2 - that was the case for one subscriber here who switched to a plan only available on Viasat-2. The cost of the installer visit has to be recouped somehow.
(Edited)
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Jab

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RE: "plan only available on Viasat-2"

Relevant Question of the Day - If a Viasat consumer uses say their local public library and looks up plans, are they different than when looking up while using their Viasat service?

When checking for plans, Viasat's web site "knows" if the person is using Viasat equipment.  I would not be surprised if different page views exist when using same zip code, as based upon IP seen.  The new "marketing," and also keeping them in the dark.  Viasat prefers existing customers using previous birds...so check out plans with a different IP, and see if Viasat has a "Double Nature."
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Old Labs

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In my case no, they are identical - I specifically checked when my service was recently out for several days and was spending a fair amount of time at the library (even checking additional zip codes in totally different beams). At the time I was contemplating whether to become a direct Viasat subscriber before shelling out the $$$ for the service call. 

The only thing different at the library was the lack of the "Hey it look's like your already a customer!" popup asking me if I wanted to go to my account and is more of a Clippy moment than anything else.



Even then, I am unable to go to my account using their popup when encountered due to a public IP address owned by Viasat and within their assigned range - I'm an NRTC subscriber. There is no incentive whatsoever for me to switch at this time.

In the case of the quote taken out of context here, it is referring to a subscriber who switched to a Gold 50 plan online, was informed of the need for an installer visit, new equipment and a new 2 year commitment.   He subsequently verified that he was indeed pointing at Viasat-2 and had the new modem (as would be expected for the Gold 50). 
      
(Edited)
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Jab

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RE: "in my case no, they are identical -"

Maybe now, at this point in time.  I think you might recall when VS-1 went live, Viasat did not want everybody on "Wildblues" birds jumping ship...iirc, some people, maybe yourself, had to wait a year or two.

Business wise, a company wants new sales, especially when equipment is limited.

With newer marketing techniques, prices can be based upon your IP, your name, time of day, time of service (rail, airplane), season, etc.

Changing plans in your current beam, is no big deal, but changing birds is.

Someone mentioned that he could not find a 50/100Mbps plans in one location...which previously was listed...so what happened...equipment shortage, or Viasat didn't want existing customers to see it.
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James Besser

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but after 6 months price goes up my zip 54021 take a look at the plans not good
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Old Labs

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All of the retailer support materials are available online, StrangLov - surprised you haven't found them yet and things would become clearer for you. You'll need to locate them on your own since I won't provide a link to them - I'm pretty sure they aren't intended for public consumption but that's Viasat's problem not mine. relying upopn search engine meta tags to protect content only works for search engines that honor that meta tag but even then the front door was left wide open. 
 
But yes by all means, continue with the tin foil hat theories.

The online change process has been screwed up for quite some time which is why employees here have encouraged calling in rather than relying on it.

Even today I see subtle changes for new customers on my beam regarding restricted sales channel availability and elsewhere suggesting more to come (or that we're simply SOL in the beam 329 area).

And no, there's no difference between what new customers and existing customers see when searching by Zip Code at https://www.viasat.com/internet.

You can even verify that without going to the library with one of the hide IP address services (some don't even require VPN today but I wouldn't be doing any confidential activities). A random check of various Zip Codes shows a total of 4 different plan combinations being offered currently - the same 4 found in the retailer support materials and I've found all 4 of those combinations in one area or another. There's actually a 5th combination being offered (a subset of the Viasat-1 plans).  

Yes I remember the Viasat-1 transition and the current explanation offered by actual employees here is consistent with that. Viasat-2 plans continue to roll out on a regional basis. Sometimes the logical explanation is the best one, and Viasat is just trying to figure out how to est manage the still limited amount of bandwidth it has available - it's going to awhile before they get anymore with Viasat-3 and they're going to monetize it as they see fit.

Equipment availability may indeed be a contributing factor, but all that shows is a lack of preparation for the rollout on Viasat's part. 

However, the question for James Besser beyond affordability is: are those 50/100 Mbps plans showing in 54021 available to existing customers though the customer portal or if you call in? 
 
(Edited)
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Jab

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RE: Old Labs "become clearer for you"

Keep in mind this, Opportunistically delayed offer and request fulfillment, and who the Current Assignee is.  Considering this assignee is big into programming, due to the nature of its products, and that its goal is to use VS-2 mainly for commercial customers, it would not be far fetched for steering customers via IP ID at their web-site. Bean-counters would have no bones with keeping existing customers on previous birds, and reserving limited supplies of new equipment for new customers.

RE: "online change process"

Yes, web-site programming errors happen...in fact, I bought a tax software program this year for $25.00 instead of normal $100.00 price...his fault.  Anyone who has been around since IBM PC was introduced in 1981, would know SNAFUs are normal.

>clearer for you

NRTC signed an agreement recently with Viasat (around 2018-Feb-26), so logic would suggest only Viasat is up/running in select markets, PERIOD.  And previous history suggests there was a rollout period.    But again, Viasat assigns which satellite new users will be on, and previous history indicates existing users on WB's birds were not given priority over new customers.

>and they're going to monetize it as they see fit.

Yes, and if the customer expects to be placed on VS2, but the installer does not show up with a RG1100 Afterburner Wireless Home Gateway, the customer needs to tell the installer to "Hit the Road Jack.:"
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Old Labs

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As any one of the moderators might and did say, the roll out continues. If you don't see a plan you like, keep checking over the next two months - that was about a month ago. Expect more to come.
(Edited)
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Jab

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RE: " keep checking"

Currently, I have attempted to get a rural Telco to install FTTH via CAF Phase II Auction.  If you click on this map, and move-it/zoom-it, one can see if a project is in your area, that must be completed by April 2021.  For those areas not filled in, a rural telco/etc could request funding for land-based 10/1Mbps service.  The auction cited closes at end of this month.  I'm hoping this rural telco would consider, but if so, it could be several years before seeing FTTH.
(Edited)
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Jab

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Old Labs keep in mind this below:

In some areas, we’ll also offer another tier of premium plans, which include speeds up to 50 and 100 Mbps.

Implicitly, this means VS-2 will have smaller bandwidth plans, most likely above 12Mbps where VS-1 does not shine, but where VS-2 shines along with VS-1, only a limited number of beams will have 50/.100Mbps service. Most likely, these 50/100Mbps beams are located in higher population areas, and/or where air traffic is most dense.
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Old Labs

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What's your point? The same article states:

The lowest-cost ViaSat-2 standard plan includes video streaming optimized at a level best suited to small screens, like phones and tablets. The top tier standard plan streams video at HD quality and works well on big screens and all other devices. Download speeds are up to 12 Mbps for the Bronze plan, and up to 30 Mbps on the Gold plan.
That's what I've been saying all along, you're the one claiming "rank has its privilege" and that Viasat-2 will be limited to the high rollers.

  
(Edited)
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Jim16

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Jab give me a headache.  Can someone turn that robot OFF?
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Jab

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RE: "...you're the one claiming "rank has its privilege" and that Viasat-2 will be limited to the high rollers."

Quite true...high rollers can buy a home where the 50/100Mbps sun shines.

Viasat Press Release - "Viasat is the first satellite internet service provider in the U.S. or globally to offer plans with 100 Mbps download speeds to consumers' homes...fastest satellite-based home internet service across the nation—with speeds up to 100 Mbps.."
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Old Labs

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Can someone turn that robot OFF?
Apparently not and most definitely not quite true (half true maybe, but certainly not quite true).

While high rollers can buy their way onto Viasat-2 (subject to availability) by selecting a 50/100 Mbps plan, Viasat-2 is not limited to high rollers - he missed the "and limited to high rollers" part.

For that, one need look no further than the original poster who verified with his installer that he was indeed going to be placed on Viasat-2 with the lowest priced offering - Bronze 12 with "built-in" WiFi, 40 GB data usage threshold before prioritization, and detected video streaming at typically 360P for $70 per month (excluding lease and taxes).    
(Edited)
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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I wouldn't switch.
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James Besser

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I agree
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Billy Hearnsberger

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Jab, iI have an old computer that requires hard wire to the modem...Will my computer connect to the new Viasat 2 modem?  
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Old Labs

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I'm not Jab, nor do I play him on the Interweb (thankfully), but yes the new triangular prism  shaped modem (Viasat WiFi Gateway) has two Ethernet ports as shown at:

https://help.viasat.com/articles/General/Viasat-WiFi-Gateway-FAQs?_ga=2.127304333.1408247834.1519855...

Still debating it I guess ;)
(Edited)
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Billy Hearnsberger

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Yessir...Guess I'm a bit of a sucker but the promise of faster download speeds at peak traffic times is very luring..
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Old Labs

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Take a look at the link to the article just posted by Alex at:

https://community.viasat.com/viasat/topics/a-look-under-the-hood-of-the-viasat-2-ground-network

It may sway your decision somewhat - the unlimited plans may have a better chance at delivering on their promise on Viasat-2.
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Jab

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Billy Hearnsberger

The VS-2 modem ( triangular prism  shaped) has two Ethernet ports, but at this time, this modem can not be setup in Bridge Mode, which is ideal for a router setup.

VS-2 modem will be used on VS-2 satellite.  No previous Viasat modems will be used on VS-2.  VS-2 modem is a more advanced modem, designed to handle 100Mbps bit rates.
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Speed is overrated. Just saying :)
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Billy Hearnsberger

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You guys keep referring to Viasat 2 as unlimited but the plan I was offered was 45 GB..What so you make of that?
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Jim16

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Unlimited but prioritized after you go over your priority data.  It's the new definition of unlimited.  Every ISP uses that definition now a days. We need to get use to it.
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Old Labs

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The plans are advertised as "unlimited data" plans not unlimited internet therefore implying some fine print. The unlimited data policy describes what that means. See:

https://www.exede.com/documents/master/unlimited-data-policy.pdf

I think you probably meant 40 GB which would make it a Bronze 12 Plan and make sure you know what you're getting.
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Billy Hearnsberger

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Yes correct I should have said 40 GB..I presently have Liberty 25 and since introduction of the data extender I'm only using about 15 GB or less.. 
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Billy Hearnsberger

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Okay I see now why it is called unlimited even though my speed will slow down if i go over 40 GB..Since the only video I watch is Facbook videos and a few You Tube videos It looks like a good deal for me but then again I ask myself is it really worth risking my relatively good service now for the promise of better service?  
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Jim16

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The Bronze Plan will stream at a lower res. than the Data Extender you use now. The Data Extender streams at the same speed as the Silver Plan.  480P.
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Billy Hearnsberger

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okay..so that's relevant..Thanks!    
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The lower res is pretty crappy too. 480p is DVD quality..not bad, but still standard definition and not HD.
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Yes. If he is happy now, why switch. Others have given up Liberty for "unlimited" and have not been satisfied.
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Billy Hearnsberger

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Thanks guys..Appreciate the input..
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I will say this, I was one of the very first people to sign up for Silver Unlimited.  Within 24 hours of signing up I changed my mind.  I hadn't yet received the new modem.

I called up Viasat and explained that I would like to cancel my upgrade to Silver Unlimited and keep my Liberty 12 plan.  I was expecting the answer to be NO.  To my surprise, the agent who answered was very polite and canceled my request to switch to unlimited.

As soon as the new modem arrived, I shipped it back using the prepaid return label.  I was expecting some sort of hassle where I would have to provide proof that I had returned the equipment.

No one from Viasat contacted me about the return, and I kept my Liberty 12 plan.

I was very surprised at there being ZERO hassle.

Now, I seriously doubt someone could go back to an old plan after physically installing new equipment, but in my case I was very lucky.  I didn't expect them to let me have my old plan back, and I don't expect them to ever make an exception like that again. 

The reason they probably let me keep my old plan, is because I had requested the new plan, but the new equipment had not yet been received and installed.
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Terry Ealey

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How do you know which one you are on?
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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If your service started before 2018, you are on Viasat 1. If you signed up this year and your modem is in the shape of a triangle, you are on Viasat 2.
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John

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Hi Billy - I'm on beam 339 too... Switch! Maybe my connection will get faster! Joking aside, I don't see V2 available yet so I guess I don't yet have a choice.
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Billy Hearnsberger

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I was contacted by my installer and told it became available to me about 2 weeks ago...How is your service now? Will you switch if given the chance?
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John

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I'll give it due consideration after I see the options.  Really like my plan now though, so it may be a tough sell.

My service is acceptable. I can stream through most of the FireTV apps, most of the time.

(Edited)
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Old Labs

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FWIW, just because you're within the same beam foot print on Viasat-1 doesn't imply you'd be on the same beam foot print on Viasat-2 - a common zip code (or one in close proximity) might be a better indication of being in the same Viasat-2 service area (at least until the beam map for Viasat-2 leaks). Viasat-1 Beam 339 covers portions of AR, TX, LA.    
(Edited)
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John

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...hadn't thought about that.
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Old Labs is correct. A completely different beam configuration.