Unlimited Plans in Some Areas FAQ

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Hey Everyone!

If you've been following this forum over the weekend you may know by now that we are offering Unlimited Plans in some areas. Since I've been answering questions about this all day I wanted to maybe make a post with some questions about the plan. This is a FAQ we put together. If you want to read more details on the plan please visit here: 

Is there a Free Zone?
No. There’s no need for a free zone with unlimited data plans. The free zone was created to give additional data to our customers on our older plans during the wee hours. With our new unlimited data plans, you don’t have to wait until 3 a.m. to download files.
 
How do I find out if it’s available in my area?
Just enter your Zip code at Exede.com to see what service plans are available in your area. Current customers can upgrade their service plans (where available) at MyExede. Check out this article on more information about changing service plans.
 
Why can’t I find it in my area?
Unlimited data plans are not offered everywhere. If you don’t see these service plans available in your area, check back in a few months. More new service plans will be launched soon.
 
How much data usage is included in my unlimited data plan?
On an unlimited data plan, there are no limits to how much data you can use during your monthly billing cycle. However, if you use more than 150 GB of data and the network is congested, Viasat may prioritize your data behind other customers.
 
Will my internet service be slower after I’ve used 150 GB of data?  
When the network is not busy, nothing will happen to your service speeds. When the network is busy, Viasat may prioritize your data behind other customers, which will result in slower speeds. Web pages and videos may respond and load more slowly than during periods of non-congestion.
 
Is this the same as the Freedom plans offered previously?
No. On a Freedom plan, if you used more than 150 GB of data, your speeds are slowed until the end of your monthly billing period. On an unlimited data plan, after 150 GB of data usage, you will continue to receive normal speeds. During network congestion (when the network is busy), after 150 GB of data usage, we may prioritize your unlimited plan data behind other customers, which will result in slower speeds.
 
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Posted 8 months ago

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Ron Cernohorsky

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So basically, the unlimited plans are the same as Freedom plan for $40 more a month? The speeds are still slowed down after 150GB is used
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Old Labs

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The difference is in how you are slowed on reaching the threshold.

On Freedom, your speed is capped until the next billing cycle - ViaSat has never stated exactly what that cap is but some suggest based on empirical evidence it is in the 256 kbps range which many claim is unusable.

On Unlimited, your requests are de-prioritized on reaching your threshold and slower speeds will result during peak congestion periods as you get placed at the back of the service queue. When congestion clears, your speeds would return to normal.

Unlimited is perhaps a better option for those who can shift their usage to non-peak usage periods (and aren't bothered by the automatic video throttling)

But yes, there is a distinct difference between throttling and deprioritization best described with an analogy (albeit targeting cellular users) at:

https://www.wirefly.com/guides/throttling-vs-data-deprioritization    

Further FAQs can be found at:

https://www.exede.com/documents/master/unlimited-data-policy.pdf             
(Edited)
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Exactly what Old Labs said. 
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Michael McDowell

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My question is this: 

After 150 GB of data is used, is all of your data use categorized and prioritized the same?  Or is video streaming affected more (or less) than standard data used for internet browsing and file downloads?  The FAQ doesn't really address these questions!  
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Michael McDowell

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Exede Brad ???
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Tommy Sawyer

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Video is greatly throttled. At all time. All Apple TV apps YouTube Netflix Hulu.... everything is throttled to 480 video. The ugly side of Net Neutrality is about to show it’s up everywhere.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Sorry Michael I was not in the office during this reply.  Once you go over 150GB you are still at the same priority speed. During times the network is busiest you may get slowed as post 150GB users are placed on a lower priority on the network and even that is a maybe because if you're in a less busy beam you may not even slow. Busier beams may see the slower speeds during the busier times of night. In and out of that night peak hour period or below 150GB you're back up to regular speeds. Unlike a Liberty Plan you aren't throttled the entire time. Just only during peak hours if needed. The regular freedom plan just axes you after you hit that limit and you have to buy data or wait.

 Hope that clarifies a bit
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Michael McDowell

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Thanks Brad. 

But that doesn't answer my original question .  After 150 GB of data is used, is all of your data use categorized and prioritized the same?  Or is video streaming affected more (or less) than standard data used for internet browsing and file downloads?

Inquiring minds want to know!
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Yeah your data is categorized all the same your video optimization won't be changed. All that will happen if you are over that 150GB point is that if you are in a busy beam during peak hours you may see slower speeds. Everything else is unaltered 
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Bev, Champion

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Okay, this is easy, no hard throttling of speed, as there is with the Freedom plan, not even the softer throttling of Liberty plans. You go over 150 GB, the priority of your signal is lowered. What that means is that those on your beam that have not gone over their data allotment, or 150 Gb if on an Unlimited plan, get the available capacity of the beam first, then your signal is dealt with. That might slow you down and, slow downs will be worst when the beam is the busiest but, if the beam is not busy, say early morning to midday, you might see full speed even beyond 150 GB used.
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mferner

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Bev I went from freedom with boost to the silver unlimited for $100 and freedom with boost was $110 so this plan will work well for me cause I was always flirting going over 150 and I sometimes did so Now when I do if speed is lowered it will be like the liberty pass speed when network is congested so I will love this 
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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I'm glad this will work for you mferner! 
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mferner

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Yes Brad But I noticed since i added the plan yesterday my download speed has been much slower right now its about 14 mbps usually around this time its about 23 mbps or higher! But hopefully it will be alot faster in a few months with viasat2 is ready! Please check my email I send yesterday when you have time thanks!
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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I'll be sure to get your email. Those are having a delay on answering due to the enormous feedback we're seeing with the Unlimited plans over the weekend on all of our social media channels. 
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mferner

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Thanks It's not urgent! Just when you or Diane Get time!
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Stephen Rice

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I'm going to miss reading posts from people who have claimed Exede stole their data. Hopefully they find something new to accuse Exede of.
(Edited)
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Judge and Jury

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Ahh yes Steven, you are right.  I suppose the slow-thing will remain for about 2 more months.  We'll see what the Nay-Sayers go to then.
 
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Stephen Rice

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They are already complaining that pricing is different across various beams.  The reason should be obvious since some beams are more conjested than others.
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Judge and Jury

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Well, there is  that saying "There's one at every bar"
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Rique

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There's "different across various beams" and there's usury.
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Tommy Sawyer

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If you have the 150GB freedom package do not upgrade! With the Unlimited packages they have implemented video throttling which greatly degrades video quality. Exede is becoming a bunch of crooks for not clearly specifying this change. If your a person who like their video quality high, this is not the plan for you.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Hi Tommy

I think those on the Freedom Plan are probably the least likely to jump to this plan. For many that couldn't see anything greater than 25GB a month, they are probably excited to jump in. So yeah Pros and Cons to this plan, Unlike the Freedom Plan you aren't cut off after hitting 150, you will continue as normal (with the potential to see some slow down in peak hours but otherwise normal usage) BUT there are video resolution limitations in order to not implement data caps on this plan. I believe if you pre-record or download something and DO NOT stream it you can see better resolution. Our top plan will offer 720p which is still HD
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Tommy Sawyer

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This is so wrong and misleading. 480p and 720 video quality at this day in time is archaic. 1080p should have been the lowest video resulution avalible.
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Tommy Sawyer

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720 maybe.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Hi Tommy

This is the quality of video that was chosen for theses plans. We had to go with these resolutions in order to make an unlimited offering. We MIGHT see 1080p eventually once ViaSat 2 hits (I cannot say one way or another because I simply do not have that information) but as of now the 720 is our best resolution with this set of plans. 
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Tommy Sawyer

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And 720p is 150 per month. Just think about that. For me to view my content I pay 150 dollars per month and it’s down-res, throttled, reduce quality, and your company’s words “optimized” , which is a flat out LIE. Exede, with these new unlimited plans have become snake oil salesmen, plan and simple. It’s like a person paying for an SUV and you guys striping doors, windows, air conditioning, seats, and selling as optimized. The unfortunate thing is you guys are taking advantage of the misinformed and uneducated people for gain, which is lower than low. Brad, if you were told to mislead the people to try or buy this product you are just as evil. No plans should have been offered until Viasat 2 came on line, but Exede was bleeding customers so to stop the bleeding your company decided to create a package out of lies and deceit. No company can be deceitful and survive.
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Deku, Champion

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oh i get it now :3 at first when i looked at the forums the other day i didnt understand it :P but NOW since imma fully awake now i get it now >:3 thanks for the FAQ!!! exede >:3 i fully understand when i pass my 150gbs mark then... i will still get the same speeds... BUT!!! during the peek hours. 5pm to 2am or 3am... my speeds will go back to normal after the busy evening and also the network congested >:3 YAY!!! but IF there isnt network congested OR not onto the busy beam... then... like say afternoon or early morning which i have hit my data limit my stills WILL be back to normal... when i do hit my data limit... ok and stuff 

i CANT wait for the unlimited gold 30mbps new modem to come int!!! YUS!!! >:3
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Stephen Rice

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It's amazing reading all of these complaints. Exede was upfront about everything and people are still complaining.

My Liberty 12 plan is unlimited and so are all of the unlimited plans. People cant seem to grasp that for some reason.

The only real difference is the Liberty plans are prioritized up to 5 mbps while the unlimited plans are prioritized up to 12, 25, or 30 mbps after you use a huge bucket of 150 gb.

You should already be optimizing your video streaming on your own. I followed Andy's steps to lower the settings for my Roku device and Netflix account. I am a very happy camper with my self optimized steaming. For those on an unlimited plan, Exede is basically doing this for you automatically.

How on earth people think Viasat 1 should magically be able to let everyone stream 4k HD video without any limits is beyond me. It takes bandwidth to do stuff like that and Viasat 1 only has so much capacity.
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Old Labs

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Agreed, not complaining - but riddle me this... it's all semantics and I'm happy on the Liberty 12 Plan fully grasping it all.

For years we've been hearing how there is/was insufficient capacity to support "unlimited" regardless of how that phrase is interpreted - where did all of this excess capacity suddenly come from. It was either there all along, there's been some serious subscriber attrition, or it was diverted/shifted from some other non-residential reserved source. Again not complaining, it's business and suspect much of the excess was simply being held in reserve to support customer growth. With ViaSat-2 on the horizon, there's no longer need to hold it in reserve - let the fire sale on this year's models begin, there's more supply on the way...
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Stephen Rice

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Unlimited capacity isnt possible if everyone starts streaming HD video. Restricting bandwidth for that is the only way to make unlimited data possible given Viasat 1's capacity.

If Exede were to let people stream 4k video people would start using up 4k bandwidth with Roku devices connected to black and white TV sets just because they could. People lose all sense of responsibility just because they think they can.

When I was a kid growing up in the trailer park, water was included in the price of the lot rent. It was nice because you could wash your car without worrying about things like your water bill going up $0.50. Well, people abused it and did stupid things like leaving their water running all the time into the street just because they could. They didn't care, because in their eyes the water was free. The owner of the trailer park got tired of it and eventually quit including water in the price of the rent. Thanks to a few idiots that wasted water, everyone then had to start paying water bills in addition to the rent.
(Edited)
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Old Labs

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Unlimited capacity isnt possible if everyone starts streaming HD video. Restricting bandwidth for that is the only way to make unlimited data possible given Viasat 1's capacity.
You've made my point - people are arguing over marketing semantics and use of the term unlimited is in fact misleading to some. From Merriam-Webster:

Definition of unlimited for English Language Learners

  • : without any limits or restrictions

  • : not limited in number or amount


Words matter... just as optimized for 480P is just a tad misleading to some like Tommy Sawyer and he's correct.

To me it really doesn't matter, but I do feel these plans will only encourage more data usage without conservation measures - I'm already seeing a noticeable decline in "speeds" on my beam during non-peak hours - too early to tell if this is a long term trend  but still usable for my purposes only due to my own data conservation measures - waste not, want not.
(Edited)
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Indeed it's not complaints, but somewhat questionable tactics on how things are being marketed and priced.
(Edited)
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Tommy Sawyer

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Just think about that. For me to view my content I pay 150 dollars per month and it’s down-res, throttled, reduce quality, and your company’s words “optimized” , which is a flat out LIE. Exede, with these new unlimited plans have become snake oil salesmen, plan and simple. It’s like a person paying for an SUV and you guys striping doors, windows, air conditioning, seats, and selling as optimized. The unfortunate thing is you guys are taking advantage of the misinformed and uneducated people for gain, which is lower than low. Brad, if you were told to mislead the people to try or buy this product you are just as evil. No plans should have been offered until Viasat 2 came on line, but Exede was bleeding customers so to stop the bleeding your company decided to create a package out of lies and deceit. No company can be deceitful and survive.
(Edited)
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Stephen Rice

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Funny you should mention this.  I have a feeling Viasat is going to use a different name than Exede once Viasat 2 is live.  Nothing wrong with that, I just have a feeling they will start using a new name with the  new product.
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Bev, Champion

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Denver is just the RESIDENTIAL business headquarters, corporate for the whole company is in Carlsbad and, there are several office, for different purposes around the world but yes, Exede IS Viasat. As for the mane, I would be willing to bet that you are correct, Steven.

We went from WildBlue to Exede, so it makes sense that VS2 will bring a new name as well - just not Tooway please :P (Just sounds funky to me.)
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Judge and Jury

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So they're going to throw the baby out with the bathwater? 
The Exede headquarters in Englewood does in fact show ViaSat at the building.
So VeteranSatUser is right about the name at the building.

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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Sorry Craig. I had an unfair advantage as I have been there. I am just trying to educate other customers that Exede is just a brand name.

Prior to Exede was Wildblue. That was the name of the service AND the company, which Viasat bought out several years ago. Some of the Exede service is still provided by a satellite called Wildblue-1, which was revolutionary for its time, and some of those great engineers are still there today and will bring us the next evolution of satellite internet which will be Viasar-2.

Depending on your locatuon, these plan changes are nice, but Viasat-2 is going to be the real game changer when it comes online.
(Edited)
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Old Labs

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So they're going to throw the baby out with the bathwater? 
No, they're just putting a new baby in the tub. Branding matters, just as it would have been a poor decision to continue the Wildblue brand name after ViaSat-1, so too would maintaining the Exede brand name be for ViaSat-2 - each brand has it's own history and reputation (both good and bad) - abandon the bad history, reputation and preconceptions with new branding - this wont' be your father's Exede - it's called marketing.
(Edited)