We Have Come a Long Way

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Satellite internet first became available to me during December 2001. It was download only. I still needed a dial up connection to upload commands. I thought it was just great.

In checking my records, I paid $180 for the equipment and $40 a month for the service. I also had to pay the dial up ISP for the system to be usable.

I do not remember the download speed but it probably was slower than today’s Viasat throttled rate. Moreover, it was controlled by how fast I could send instructions by dial up.

So here we are seventeen years later. I pay $50 per month for 12 gb and usually get 1 mb/s during the weekday when the children are in school. This is unless I am throttled when I exceed 12 gb, in which case my download speeds are typically less than 0.4 mb/s. In addition, there are  times when my download speed is 0.2 mb/s during periods of congestion, even though I have not reached my threshold of 12 gb. And the congestion periods are getting longer every month.

Now, if Viasat had told me the truth about speeds, I probably would be satisfied with this performance. It is the exaggerations about performance that makes many people irate.
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MEM

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Posted 4 months ago

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Bev, Champion

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And that depends on your interpretation of tell the truth.
When I signed up for a plan with speeds up to 25 Mbps, I expected speeds between 0.01 Mbps and 25 Mbps, with the average being around 12-13 Mbps since that is the half way point or, the average of what's possible and still be connected.

I except busier times to be slower and, I expect slower speeds most of the time if I have used all of my priority data for the month. I expect weather and, rarely network issues or maintenance to interrupt my connection.

Do I like it? Not when my speeds are abysmal, not when the modem can't connect - of course not, nobody likes that but, do I expect those things to happen - yes.

Now if I never saw speeds over 5 Mbps ever at any time on any day, I'd suspect there was a problem either with my equipment or, with the traffic shaper, or an account setting. I'd test my computer and other connected devices, see if it was just one device, or only wifi or only Ethernet that was slow. If it was everything, then, I'd check for moisture and corrosion in my connections and TRIA and, check for tree limbs or the blackberry brambles obscuring the line of sight. When all of that was clear, I'd call or email Viasat - might be the modem, TRIA, alignment, an account setting or, a technical problem or glitch over there.

The problem is usually that people don't like admitting it might be them, out of priority data, don't want to pay for a service call, obsolete, out dated device, virus, malware, trying to stream HD on a Bronze or Silver plan, etc....
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MEM

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You make it sound like a pilot using a checklist before he takes off. I agree with that.
But what about my case where every item on your checklist has been examined and verified. This includes an email to viasatlistens with account details. Viasatlistens has not responded to me yet.

I am on the "up to 12 mbps" plan. So, using your analogy, anything from 0 to 12 mbps should be acceptable so long as half the time was above 6 mbps and the other half was below 6 mbps. And, if that were indeed my case, I would never have posted anything negative about Viasat. I would be among the silent majority.

Unfortunately, my midpoint is about 1 mbps. Half of the time I am faster than 1 mbps and half the time I am slower than 1 mbps.

I repeat, all the items on your checklist have been eliminated. By the process of elimination, that leaves only one item remaining. Congestion. This is an item that could have been controlled by Viasat but was not. Now that the cat is out of the bag, it cannot be put back in.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Certain beams are very congested. I believe you are from Virginia and that I think is one of the busier ones.
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GabeU, Champion

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I came along just after it became two way, and though I don't remember my upload speeds at the time, my download speed topped out at about 1Mbps.  This was in December 2004.  I had to pay for the equipment, which added about $30 to my bill for the first fifteen months.  My daily allowance was 350MB.  

Funny enough, I still had the same service through Feb 2016.  At that time my daily allowance had gone up to 425MB, and my speed had gone up to 1.6Mbps.  When the guys came to upgrade my service they were absolutely shocked, and I mean shocked, that I was getting that speed on the system I was on, as I was utilizing one of the oldest satellites in the fleet.   I was paying $70 per month.

I had avoided upgrading to the newer system toward the end due to my daily allowance plan having the "Download Zone", which was free data between 2AM and 7AM, and I was nervous about the new plans not having quite as much data, for a similar price, as what I could theoretically utilize each month (the 425MB, plus about 2.8GB to 3GB during the Download Zone, for each day).    I subsequently realized how stupid that fear was, as I never came anywhere near the theoretical data amount in any given month.   

Needless to say, upgrading to a monthly plan and its much higher speed was well worth it.  

BTW, if any of this sounds a little funny it's because I'm not speaking of ViaSat.  I have their direct competition, but most that know me on here already know that.  
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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I hung on to the one way system well into the last decade. In fact, I think I had it for about 10 years. They were never going to kick me off....but...performance got worse and worse as they were doing things to better tune the 3000 and 4000 systems.

I will say this about the one way systems. The upload was very slow, but the latency was pretty low. Not as many weather issues either, because you only had to receive.

I still have a number of old Hughesnet parts and modems!
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GabeU, Champion

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The only one I've still got, besides the current HT2000W, is the HN7000S.  That one the installers left here when they upgraded me to Gen4 in Feb 2016.   I've still got the old dish and radio, too.  I need to take them to the dump, but have yet to do so.  LOL.  

I started with the DW6000, and with each successive modem upgrade they wanted the old one shipped back to them.  
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Me. Direcpc. The original product. We are talking about the modern internet in its infancy. Satellite internet was actually faster than internet in a lot of homes.
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phinneus

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My original sat one way was on a big cband dish. Service was called cband.net. I loved it but I didn't have any data caps. I downloaded 24/7 at I think around 80KB/s coming from dialup with Max speed of around 3KB/s it was a godsend!
Also $40 a month if I recall.

And best part was the cost of hardware was $10 brand new for the pci card and the big ugly dish I already had!
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Hfcomms

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Satellite internet first became available to me during December 2001. It was download only. I still needed a dial up connection to upload commands. I thought it was just great.

In checking my records, I paid $180 for the equipment and $40 a month for the service. I also had to pay the dial up ISP for the system to be usable.

I had the same thing starting off with one way Internet...dial up to the ISP and then downloads from the satellite.  I don't have my records but I think the dialup was around $14 a month for about 33.3 connect rate and the download was around 500 kbps IIRC.

Using a dollar inflation calculator in 2018 you would be paying $248 for the equipment and $56.62 for the service and almost $20 for the dial up.  So to make everything even you would be paying over $75 a month for dial up uploading and 500kbps downloading making everything equal on the plan that you had.

When I started with the Liberty 12 I think it was around that $75 which includes the $10 monthly rental fee and I don't know how much data I was using but I consumed the 12Gb in the first 10 days and then liberty pass for the rest of the time.  And there was no equipment fee for the install....just the monthly rental fee so we don't have that expense today.  Comparing apples with apples were getting a lot more bang for our buck than what we were with 'cutting edge' satellite Internet 17 years ago.


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