We believe every American should have access to high quality connected broadband — on any platform, anywhere, any time, and with any device. Enabling consumers to continuously connect requires that we have a vibrant vision for our broadband future that enables more Americans to access high-speed broadband. That means access via a home connection, on a plane, on a ship, on a bus, on board a train, in a car — all via satellite and at speeds and in areas far beyond what’s possible today from terrestrial wireless networks.
To achieve this goal, satellite must be included as a critical part of our nation’s communications infrastructure. Satellite broadband can close the digital divide, connecting millions of mobile devices and providing a secure backbone to aid in our national defense — especially where other broadband networks are unable to reach.
The digital divide must (and can) be a thing of the past
One of the most important things we can do is ensure that every American, regardless of where they live, has access to reliable broadband services. Broadband is increasingly important for routine daily life — whether it’s used by farmers to monitor livestock and weather in real-time; to help our veterans living in rural America to connect with doctors for improved mental and physical healthcare; to provide our warfighters with the surveillance they need to fight cyber and physical warfare; or to allow our children the ability to connect with teachers during and after school. But too many Americans live on the wrong side of the digital divide. Thirty-nine percent of rural Americans (23 million) lack access to high-speed broadband, as compared with 4 percent of the urban population.
At Viasat, we are able to blanket the country with high-speed broadband. Soon, we will be able to offer speeds far faster than what has been previously available. By bringing high-speed satellite broadband to the places where users need it most, satellite providers using multiple technologies can help to bridge the digital divide, extending even higher speeds, and next-generation wireless broadband opportunities, beyond the reach of a terrestrial cell tower.
Satellite broadband improving in leaps and bounds
We are making extraordinary progress in advancing satellite broadband reach and capabilities. In fact, Viasat expects to launch the first satellite with over one terabit of capacity in approximately three years, with never before conceived capabilities that will supplement today’s satellite systems already covering the country with digital communications. We will be able to extend connectivity to platforms that could never before benefit from being connected, boosting our national competitiveness, and helping solve some of our nation’s most critical connectivity problems — both big and small.
Americans are thirsty for more broadband competition, and for faster broadband options to meet their needs and enable them to connect no matter where they live. The fuel for innovation and growth includes access to radio spectrum. That is why we need to continue to make sure that satellite-delivered broadband has access to the necessary spectrum.
Satellite is vital for consumers, businesses, to maintain our nation’s security requirements at home and abroad and to ensure broadband and pricing remain competitive.