Wildblue customers out of luck?

  • 1
  • Problem
  • Updated 9 months ago
  • Acknowledged
Longtime Wildblue pro plan customer here. My speeds were restricted Nov. 5th. I think it was either due to a large Windows update or my new wireless router being set to share data with it's manufacturer (which was the default and I didn't realize it).

So I've waited patiently (like always) for both download and upload to fall below 70%. Usually it's download that's the problem, but this time its upload. Both have been below 70 for a couple weeks or so. I should note I never received an email saying it was being returned to full speed. I've had issues in the past with it not getting returned to full speed and I've had to contact support to have them fix it.

This time around, not so good...

First step was to contact through the email form. The response was to restart everything (which I did, and it didn't help). They also listed a support number

Second try was the online chat. I was told everything was good and my account was not in data restriction. Also was told they don't send emails alerting you that you're back to full speed.

Third try was the phone support. They basically told me the same thing. Account is not in data restriction and they don't send emails when speeds are returned. Also said there was not much diagnosing they can do to a Wildblue account. Only option is to call during certain hours to talk to a tech about remoting in.

So that's where I'm at. I might try that if I can get off work early enough one of these nights. The lady on the phone call asked if I was willing to upgrade to Exede. I told her I thought my Wildblue plan was actually better (yes, I really do!). The response is that they might suggest upgrading as being the only answer.

So I wonder whether Wildblue customers are out of luck. I can understand not having hardware like TRIAs available, but I really think this is not a problem with  my hardware. I also thought it interesting that emails are no longer sent out when speeds are returned. Either that's a recent change (I got one in August, so they did it then), or support doesn't have any idea what goes on.

I was hoping the new satellite would open up some plans worth buying. That would be enough for me to upgrade. Until new plans are out, I'd really like to know if I have any options. 
Photo of Daniel Ulery

Daniel Ulery

  • 27 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
  • disappointed

Posted 9 months ago

  • 1
Photo of Daniel Ulery

Daniel Ulery

  • 27 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
By the way, I should mention this isn't anything against the tech support people I've contacted. They've been as helpful as I believe they can. 
Photo of Stephen Rice

Stephen Rice, Champion

  • 2132 Posts
  • 1054 Reply Likes
Just out our curiosity, what is your plan and price? I'm just wondering what things used to sell for before Exede came along.
Photo of xode0000

xode0000, Champion

  • 475 Posts
  • 151 Reply Likes
Have you sent an email to exedelistens@viasat.com about this problem?  I don't know what your plan looks like or how much you are paying a month but, are you aware that Exede (now ViaSat) has unlimited plans in some areas?
Photo of Daniel Ulery

Daniel Ulery

  • 27 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
I have not emailed exedelistens, though I may try that. Unlimited plans are definitely not available here and I doubt there will ever be any. I think the west coast is not well supported by WB. My feeling is Hughes rules west coast, Viasat east coast.

What I currently have is:

3MBit download speed
17GB download cap in 30 day rolling period
5GB upload cap in 30 day rolling period
no LNFZ

I pay about $87/mo. I became a WB customer probably around 2006. If memory serves, the download caps were higher the first couple years, so I was disappointed they got lowered. On the flip side though, speeds increased from 1.5MBit to 3MBit. Also of note is that I remember the installer pointing out how much lower the latency was compared to the competition. I seem to recall something in the order of 700ms when he ran a ping. Funny thing is I hardly ever saw anything less than a second after that. Another thing of interest is that back in those days, you could buy the equipment instead of leasing, so I do have some replacement hardware, assuming it still works.

Until recently, new Exede subs weren't even available in my zip code. I'm not sure whether me being an existing subscriber of Wildblue would have mattered. 

Current Exede plans in my area are Classic 10, 15, and 25. The one comparable in price is the 15 plan. This is:

5MBit download speed
15GB priority data
LNFZ

As I understand it, priority data means full speed, then it slows down. It's funny, the site says it slows down to 1MBit to 5MBit. It's already at 5MBit, so I take it the thing slows down to 1MBit, though I'm betting even less. 

This may be a slightly different plan than I remember. I don't remember the "slowed down" speeds being mentioned at all. Just that the data was a combination of download and upload, whereas my WB plan separates them. I probably use around 2GB upload per 30 day period, so I guess the Exede plan is equivalent to 13GB download cap, 2GB upload cap. It's extremely easy to blow through my 17GB long before 30 days is up, so 13GB is a huge step backwards for me. I can't imagine what it would be like if I had a family. It probably wouldn't last a week. The speed increase means nothing if I can't really use it.

So that leaves the only real advantage, which is LNFZ. I can see the advantage for scheduling things like OS updates. Outside of that, there really isn't much benefit for me. When I'm at work, or visiting family on the weekend, I have access to much better connections. If I want to download large files, I can do it there.

As for something like Netflix, I have been downloading shows that are available for download and then bringing them home with me. That has alleviated some of the problem. I suppose I could do the same with LNFZ, but it still only gives me a limited set of shows to watch. Plus, as far as I know, I'd have to stay up late to start the downloads. I may as well just download when I'm on a better connection and bring them home like I have been doing.

I also have no idea whether LNFZ works very well. I would think if it was so great, everyone would be hammering it every night, slowing things down. 
Photo of Matt B

Matt B, Viasat Employee

  • 764 Posts
  • 390 Reply Likes
Please do email us!  I've heard of accounts getting stuck as yours has.  We have an escalation path to follow that should correct it for you!
Photo of Daniel Ulery

Daniel Ulery

  • 27 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Thanks. Already sent an email this morning.
Photo of xode0000

xode0000, Champion

  • 475 Posts
  • 151 Reply Likes
ViaSat2 is coming: https://community.viasat.com/viasat/topics/video-first-data-sent-to-and-from-viasat-2-satellite so you might be able to upgrade to unlimited in just a few months.
Photo of Stephen Rice

Stephen Rice, Champion

  • 2132 Posts
  • 1054 Reply Likes
There's nothing wrong with a good solid 3 mbps connection.

What type of speed do you get after using all of your priority data?
Photo of Daniel Ulery

Daniel Ulery

  • 27 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Yeah, actually 3MBit does ok for me. Not really complaining there.

I'm not really sure what my speeds are. I tried two different speed testing sites (speedtest and testmy) last night prior to calling tech support. I wanted some numbers to give to them proving my speeds were poor. Neither site loaded.That's after waiting about 5 minutes. I would say worse than dialup, so I guess if exede only cuts back to 1MBit it would be an improvement. But considering that the restricted speeds on WB are supposed to still be good enough for web browsing (and they really aren't), I take that 1MBit with a grain of salt.
Photo of Bradley

Bradley

  • 1083 Posts
  • 351 Reply Likes
Did you sign up for WB through Dishnetwork by chance?
Photo of Daniel Ulery

Daniel Ulery

  • 27 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Nope. Directly through WB. I'm not even sure if they had a deal with Dish at that point.
Photo of Bradley

Bradley

  • 1083 Posts
  • 351 Reply Likes
Dish sold some kind of wholesale WB accounts in 2006. I had one. It was like what you described. It was also a mess.
Photo of Markgc

Markgc, Champion

  • 337 Posts
  • 92 Reply Likes
I am home most of the day, so the Liberty Pass plans work well for me.  The speeds are fast during the day but they can be very slow at night so I don't use the internet  then.
Photo of Brad

Brad, Viasat Employee

  • 3046 Posts
  • 1069 Reply Likes
We can look into this for you Daniel but I would not hold my breath for any new Wildblue plans. We will still support Wildblue we will still troubleshoot but there won't be any new plans with Wildblue as Wildblue is quite limited on speeds and abilities compared to what we're able to do with Exede/Viasat
Photo of Daniel Ulery

Daniel Ulery

  • 27 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
I wasn't really referring to new WB plans. I was referring to better Exede plans. 
Photo of Old Labs

Old Labs

  • 3695 Posts
  • 3712 Reply Likes
It apears from your post above (where you mention only having Exede Classic plans at 5 Mbps), that you are on one of the older augmented beams in areas only supported by Wildblue-1. Your options are limitied until Viasat-2 is placed into service and provides coverage to those areas (I remember that older 30 day rolling DAP policy - experienced it only once but was very painful working things back down to 70% on both upload and download).

There's an entire swath of the the country that doesn't have access to ViaSat-1 eagerly awaiting ViaSat-2. See augmented beams at:

https://www.northlc.com/_images/beam_priority_map.png
(Edited)
Photo of Steve Frederick

Steve Frederick, Champion

  • 2737 Posts
  • 1717 Reply Likes
Daniel is on the original Wildblue, Pro plan, as he stated in his original post. That plan uses the 30 day rolling data measuring scheme, and if a large chunk of data was used in one day, as he stated, and that data is near, above or at his monthly plan data, then it will take up to 30 days for that large data chunk to get through the system. I remember being on the old 30 day rolling data measuring system, and it was a nightmare for the next 30 days after I had a Windows update eat through my data. There was no monthly reset of data, just whatever was used in the previous 30 days.
Photo of Daniel Ulery

Daniel Ulery

  • 27 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Very true. It's happened to me a few times. I'm still not really sure what I'd prefer though. With a monthly period, if you have used up nearly all your data halfway through the month, you have to stop using your internet (or, if I recall correctly you may be able to buy more).

On the 30 day period, if you use up nearly all your data, you can still use what you used 30 days ago.

I think it probably depends on the situation which is better. I guess if you knew you had another large download coming up, a monthly period would let you start that sooner.
Photo of Laurie Wise

Laurie Wise

  • 4 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I am on the Wildblue Economy package (grandfathered) which is 10 gigs (split 7/3). Price is $50 a month.  But having a  30 day rolling DAP was a godsend after my XPS 8900 Home Win10 was forced fed the cumaltive update from ver 1511 to Anniversary update last year.  Took near forever and throttle me for quite awhile while waiting for the DAP to roll back down.  My friend is on HughesNet and I was doing better than she was.
Photo of James E Besser

James E Besser

  • 77 Posts
  • 37 Reply Likes
at 50.00 a month stay with what you have 100.00 less the I pay
Photo of Daniel Ulery

Daniel Ulery

  • 27 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Heh, now something kind of odd. I checked my usage again and my download is up to almost 74%. I think it was in the low 60s the last time I checked, which was a few days ago. And I think the tech support lady told me something around 65% last night.

Considering I've had a practically useless internet connection, that's surprising to me. Could it have used almost 10% since last night on those speeds?
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 3247 Posts
  • 1865 Reply Likes
Absolutely hated the rolling meter. Once you got up in the "danger zobe" it was very hard to work it off. Now if it was the 31st of a month, you dud get unlimited usage that day. That was the one positive!

Anyhow, there is a chance Viasat-2 might cover you. If so, maybe you can get on this decade's internet!
Photo of Markgc

Markgc, Champion

  • 337 Posts
  • 92 Reply Likes
Yes the rolling meter was the pits !  I don't want to go back to those days again.
Photo of Daniel Ulery

Daniel Ulery

  • 27 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Just wanted to give an update. Speeds have never returned to correct speed, even though download and upload were both well below 70%. Initially it was too much upload that caused my speeds to slow. My upload has dropped to about 23%. My download is currently around 83. I suspect that was due to a Windows update. But to be clear, BOTH upload and download were well below 70% for quite a while. Probably a week or longer.

As I mentioned in an earlier message (3 weeks ago), I emailed viasat. I received a reply email shortly thereafter assuring me it was escalated to a certain team. That was the last I've heard. 

I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised. The last time I contacted support was a few years back and they had no answers for the problem I had then either.