Rollout of Viasat’s newest satellite service is now mostly complete, with download speeds ranging from 12 to 100 Mbps available across the country. It also marks the beginning of a new standard in satellite internet plans: unlimited data.
ViaSat-2 service was available nationally starting April 30.
The residential plans feature speeds of up to 12, 30, 50 and 100 Mbps, with availability varying by region. Customers can enter their Zip code here to see which plans are available in their area.
There’s good news for customers on our ViaSat-1 satellite, too. Unlimited data plans will be offered to most of them in the coming months, and many of those subscribers can upgrade to ViaSat-2’s unlimited data plans now. Current customers can see what’s available in their area by logging into their account and clicking the “Your Plan” tab.
These plans offer unlimited data, setting subscribers free of data caps. If a customer exceeds the amount of data earmarked for each plan, their data may temporarily be prioritized behind other customers. That will only happen during network congestion.
Plans are divided into geographic markets, and include a best and a standard offer. All best-offer markets have plans offering speeds from 12 to 100 Mbps. Plans available in standard-offer markets offer 12 Mbps speeds. A built-in Wi-Fi router is included with every service plan.
Implementation of sophisticated video streaming optimization was the key to making unlimited data plans not only possible, but affordable.
Streaming video is one of the largest consumers of data on Viasat’s network. The video streaming optimization tool reduces streaming quality, conserving data. On most devices and for most users, the reduced quality provides an acceptable video experience, and in some cases the difference is unnoticeable.
The lowest-cost ViaSat-2 Bronze plan includes video streaming optimized at 360p, a level of quality best suited to phones and tablets. On the Silver plan, streaming is optimized at 480p, considered DVD quality. The Gold plan features video streaming at 720p, ideal for watching shows in high-definition on a big screen or any other device. Some areas will also offer the top-tier Platinum 100 plan, with up to 100 Mbps download speeds streaming at full HD 1080p quality.
The new satellite was created with a flexible broadband system to keep pace with the growth and ongoing demand for bandwidth. That flexibility extends to the ground system, too.
“Viasat-2 has the ability to move capacity around,” said Viasat’s Director of Product Management Chris Gilbert. “Our engineers continue to optimize the network to ensure we can deliver the best service to customers across the country.”
ViaSat-2 is the most advanced, highest-capacity communications satellite in orbit and it joins Viasat’s other three satellites already in service. Next up is the ViaSat-3 constellation, with the first satellite planned for launch in 2020. These three satellites, once deployed, will provide worldwide coverage, making Viasat the world’s first global ISP.