Viasat falsely advertises 25MPS. Never got anywhere near that speed.

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After "unlimited limit" on data useage is reached speed is even slower!  Unuseable!!!
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George Creighton

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Posted 3 weeks ago

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ExSatUser

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You just realizing that?

Once you go over your priority data, all bets are off on how fast your speeds will be. If you try the internet in the middle of the might though, you will probably get good speeds though.
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Harvey Mueller

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But even while using priority data what does up to 25 MPS really mean? The only quantifier is that your speed will not exceed 25. Period. I would expect a guarantee that speeds will be say 80% of 25 for 80% of the month. But no, as long as your speeds exceed 0.00 Viasat has fulfilled its term of contract.
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ExSatUser

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Speeds are never guaranteed as you state. And yes even at 1kbps they have fulfilled their contract at delivering internet.
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Homeskillet

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I wonder why they pick the "up to" numbers they do? My guess is that is the speed that would be likely attained give or take 25% under optimum conditions. Optimum being a sweet spot on a good beam during periods of low usage during nice weather.

Also the OP needs to define unusable. We all know having to rely on satellite internet is terrible but with some change in habits it can be bearable for some.
That being said it didn't even meet my 1995 style needs.
(Edited)
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Bradley

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25mbps was all the rage because it’s how the government defines broadband.

I think the 12mbps comes from Viasat trying to look competitive with dsl plans.
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ExSatUser

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You are exactly right. It is all about meeting a threshold to get government grant money.
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Homeskillet

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Does the government put an "up to" next to defining broadband as 25 Mbps?
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Stephen Wright

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Nope that is the minimum requirement to call something highspeed broadband. They also recently received 122 million in federal funding. Check out the link below. I'm not super happy with my service we pay $200+ bucks a month to get decent bandwidth for about a week and a half. then get throttled every night around 8. Gets better after 10 PM most of the time. Their contract is pretty clear that they do not guarantee anything and you will be throttled. 
https://muninetworks.org/content/fcc-considers-retroactive-rule-change-viasat-community-broadband-bits-podcast-349
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Oliver

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I signed a contract and VIaSat changed it on me. But ViaSat explains very clearly , it may change the terms of my contract at any time. I could pay the same and get less or get lost. I can't stream Amazon prime because Viasat has put limits on it's unlimited service.
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ExSatUser

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And the last season of the Man in the High Castle is out now!
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Max Rosan

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I live in a remote rural area of California not served by any broadband provider, or cell phone company, and there are no TV or FM radio stations. The only way to get any of those at my house is by satellite Internet. I don't watch any broadcast television, so no bandwidth usage there. I do regularly stream my favorite radio stations though. That is fairly low bandwidth (compared to TV) of around 200 to 500 kbps depending on what is being "aired" at the moment.

I have had my Viasat gen2 system since November 2018 (gen2 was deployed earlier that year, the installation guy told me, and is noticeably faster than gen1). At first, I opted for the 35gb/month plan for $100/mo. This is just barely enough for me, and when I have guests over, with their cells, laptops, etc. I found it was not enough. I have no complaint on the speed, which if I am within my monthly quota is almost never below 8mbps and I have seen it as high as 32mbps, but the latter is not common. I have gone over quota in the past, and the speed becomes much less predictable. I have seen unusable lows of 25kbps up to 12mbps, maybe a little higher. But it's unpredictable and can change rapidly.

My only real complaint has to do with packet latency, and that is just the nature of the satellite Internet beast. And my only complaint with this has to do with cell phone wi-fi calling (I don't do any online gaming). My experience is that when it is good, it is acceptable, but there have been unusable latency delays of over 10 seconds -- very difficult to have a normal phone conversation with someone at the other end. Which is why, after a year of living here, I am sucking it up and have an order in for a landline. The cost is comparable to what Viasat charges for their satellite modem phone service, but the copper phone wires don't have the latency issues. Also, the landline will work even if the power goes down, which it does out here from time to time.

And the monthly cost... $150/mo for 45gb/mo... ouch! But others here in town that have Viasat or Hughesnet are paying similar for their newer & higher speed satellite Internet service. Those with older generation systems are paying less, with lower quotas and lower speeds. Overall, I am satisfied with my Viasat gen2 performance.
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ExSatUser

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Glad it is working for you.

You are correct. Audio streaming doesnt eat near as much data. As far as latency, it can be bad. I mean there us a reason Viasat is trying to implement a DSL/satellite internet combo plan. They know it to.

Best of luck. With the risk of fires and power outages out there, I wouldn't want to live in that state! Stay safe!
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Max Rosan

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I don't understand how a DSL/satellite combo would work. DSL is capable of much higher speeds than satellite, and is much less costly. Satellite has lower speeds, lower quotas and is nowhere near what DSL is in urban areas. At my other house, located near Los Angeles, DSL speeds there can reach 50kbps or higher, with a quota of around 1,000 gb/month. I don't understand why someone would want both, unless this is some new kind of technology I am not familiar with.

Lots of fires in California, I know. Where I live is in the high desert around 5,000 feet elevation. No forests of flammable trees out here. California is not one uniform state. The news reports on all the sensational fires, but not all of the state is flammable. Some folks believe that California is endless beaches, bikinis, palm trees, and so on. There are some places like that, of course. But there are also high and low deserts (Death Valley's low point is a few hundred feet below sea level), and the high peaks of the Sierra where, above the timber line, there are no trees to catch fire. I happen to love living in California. It's my home. 
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GabeU, Champion

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DSL is capable of much higher speeds than satellite, and is much less costly. Satellite has lower speeds, lower quotas and is nowhere near what DSL is in urban areas. 
It all depends on location.  Though DSL will almost always be cheaper, there are plenty of places where satellite internet is faster than the available DSL.  

I think the idea behind ViaSat Flex is for the system to automatically switch to the service that will best serve the particular activity being performed.  From the sounds of it, it can do so with multiple devices/activities at the same time. 
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Max Rosan

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Ah, so. Thanks for the explanation GabeU. A great example of satellite Internet giving DSL and other service providers some healthy competition! Every year, satellite Internet keeps getting faster, although in large metropolitan areas its speed pales by comparison with non-satellite service. The more accounts that satellite providers can rustle up, the more revenue they'll get; the more revenue they get, the more R&D they can spend on developing even faster speeds. Now if we could just get beyond the low monthly quotas for satellite...
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Homeskillet

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High Desert, like Barstow? I used to live in the Cali desert a long time ago. Back then radio stations and TV stations had a pretty high broadcast range. KFI 640 AM while based in Los Angeles used to be heard all the way to Vegas. You could easily get Los Angeles TV stations using rabbit ears all the way out in Coachella. Looks like that is no longer the case. I have a notion satellite internet could have a wide range in a desert, nice and flat, rarely rains and not many mountains.
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Max Rosan

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Homeskillet: High desert like Darwin, which is approximately between Lone Pine and Death Valley. Darwin sits at 5,000 feet elevation, so high desert. Barstow is closer to 2,000 feet. We got a few inches of fresh snow this afternoon here in Darwin. We will get more as we approach a deeper winter season.

AM broadcast stations such as KFI, KGO in San Francisco, and other high power AM stations can be heard here in Darwin. But not FM stations, which are much higher in frequency. And no TV stations for the same reason. FM and TV reception are "line of sight" signals, meaning that the farther away from the transmitter one is, the fewer obstructions such as mountains must get in the way of the path. Darwin sits in a high valley, far away from and completely blocked by its mountains from the FM and TV transmitters around Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and pretty much anywhere else.

I operate my ham radio station here in Darwin (call sign: KJ6HN, advanced class licensee since 1985) and I can talk with dear old friends up and down the west coast (which I do Tuesday and Friday evenings), meet up with other hams in other parts of North America, Canada, and Mexico, and talk with other hams around the world when ionospheric conditions are good. This can happen because I get to choose the frequency I want to operate on, depending on what the ionosphere happens to be doing at the time.

Regarding your notion about satellite Internet (or satellite signal anything for that matter, including C- or Ku-band, DirectTV, etc.) having a wide range in flat terrain, this is not actually how satellite communication works. Take DirectTV, for example: they transmit their TV programming data from a point on earth up to their company satellite, around 28,000 miles or so above the earth, where the data stream is received, amplified, and is then "repeated" back down to earth (another 28,000 miles) to a targeted area, such as North America, and into the satellite "dish" antennas of millions of individual subscribers. Satellite is extremely line of sight. For example, a Dishnet satellite in geosynchronous orbit above the U.S. will cover that area, but cannot repeat, or re-transmit to for example India -- because it is beyond a line of sight path. Satellite Internet works in exactly this same way: your satellite "earth station" sees the satellite "bird in the sky", and that orbiting satellite "sees" its earth station Internet gateway station, which connects to the terrestrial Internet. That's how satellite Internet works. 
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ExSatUser

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California definitely has a diverse topography. But above all, it is the left coast with high taxes and a lot if issues. I would move to the high desert in Nevada instead. Lol

As fat as the Flex plan, I think the whole purpose is like the old DirecPc One Way plans. Download off satellite, upload through DSL. This would eliminate a lot if the latency issue, which is a big deterrent to satellite internet today and Viasat knows it. LEO internet will have low latency, and that will he a threat to Viasat's residential business. Like any company, they are trying to be proactive to prepare for an impending threat to their business.
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Homeskillet

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Thanks for all the info Max.
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Harvey Mueller

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I seem to recall early satellite was download only. You needed a phone line and a dial-up modem for upload and download came from the satellite. Back to the future I guess. DSL is dependent on distance to station
From where I am hi speed DSL is quoted as 1.3 MBS.
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Max Rosan

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My only reason for having satellite Internet is because I live too far away from the station, or Internet switch -- almost 40 miles away. It's either 56k dial-up or satellite here, no DSL. There is one person in town that I know uses dial-up, because it is so much cheaper than satellite -- and so much slower too, but he's willing to live with that.

Early satellite technology was interesting compared to what we have now. Uploading from earth was the main problem, because there was no high speed Internet then. Satellite transmitters are not all that powerful, around 25 to 50 Watts or so, but the transmitted signal feeds into an extremely high gain circularly polarized antenna which dramatically increases the effective radiated power (ERP) down to earth. And, the antenna beam width is focused on a specific terrestrial area, usually.

TV companies uplink their transmitted programming signals to a satellite with a very large dish antenna in the C, Ku, or Ka microwave bands with a transmitter having enough power to get their broadband signals to the satellite, where all the data are then amplified, and repeated back to earth. 1970s technology, and it is still in use today. I have a house with a 10-foot C-band dish, which also receives Ka band TV programming. I enjoy moving the dish around from inside the house and looking for whatever is out there "in the clear" i.e. not scrambled.

What is interesting about this though, and relates to your original comment about downloading via satellite while uploading via dial-up modem, is that (back then anyway, early 1990s) to watch any C-band pay-per-view programs, one had to have a phone line connected to the satellite receiver, and set up an account. I did that. Being a techno-geek, I figured out how it all worked. Once the PPV account was set up, I could watch a PPV program by confirming via remote control that I wanted to do so. Immediately, the PPV program would be unscrambled. The satellite receiver would store this transaction, and at some time in the middle of the night, it would dial up the PPV provider and upload the details, and eventually, I would get a bill in the mail for any PPV programs I had authorized. Kinda clunky, no? Hahaha! 
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ExSatUser

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You are correct. Intial residential satellite internet was one way. .The latency was lower though.
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Homeskillet

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I got DSL living in a big city back when it first came out around 25 years ago, it was either 768 Kbps or 786 Kbps, but it was very reliable, looks like DSL hasn't advanced much and with some of the complaints around here it could have gotten worse due to them not maintaining the system.
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Bradley

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Lots of old copper in the ground. I can get up to 50Mbps from ATT I found out today, but I’m curious if that’s on dsl or fiber with a new install. DSL is usually 25 Mbps as quoted around here with most people getting 5 or less.

DSL has made advances in speed and distance possible as the technology has improved, but it seems ma bell doesn’t invest in upgrades much anymore. Small regions in western NC are being sold off by the telecoms to smaller companies. Twin Rivers (I think?) has bought a few areas and ran fiber optic to all customers. I’m not sure how they afforded to do so, but it’s how my parents finally got internet. Man fiber is silky smooth.
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Max Rosan

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Copper, copper everywhere, far as the eye can (or can't) see. The original DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) concept was for all subscribers to equally achieve a maximum Internet download and upload speed. But, just like cable DSL, this depended on just how many subscribers were connected to the hub, or main switch station. Cable was more impacted by this than DSL. Eventually, "network congestion" came to be a problem. So, fiber optic Internet to the rescue.

A whole lot of Internet traffic is handled over fiber networks today. The speeds are just amazing. Speeds above 500 mbps are now commonplace. But that's at the network hub or switch level, with many users or subscribers eating into that bandwidth. If you have a fiber optic connection to your house, you are indeed lucky. Few people have that.

This is a conundrum known as the "last mile". Imagine you live in a city served by very high speed fiber optic Internet. The provider, maybe it is Ma Bell, proclaims amazing Internet download and upload speeds for all, and they would be correct with that proclamation. Large cities with banking and other IT dependent businesses have fiber optic Internet into their offices. It's expensive to route all those fiber optic cables. But, you live in a residential area. There is a fiber optic cable routed near where you live, but not to your house. That's where the "last mile" problem begins. Even if the high speed fiber service is ultra high speed, if that last mile to your house ends up on copper wires, you will not be able to have the high speed possible with fiber optics to your house. 

Satellite Internet is similar, but different. Satellite Internet has more to do with how many users may be connected to a particular satellite, how much bandwidth they consume, and how much they are willing to pay for how much guaranteed bandwidth, and a bunch of other things. I have read that Viasat provides high speed service to the military. We all pay taxes for that. I have little doubt that the military gets the highest speeds possible, with as little latency as possible. Meanwhile, we ordinary consumers get what we get. It's complicated.