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Why Satellite Fraudband Still Sucks: Low Caps, Throttled Speeds, Almost-Useless Service

exedeDespite claims satellite broadband has improved, our readers respectfully disagree:

“Most people don’t know what data caps really are until they’ve had satellite based Internet service where the bandwidth is shared,” Scott S. reminds Stop the Cap! He’s a subscriber of Exede, a satellite broadband provider powered by the ViaSat satellite platform serving about 687,000 residential customers nationwide.

Online life can be a lot worse when you are stuck with satellite-based Internet access:

  • “I am only allowed to have 10GB per month total for everything and have a 12/3Mbps service. Anything over that and they either cap your flow or give you substantially lower bandwidth speed.
  • “You can’t go online with more than three devices (including your phones).
  • “You can forget Netflix or watching any shows online.
  • “You can forget playing ANY video games online.
  • “You can forget taking any college courses online without service interruptions (which I am).”

“And they still charge you as much as other ISPs do (at least $60/month) that provide no data caps and a MUCH faster speed,” Scott writes.

Exede offers most customers plans with 10, 18, or 30GB of usage per month. About one-third of the country, typically the most rural regions in the western U.S., can now choose faster plans at speeds nearing 25Mbps because those spot beams are underutilized. But most subscribers get considerably poorer service because about two-thirds of ViaSat’s residential satellite access beams are full. Despite that, Viasat still managed to find capacity to power in-flight Wi-Fi on JetBlue, Virgin America and some United Airlines aircraft.

Customers who have never had DSL or cable broadband tolerate the slow speeds and low caps better than those that move from an area served by a wired provider. Many of those customers call satellite broadband speed marketing claims “fraudulent” and complain low usage caps make it difficult to impossible to use the Internet to use multimedia content.


Currently there are 9 comments on this Article:

  1. Justin says:

    I currently have DishNET and it’s the worst ISP I have ever had. Here are the reasons why:

    1. Overpriced – I pay $70/month for their highest plan (30GB). They charge an additional $10/month for the modem, but if you bundle Dish TV with your DishNET service, you receive a $10/month discount, which basically covers the modem rental fee.

    2. Extremely low data caps – even with their highest data plan and light Web usage, I still run out of data each month. I then have to pay their $10/GB “extortion fee” in order to prevent my Internet speed from being throttled to the point of uselessness. This proves that the sole purpose of data caps is to make extra money, not to reduce network congestion.

    3. Unreliable – while it’s common for satellite services to go down during storms, DishNET often goes down for no reason at all, sometimes up to an hour! The modem frequently resets itself, likely using data in the process that counts against my cap.

    4. Misleading – DishNET advertises their plans as 10GB, 20GB, and 30GB. They are actually 5GB, 10GB, and 15GB – only half of your data can be used during the day. The other half can only be used during off-peak hours (2-8 a.m.).

    DishNET recently introduced a new 50GB plan. I called to upgrade (you cannot change your DishNET plan via the MyDISH website) and was informed that the 50GB plan is a trial and is not yet available in my area, despite it appearing on their website after entering my ZIP code. I later noticed the fine print – “up to” 50GB Anytime Data. This allows DishNET to continue selling plans with extremely low data caps.

    Living in a rural area, I have no choice but to use satellite Internet. Satellite ISPs take advantage of this fact by abusing their customers. What will it take to end this nonsense? Complain all you want to the FCC; they won’t do anything.

  2. jazneo says:

    My family keep complain to exede they gave me unlimited internet

    • Justin Ayers says:

      Exede can stop calling it throttling and call it what it is: a shutdown of your service. Liberty my behind.

      Even on dial-up I had more success loading webpages. Welcome to 2016 in the best country on Earth!

      • Justin Ayers says:

        We just canceled with Exede. They didn’t offer any upgrades or even apologize for giving us useless fake service with their “liberty” nonsense. They just happily charged us $315 for early termination. So, I don’t believe the guy who claims he got “unlimited Internet” from complaining. Yeah, OK Exede rep.

        “Customers who have never had DSL or cable broadband tolerate the slow speeds and low caps better than those that move from an area served by a wired provider.”

        While I have experienced horribly slow DSL I have to say that anyone who has used Time Warner’s cable service and then satellite Internet is in for a massive shock. We used 60 GB of data on average with Time Warner and never had problems with the service preventing us from loading webpages unless there was an outage (which happened much less often as the years went by). 18 GB cap followed by useless throttled “service” that’s pretty much the illusion of having Internet service rather than a reality. When pages don’t load at all that’s not throttling. It’s nothing.

        We moved a little bit outside of the city to get some peace but this horribly expensive and low-grade Internet situation is leaving us to twiddle our thumbs when we get off of work.

  3. Justin Ayers says:

    Exede is horrible. The “liberty plan” BS promises that you’ll be throttled but still be able to use your service after you pass over all their super-low caps with super-high prices. In reality, the throttling makes even loading a simply webpage impossible much of the time. I couldn’t even load Amazon.com until I connected instead with my Verizon phone.

    Slow, unstable, overpriced — extremely irritating when it comes to the so-called throttling (basically you can’t load any webpages half the time or more).

    Broadband? Riight.

    • Justin Ayers says:

      Some genius at Exede came up with these “liberty” plans, too, because the company once offered unlimited nighttime data. Well, unlimited data is a terrible thing. It might make an ISP actually useful instead of hugely parasitical. Customers pretty much all agreed that the “liberty” plans were a downgrade. That’s broadband satellite evolution, though. Some suit comes up with new ways to give you less and charge you more.

      They have the nerve to offer $99 100 GB plans for some customers, like in Florida, and charge us more for 18 GB! Grotesque.

      • Justin Ayers says:

        I also forgot the HUGE cancellation charge if you agree to a long contract to try to be scammed less by their equipment rental fees.

  4. SendDavid1 says:

    If you’re in NY, you can submit a claim for a refund with David, Inc.–50% of claims get refunded: http://bit.ly/2c6NxVl

  5. Top says:

    I sadly use Dish Network after dumping HughesNet some years ago, just to find out Dish took over HughesNet… Because there are so very few satellite providers they operate in collusion with each other to maintain remarkably similar business models. You can move to another satellite provider, but you can’t get adequate service. They know you are powerless because other ISPs will not spend MegaBucks to run infrastructure (lines) to rural areas. The payback takes far too long.

    I am amazed that State Public Service Commissions allow this type of deceitful, dishonest business practice to be perpetrated against their citizens.

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