Viasat-2 status?

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  • (Edited)
Could we have an update on the status of the new satellite?  When will it launch (seeing a lot of projected dates, have they narrowed it down).  What gateway will support it and what beams; will it ease the 'congestion.'   I'm so frustrated with the service right now.   I think I'm on Beam 306 in N. Mich.  Will it help in this area?    I'm trying to figure out if I should just hang in there or hang in there.   I have made too numerous to count calls, service visits, pc inspected.  Thank you
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Imma

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Posted 1 year ago

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J S

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i've been reading that launches have been delayed in french guyana due to a labor strike. Hopefully they let this satellite go up because it's a public service to everyone in the american continent.
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Dennis LaPine

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Viasat 2 now scheduled for launch 01 June.
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Robert Spano

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When a new satellite is launched, it will still take several weeks (months) before it is fully placed into service.
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Exede Lindsey

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Hello Imma, 

ViaSat-2 is scheduled to launch April 25. The satellite will be in service later in the year. We have not released specifics around data plans yet; however, we expect plans with more robust data allowances will be available across the country, once ViaSat-2 comes online. Exede plans to offer some of the biggest improvements in service options. We're working on all of that now and will announce more as soon as we can!
(Edited)
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Robert Spano

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So, reduce my cost or suspend my account until you can give the service you advertise.
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Deku, Champion

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it  could be because of the peak hours... and everyone is online or your network is congested -.- if you wanna complain then dont complain on here do it on via chat with exede OR call them instead of whining about it on here will NOT help you out onto the fourms -.-
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Robert Spano

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Tried talking to them.  That doesn't change the fact that I discussed my needs at length with an Exede salesperson and was assured that viasat would exceed my requirements.  They lied and I am stuck. 
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Levi Hill

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Chat and phone calls lead to being on hold while the call center reaches out to another employee and so on and so on. Don't forget that modem reset. Problem solved
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James

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or in my case AGIN this month Exede your data limit within the 1st hour of turning everything back on. nevermind the fact that all I did was refresh 2 pages and used 3.5 gig of data.
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Dave

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Well it sure isn't any peak hours at 11pm - 4am. when I am on it. It's been slow here all day long. And yesterday was a bummer too. Look at this.
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Levi Hill

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When they Launch Viasat 3 is when we'll get the benefits of Viasat 2
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Jim16, Champion

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Doesn't look good right now....

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Jim

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Viasat-2 is currently scheduled for 4/25.

And Tizzy... we know the party line...  peak hours, congestion... oh, the new one, kids on spring break.  Everything you say, they say at exedelistens.... they don't listen... they just keep repeating the party line...
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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While there is concern in French Guyana's current labor crisis, we have not been informed at this moment if this will have any impact on our already planned launch date of April 25th for ViaSat 2. Hopefully this situation is resolved long before then. This forum has been a great resource on being informed when and if anything changes so  I would keep an eye on this thread, but as of now nobody knows one way or another but for now the current plans are still the same regarding a launch date.
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Jim

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www.spaceflightnow.com has launch manifests and dates for everything...
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Old Labs

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Per https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/:

The March 21 Ariane 5 (SGDC & Koreasat 7) launch in French Guiana is grounded until further notice.

The Ariane 5 (ViaSat-2 & Eutelsat 172B) launch from the same launch site is now a non-specific May launch date reflecting the above delay

All the result of a general labor strike and social unrest in French Guiana:

http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/space-centers/guiana-space-centre/strikes-french-guiana-halt-launc...
(Edited)
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Robert Spano

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Oh boy!  A new excuse to add to the list.
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Fred Carter

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Sounds right
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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We're hoping a minor delay on the launch at worst. We're monitoring the situation daily, hopefully the country will return to work sooner than later. Keep in mind that even with the launch our plans aren't really affected as of now.... it'll still be a few months until we can roll out plans, we have to get everything uplinked, downloaded, tested and so on, it takes a bit of time after the launch to use it. So this hasn't profoundly impacted our launch of plans yet. In the meantime starting this weekend we will see a few new options in some areas. Please visit exede.com and plug in your zip code to see what might be available. 
(Edited)
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Levi Hill

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So your saying more congestion then.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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We're still working to manage some of our congested areas. The satellite will take a bit until it's ready even if it was launched this morning due to the testing, uploading etc that must be done before we can unload the bandwidth. In the meantime we're actively working on some of the congested areas, a few cases I've worked this morning already are showing promise as the speeds are currently exceeding the expected number. 
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Levi Hill

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Well, I am sure a lot of us would love to see the speeds that we pay for.
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Sherri Rankin Johnson

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Hughesnet Gen 5 is live now. Exede I think you are a little behind.
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Jim

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In their defense, it was a issue with Airianespace, not Viasat...
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Fred Carter

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Look at the gen 5 specs,,,,hughes is way behind. Haha
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Levi Hill

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Yup
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Imma

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So how is it going?  I'm still having very slow speeds although sometimes they spike download speed and upload is zero (0) timing out.   So for me it's not fixed yet.  Numbers can always be Jockeyed around so that it doesn't seem as bad as it really is the majority of time at all hours, because a spike can just average out a very low speed.   Uploads need to be adjusted up also.  It shouldn't be timing out.   Did the new Sat ever get launched?
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Jim

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June 1st.  Launch window has finally been set. 2345-0030 GMT (7:45-8:30 p.m. EDT)
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Imma

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Apparently the launch is scheduled for June 1st.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/05/04/launches-resume-in-french-guiana-with-dual-payload-ariane-5-flight/

Cool beans.  It's getting closer and there is a lot going on in the world right now.
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Martin Paule

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The launch has been pushed back to June and the new satellite won't be operational for months. In the meantime, I believe ViaSat/Exede owes it customers, at the least, a clear statement about what is going on and what they can expect going forward. I get it that satellite ISPs have more complicated and expensive challenges than terrestrial ISPs. But I rate Exede poorly for failing to come clean with its customers and give us some reason to stick around.  I suppose they know they've got most of us by the short hairs since the  local competition (Hughes) is pitiful too and doesn't offer anything as generous as the Freedom Plan...if it worked. But in the meantime, with speeds regularly hovering around the 1mbps mark during peak hours, the service is effectively useless for our purposes: streaming movies. If Exede is truly divvying up bandwidth among users without regard to how much per GB each pays, then the system is on its knees and some form of compensation is due subscribers. What do you say ViaSat/Exede?
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Hi Martin,

While we are super-excited about the launch in a few weeks, we have been routinely posting updates on this forum. This launch is something we've been anxious for and were every bit as disappointed when circumstances beyond our control caused the delays. We cannot wait to bring the perks of ViaSat 2 to our customers. 

In the meantime we have done a few things such as offering Liberty Plans  WITH a free zone, we've introduced a new Liberty 50GB plan, and I suspect while we wait for ViaSat 2 to be fully ready (we'll announce plans closer to times) we may offer some new variations and plans in the months to come.

If there's concerns about the performance of the service, please email us directly at exedelistens@viasat.com and we can work with you. 
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Fred Carter

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Hey brad , is viasat still launching the new satellite with another satellite to save money?
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Not sure about the monetary aspect of the launch, but Arianespace does 2 satellites at once from my understanding on the same rocket. Looks like a North Africa/Asian communication satellite is hitching a ride with us. The launch is set for Jun 1st at 2345-0030 GMT (7:45-8:30 p.m. EDT). We have a link for the latest information here: https://community.exede.com/exede/topics/looking-for-the-latest-about-our-next-satellite-launch  
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Martin Paule

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Thanks for your reply Brad. First, let me be clear, my issue has never been with Exede customer service—that’s fine—it's strictly about the lack of bandwidth. (Some in this thread rushed to your defense.) I’ve also confirmed that I’m wringing every possible kb out of our system by turning off all background operations & updates and have had tech support verify my system’s operation. 

My beef is this: When we signed up in 2015 for the Freedom Plan we were ecstatic. After 14 years of super-low data caps and super-slow performance on Hughes, we were finally able to take advantage of online streaming media. But in February 2017 that all abruptly ended—we suddenly could no longer stream movies during a vast swathe of the evening/night. Exede reps readily concede the system is severely congested, yet as can be seen in this forum and others, some customers’ say their service is normal. Just as ours was until February. 

The Liberty 50 plan you suggest has one-third the data cap and almost 3X the cost per GB of the Freedom Plan: $2/GB vs.73/GB for the Freedom Plan. And the option of altering my sleep patterns to stream media between 3 - 5 am is not really a useful alternative. I see that your marketing copy now warns potential customers that speeds will be much slower in peak periods—something we and other Freedom Plan users were not warned of nor bargained for. Yes, I know your contract has weasel words saying stated speeds aren’t guaranteed, and I accept that generally. But when the service is consistently unusable during the period I need it,  and relief apparently is many months away at best, then it seems ViaSat has failed to deliver what its marketing touted and owes me and other customers a significant adjustment until such time as it can deliver what it promised. 

I find it curious that many Exede users report their experience continues to be fine. Are they not streaming media? Do they go to bed early? Or does Exede throttle customers with the lowest cost per GB deals in favor of those paying more? Regardless, I feel that Exede/ViaSat is susceptible to a class action lawsuit over merchantability—it is no longer even remotely delivering what it sold. It’s clear that capacity has been oversold on your current system and the delayed ViaSat launch has worsened the problem. ViaSat's response so far has to been to offer substantially more expensive plans to new customers while failing to meaningfully address the issues of existing subscribers. It could be that the company is now experiencing "seller's remorse" having sold an overly generous plan relative to the competition. But existing customers should not be penalized for that.

Perhaps I can find an enterprising attorney willing to take up this cause.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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I think it really depends on the beam you're in .Some beams are busier than others. We've been actively working on our traffic management during our peak hours when we see most complaints of this nature. Some customers on her have even noticed things changing for the better. During times when the network is at capacity (typically 5pm-12am or so) speeds may slow and some online activities may be difficult to do when the network is at it's busiest. You can always call us as the slow speeds are happening to have us troubleshoot to make sure everything is functioning as it should be.
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Steve Donaldson

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If you are lucky enough to be in the correct beam, then your service is going to be more than satisfactory.  But if you are not (like most of us) it’s not going to be good.  I live in South Carolina.  My installer showed me the beam footprints for SC.  If you live on the coast, it looks like only a fourth of the beam is on land.  Not a great many users off the coast.  However, if you live in-land, 100% of the beam is on land.  That means that for the state of SC, the majority of us share one beam, while a few of us gets their own beam.  They say that the new satellite will help this.  Maybe, but it has to get off the ground first.  I will believe a June 1st launch when it actually happens.

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Brad, Viasat Employee

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June 1st is our launch date. About a week away! 
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Martin Paule

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@Brad and Steve: After reading  a Space News article dated 5/25/17, I'm more clear that the type of Exede plan determines service experience, rather than the beam the service is delivered on. It appears that Freedom Plan subscribers ARE being intentionally throttled as part of ViaSat's business tactics. The relevant quote comes near the end of the Space News article: "The company expects subscriber numbers to continue contracting modestly in favor of higher paying customers until ViaSat-2 comes online at the end of the year, alleviating capacity constraints." [My boldface emphasis]

I think this confirms what I suggested in my post 2 weeks ago in this same thread: ViaSat is selectively throttling those who pay the least per GB. The company is willing to take the subscriber hit because ViaSat no longer intends to honor its marketing promises used to lure Freedom Plan subscribers. When I signed up, it was the only plan that potentially offered a realistic cap if you planned to watch more than a handful of hi-def streaming movies in a month. But due to throttling, the service has been rendered less useful. Meanwhile, the company has continued to market bandwidth on ViaSat 1 to those who'll cough up the most per GB—inflight users and those on lower-cap plans. 

I understand that ViaSat has an obligation to its stockholders to maximize profits. But not when that profit is realized by breaching its contract with subscribers. The more I look at this situation, the more it seems to warrant a class action lawsuit. ViaSat  should offer a rate adjustment to those it's now penalizing by throttling. This  effort to reverse what the company now judges was a bad business call in originally offering the Freedom Plan is essentially an attempt to muscle subscribers into accepting higher-cost/lower-cap plans. In doing so, I believe ViaSat is breaching its promises made to subscribers and is vulnerable to a class-action lawsuit. 

Freedom Plan users such as myself bargained for a level of service with few limits as depicted by ViaSat marketing messages. The unprecedented 150GB data cap, according to your marketing would make enjoyment of streaming media without cap worries a reality.  And in fact, in my particular case, you delivered on those promises nearly completely, until February 2017.  We then abruptly began experiencing speeds below 1Mbps during peak hours around mid-February. This would tend to make the beam explanation questionable. Or did ViaSat shift a lot of bandwidth onto the band I'm on suddenly?

I would love to hear your thoughts, Brad.  I'd also very much appreciate a corporate response regarding intentional throttling of customers whom ViaSat would apparently prefer not having any longer. 
(Edited)
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Alex, Viasat Corporate Communications

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Martin: We do not do any of the kind of 'throttling' you suggest here. Freedom and Liberty customers who go over their Priority Data will be restricted to bandwidth available after those still on Priority Data. The speeds you're referring to likely have to do with network congestion. If you'd like us to have a closer look, email us at exedelistens@viasat.com.
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Jim

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Getting the popcorn out for this one... some wonderful, WONDERFUL points here....  Awesome post, Martin...  Waiting for someone to come through with the confetti first, though...
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Judge and Jury

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Myself and the other analyst in my think-tank group have determined that although ViaSat is in a bit of a bind right now due to over selling, Exede is still the better service to keep or sign up for, even today. 

Simply put:

In the short term, Hughes has capacity to deliver suggested plan speeds but still without guarantees.  Hughes is an expert at extracting money from their customers and will never apologize for any short-comings in their system that may exist now or in the future.  To sign up for a 2 year contract with Hughes now would be a regrettable mistake.

The ViaSat-2 satellite will initially provide sufficient bandwidth to provide solid speeds to every single customer at speeds equal to the plan specifications and greater than was possible with ViaSat-1.  The combination of ViaSat-1 and ViaSat-2 will make congestion disappear entirely and new plan speeds will rival anything Hughes can offer.

The recent government rules in many nations (and growing), banning in-flight laptop computers on international flights will make a small but still significant reduced impact on overall demand on ViaSat-2.  We can still expect thousands of jets to be equipped with in-flight WiFi but it will be small tablets and other gizmos that have reduced consumption demands for data.

We can also expect large cruise ships to be outfitted with on-board WiFi serviced by ViaSat-2 but do not expect high demand because people enjoying such a cruise have many alternative activities to occupy their time making surfing the internet insignificant.

Government contracts will be the heavy demand customers for ViaSat-2 as well as some Latin America areas but capacity is available so no problems are foreseen there.

The first ViaSat-3 satellite is expected to be operational long before ViaSat-2 becomes fully loaded and ViaSat-1 still has many years of useful service to provide, complementing ViaSat-2.

Overall, patience pays.  In 6 months ViaSat-2 will operational.  A new 2 year contract with Hughes is more than regrettable, it would be an outright blunder with a severe dose of buyers remorse.  Exede has problems right now but an intelligent person will look around and take notice of what ViaSat is doing to fortify their system to make it the envy of all similar competitors.
 
The bottom line:  Gripe now while you still can.  Soon enough you'll be laughing at the idiot neighbor that signed up with a cable company for Internet.
(Edited)
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Martin Paule

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Thanks for your perspectives Craig. We subscribed to various Hughes plans for about 12 years  with data caps in the 10-15GB/month range.  Shaky service that was often on its knees, and laughably bad India-based customer support led me to resolve  to never use their services again. I hope your projections about Exede bear out; that the satellite is successfully launched and goes online by  year's end and that this same scenario of overselling satellite capacity isn't repeated for a very long time. But in effect, even assuming rosy projections happen, I'll have paid $110 per month for often unusable web access for at least 10 months. In my world, that's a fair bit of money for subpar service. Patience is one thing; getting screwed is another.  
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Judge and Jury

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@ Martin:

Fair enough.  ViaSat had a great plan to put the Internet in homes that had no other source.  They thought their plan through very carefully but missed one very, very important thing:  people out in the woods have a lot of time on their hands to use the Internet and streaming became a huge data-consuming monster that nobody could have seen coming. 

I admire ViaSat CEO Mark Dankberg and his partners for all they have accomplished.  They have made home internet possible in the middle of nowhere.  I just can't fault them or ViaSat as a company for what the internet has evolved into in the short time ViaSat-1 as been in operation.  It has been a race against time and new technology for the company.  We must remember this:  ViaSat-2 has been built and ready for launch for over a year now.  Problems far beyond the control of ViaSat prevented it from being operational today.  It must be frustrating to ViaSat to see the problems we are having and know there is a remedy but the fix just couldn't be put into place any sooner.  ViaSat was ready, someone else caused this delay.