To go along with numerous innovation awards, a quickly growing customers base, great deals and top notch customer service, Exede Internet by ViaSat Inc. has now added something to its resume that no other Internet service can get: a world breaking record, recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. The ViaSat 1 satellite system, initially intended to simply upgrade speeds on the Exede Internet service when launched in October 2012, now provides around one hundred times the throughput capacity of a Ku-band satellite and ten times that of a Ka-band, which adds up to more capacity than all of the other North American communication satellites combined.
Exede, by extension, is now the fastest satellite Internet service ever, with download speeds consistently up to or above 12 MB per second. Exede specifically delivers high speed Internet to rural regions of America who have been neglected by traditional Internet providers. Customers who bundle Exede with Direct TV today can save $120 over the first twelve months of service. ViaSat, who is offering reliable Internet to over seventy percent of the country (including Hawaii and Alaska), estimates about forty percent of their customers have come from unsatisfactory DSL or cable providers.
Satellite Internet has a reputation of being slow, and had little effect in August of 2012, when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made their third annual National Broadband Progress Report. The results were not good: nineteen million Americans had no means of obtaining high speed Internet (more than five percent of the country) and about fifteen million lived in rural regions of the country deemed unprofitable by the closest broadband and cable providers. Last year the United States ranked 16th on an International Telecommunications Union list of broadband access per capita. Exede set out to change these figures, and is well on its way to becoming the dominant Internet provider in America.
But in February, the FCC recognized the Exede satellite Internet service from ViaSat as one of the fastest in the United States, four times faster than comparable DSL services and eight times as fast as other satellite services. The slow and expensive reputation of satellite Internet is fast becoming a thing of the past, and the FCC is no longer excluding satellite services from performance reports on high speed Internet in the United States solely on the grounds of Exede’s tremendous advances. In fact, the FCC reported that Exede Internet is even faster than its promised upload and download speeds.
“In our testing, we found that during peak periods, 90 percent of ViaSat consumers received 140 percent or better of the advertised speed of 12 MB per second,” the report said. “In addition, there was very little difference between peak and non peak performance.” Exede customers were typically getting about 16.5 megabits per second instead of the 12 MB per second, according to the report. The service starts at $50 a month, with a 10 GB per month usage capacity, though Exede offers five free hours of data cap every night, 365 days a year. Exede also offers several tiers which offer more data consumption for a higher monthly subscription fee.
“Our goal has always been to give our Exede customers the most consistent broadband experience, and it’s good to have objective data showing we delivered on our promise to deliver great speeds,” ViaSat Chief Executive Mark Dankberg said in a statement. “It’s especially important to us that the data was collected from Exede subscribers and that the FCC offered us the opportunity to be ranked side by side against DSL and cable services.”
Exede is currently a finalist for the 2013 Edison Awards, to go along with several awards gained in 2012 along with major military contracts and a partnership with the American Red Cross. ViaSat’s satellite Internet business ended the December quarter with 467,000 total subscribers, compared with 429,000 the prior quarter. For the third consecutive financial quarter, ViaSat surpassed Wall Street projections by several million dollars. Bundle The Edison Award winners will be announced in April.