ViaSat-1 Launch Gets Planned; High-Speed Satellite Internet Around The Bend?

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News Posted: Sun, Oct 9 2011 10:55 AM
Ever heard of ViaSat? What about satellite Internet? Yeah, that one probably got your attention. Satellite Internet is one of those weird, weird things that you aren't quite sure how to feel about. On one hand, it's a terrible Internet experience compared to the luxury of high-speed broadband provided by cable, DSL, etc. On the other, at least it's an option for those who are too far away from a typical ISP. So, it's better than nothing... but just barely? That sounds about right. But soon, those historically lackluster speeds may be improving. ViaSat Inc. has just announced that the launch of the ViaSat-1 high-capacity satellite is scheduled for Wednesday, October 19th. It'll be launched from the historic Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, with liftoff scheduled for 12:48 am local time (October 20) in Baikonur.

The fueling of the ViaSat-1 spacecraft was completed on Monday, October 3. In the next phase of pre-launch preparations, the satellite will be mated to the launch vehicle payload adapter to begin the joint operations phase of the program. The combined assembly will then be joined with the Breeze M upper stage in preparation for mating to the Proton launch vehicle early next week. Wondering how and why this impacts you?

The high-capacity Ka-band spot beam satellite has planned coverage over North America and Hawaii, enabling a variety of new, high-speed broadband services for WildBlue in the U.S. and Xplornet in Canada. With a capacity estimated at 140 Gbps, ViaSat-1 will become the highest capacity satellite in the world once it is safely on orbit. In other words, once this bird is operational, we could finally see sat Internet speeds that are worth gloating about. Or, at least writing home about. Fingers crossed for a smooth launch!
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AjayD replied on Tue, Oct 11 2011 12:50 AM

140 Gigabits/sec is supposed to be impressive? I suppose it could be if the number of simultaneous users was to be limited to 14,000 or less. That would allow for a 10 Mbps connection or better for each user. However, given the probably astronomical cost of this satellite and the additional cost of placing it into orbit, I would suspect they would need customers well in excess of 14,000 for this to be an economically viable venture. That being said, individual connection speeds of 1 Mbps would allow for 140,000 simultaneous users, which seems more reasonable. Anything less than a 5 Mbps connection, however, will be severely underwhelming. I will be interested to see what speeds they offer, and if speed will come at the expense of data usage being capped at some horribly inadequate level.


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Chainzsaw replied on Tue, Oct 11 2011 9:58 AM

I know of Xplornet. They are much better than the other satellite companies around in North America (Cough Netkaster Cough,,,).

Their FAP (Fair Access Policy) system for their internet is much more lenient than others. For example - when FAP is activated on your account with explornet (if you have been d/l too much, you naughty boy) you get about half the speed of what you should be getting for about an hour.

With other satellite companies (Netkaster) when you get FAP'd, they bring you down to dial up speed. Which is horrible, it's even worse than dial up at that point...

I cannot wait until this satellite is up - it will affect me. Hopefully the new speeds won't come with much FAP policy's as the internet I get where I live is already horrible (Satellite). Still, ANY internet is MUCH MUCH better than NO internet at all.

"So, it's better than nothing... but just barely? That sounds about right. " Sorry Ray, I don't agree with this statement. (typing on a satellite connection, where there are no fiber optic cables or land lines to connect to the rest of the world).

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briton38 replied on Tue, Oct 11 2011 10:56 PM

So what does viasat1 mean for us sat internet users that have NO other choice as far as usage goes?? will our available usage under the FAP increase with the signal?? Will current customers have first shot at the viasat1 systems as far as getting to change over to them?? right now my bandwith usage is fine and low because i dont do anymore than basic surfing with facebook and other forums,email and not alot else and even though i spend hours a day online i online use like 1% if that..... But its fine right now too because my son is grounded from the internet. he is 14 and into utube and such and can eat up some bandwith if not closely closely monitored.. One day of my being sick in bed and him spending 5 or 6hrs online doing whatever he wanted took up 25% of our monthly usage..couldve killed him....

anyways just wanted to know if anyone knew anymore about it thanks

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Forget better speeds, all I care about is if it's going to increase the FAP limits or not. That's the REAL problem with satellite internet. Lower speeds and latency problems suck, sure, but they're bearable. A 17 GB bandwidth limit, which is currently the highest you can get with any satellite Internet provider, is not. They say it's more than enough for the average Internet user, but apparently in their minds the average Internet user doesn't watch Youtube, stream movies on Netflix, download music, stream music on Pandora, or do anything that average Internet users do on a regular basis.

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RIsham replied on Sun, Dec 25 2011 9:51 AM

The faster the speed the more bandwidth it will be available 400 to 800 kbs = 425mg per day, 800 to 1.6 would give you 550mg per day 4.0 would give you 1 gig per day 10 would give you about 2,5 gig per day. and so forth.

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