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Satellite Revolt: ViaSat’s WildBlue Customers Upset Over “Bait & Switch Upgrade”

Getting Internet service in rural America can involve a whole lot more than calling the local phone company to check if DSL service is available.  When it is not, satellite broadband is often the only realistic choice to access the Internet.  Unfortunately, navigating through the options, terms and conditions, and restrictions requires the help of a lawyer or rocket scientist.

Kevin Hanssen, a dairy farmer in rural Wisconsin is just one of a dozen Stop the Cap! readers who access us over a satellite Internet connection.  He, along with others, have been writing requesting assistance navigating an increasingly confusing amount of detail about recent upgrades taking place at the parent company of his provider — WildBlue, a service of ViaSat.

As Stop the Cap! recently reported, ViaSat is placing a new satellite into service that will bring improved service for certain customers.  Long time customers like Hanssen have waited more than two years for company-promised upgrades that would bring better speeds and more generous usage policies. Currently, Hanssen faces a tiny usage allowance and “broadband” speeds of well under 1Mbps, especially in the evening.

“As a long term customer, I have lived under a plan that gives me 7.5GB in downloads and 2.3GB in uploads, but my experience with WildBlue may be very different than other customers, because the company has so many legacy and special plans that apply to different customers, so it is very hard to say ‘this is WildBlue’s policy’ because it can vary so much,” Hanssen tells us.

Indeed, over WildBlue’s history, ViaSat has changed its access policies several times, sometimes raising, but often lowering usage allowances accompanied by rate adjustments.  Since 2005, WildBlue customers who originally faced a simple 30-day consumption limit that reset after each billing cycle now face a combination of a usage allowance under the company’s “Fair Access/Data Allowance Policy (FAP),” and an even more confusing rolling speed throttle called the “Quota Management Threshold (QMT).”  Exceeding a monthly usage allowance guarantees broadband speeds of dial-up or less.  Speeds are also curtailed temporarily for customers who run browsing sessions that consume as little as 30MB over a 30 minute period.

WildBlue's Quota Management Threshold starts reducing your speeds after a heavy browsing session.

With the help of Cisco, which created the throttled bandwidth technology, WildBlue’s combined FAP and QMT systems make it impossible for a customer punished just once by speed throttles to completely clear their record as a ‘known bandwidth abuser’ unless they avoid using any bandwidth for a month.  For most customers unequipped to fully grasp the highly technical explanations of both policies, customer service representatives boil it down to something easier to understand: the less service you use, the better the chance you will not face a speed throttle rendering your connection practically unusable.

WildBlue's confusing throttle.

With strict limits in place, WildBlue not surprisingly scores among the lowest of all Internet Service Providers for customer satisfaction, and its nearest competitor Hughes does no better.

“As you have written before, satellite really is ‘take it or leave it broadband’ — heavily rationed, confusing, and very expensive,” Hanssen says.

For Hanssen and other Stop the Cap! readers who rely on satellite Internet, the promise of new capacity and faster speeds were supposed to turn “satellite as a last resort” into something more comparable to 4G wireless in America’s most rural areas.  But as our readers share, there is a big chasm between marketing hype and reality for customers on the ground.

Confusing Brands & Pricing

ViaSat has not been content to offer customers a single brand of satellite broadband service.  In addition to WildBlue itself, ViaSat markets plans under the American Recovery Act (the broadband stimulus program), co-branded service from DirecTV, DISH, AT&T and the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC), and forthcoming service on its newest satellite, ViaSat 1, which the company is marketing as “Exede” Internet. Customers west of the Mississippi who qualify for the American Recovery Act program get free installation and more generous usage allowances of up to 60GB per month.

“For two years, WildBlue has told us better usage allowances and faster service was coming with the new upgraded satellite, which we assumed would service all existing WildBlue customers,” Hanssen shares. “Now it turns out they are leaving existing WildBlue customers behind on the old satellite and creating a brand new service to sell new customers on the new satellite.”

Indeed, for marketing purposes, WildBlue and Exede are two different entities, and WildBlue customers looking for faster speeds from Exede will need to pony up at least $150 for new equipment, sign a new contract, and switch to a new Fair Access Policy that actually delivers many customers a lower usage allowance than their existing service from WildBlue offers.

“It’s total bait and switch, promising us faster service and then reducing the usage allowance that goes with it and adding around an $8/GB over-usage fee on Exede,” Hanssen says.

For customers served by the new ViaSat 1 satellite, Exede sells service based on usage, not speed.  The advertised speed (not independently verified) is 12/3Mbps, which will cost $49.99 for up to 7.5GB per month, $79.99 for 15GB per month, or $129.99 for 25GB per month.

“Highway robbery I call it, because some of those caps are lower than on WildBlue so you are paying for better speed you won’t be able to use unless you agree to pay a lot more for a bigger allowance,” Hanssen says.

New Customers Get Priority Over Old Ones?

Customers eager to switch to the new, faster satellite broadband service report they are encountering roadblocks from ViaSat and their large independent dealer network responsible for sales and service of the satellite reception equipment.  An often-heard accusation is that current customers are taking a back seat to new customers already invited to sign up.

That is a charge ViaSat, through its support forum, has strongly denied.

“We’re not giving preferential treatment to new vs. existing customers,” says WildBlue Forum Administrator Steve. “The dates we’ve quoted to existing customers who call in are approximately April/May, but yes, it could be sooner. It all depends on the number and availability of certified installer technicians in a given area. If someone absolutely wanted it now, we’ll try our best to accommodate that along with the big flood of new orders we’re receiving.”

Steve explains the delays to upgrade existing customers are occurring because new customer installations are currently “through the roof.”

An independent dealer offers new customers a better deal.

But Stop the Cap! has also learned from an independent WildBlue dealer that ViaSat is offering a bonus for dealers who sign new customers, an incentive not paid to upgrade existing ones.  Some new customer promotions also offer free installation and deep discounts until the end of 2012 for 15GB ($49.99) and 25GB ($79.99) service on the new ViaSat 1.  Existing customers do not get the discount pricing and have to pay a $150 installation fee for new equipment required for the new satellite.  Customers within a 2-year initial contract term pay even more: $250.

Customers Revolt

The government-sponsored Broadband Initiative program required WildBlue to provide a more generous usage allowance in return for broadband stimulus money.

Customers learning about the new pricing are unhappy.

Bill Cameron feels let down as a loyal customer by ViaSat’s pricing:

This new Excede 12 plan is an absolute joke. 12Mbps is awesome but the top plan limits you to a up/down total of 25GB and its $129.99 +$9.99 lease fee. So what good is 12Mbps if you really cant use it? Forget Netflix, Hulu or any Video on Demand. I have DirecTV and was hoping to be able to do some streaming but there is no way. If I want to stay at the same $80/mo price point I will loose 7GB of monthly cap since the mid tier plan is 15GB combined up and down. I don’t know what WildBlue is thinking here. Come on, $140/mo in the middle of a recession? Plus there is a $149 setup fee and even customers who have been with them for 7 years, like me, has to pay it. My loyalty is not rewarded one bit. A brand new customer pays the same amount.

A Broadband Reports reader sums up his views about WildBlue’s broken promises:

[…] We have been living with low caps on Wildblue for years, then for several years they -promise- an upgrade that will change everything. Then they up the speed to something most people don’t need, and REDUCE the amount of data available by a LARGE amount, increasing the price as well significantly. It was not what we were lead to believe. This was supposed to be an upgrade, but the speed is useless without quantity, that point has been made over and over.

And it doesn’t take someone sitting all day to go over the caps. It can take a little over an hour every day for one person to go over on the current 512Kbps plan, imagine with more speed how easy the person can go over with about 23% less data available.

Bottom line, it was not an upgrade, period, for many of us. Every neighbor I know is thinking the same thing, some currently drive 30 miles one way to get to a free hotspot to have enough bandwidth for online classes. The offered new plans are not enough for what they do either. Is anyone that understands the limits of satellite asking for anything unreasonable, NO. We were expecting an increase of some sort, any kind, not further insane restrictions after years of being restricted. A downgrade and overcharging is not an upgrade no matter how they try to spin it to us. If so few use what’s available as they say anyway, what would have been the harm of doubling the current caps. PERFECTLY REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS.

Kevin Hanssen wishes he had better options:

At this point, just about anything would be better than WildBlue.  Since AT&T shows no interest in bringing me DSL service, it’s probably going to be wireless broadband or nothing.  We have spotty cell coverage in this part of Wisconsin, but should a provider do something about that, we would still be facing tiny usage allowances in the 2-10GB range.

This is why universal service policies should extend to broadband service, to make certain rural America has reasonable access at reasonable prices.

There is nothing reasonable about satellite or wireless Internet at these speeds, allowances, and prices.  WildBlue wants new customers at all costs, even if they walk over their loyal customers to sign them up. But why shouldn’t they? Their only effective competition is Hughes, and they are actually worse!

Currently there are 80 comments on this Article:

  1. Pymm West says:

    Nice article, I learned some things about Wildblue I didn’t know. For instance QMT allowances. Never heard anything about that from Wildblue techs, not that I ever experienced speeds fast enough to reach a QMT threshold. We live in rural Southwest Mississippi with the same situation, no DSL or cell service. ATT is simply not going to get off its derriere either. Just
    this morning I search the ATT site to check for broadband service, wind up being given a number for ViaSat. I’ve resignedly signed up for ViaSat. Now that ATT is messed up in this we
    can be assured of price gouging and poor service(it is a monopoly company). I’ve been given a
    guaranty from the ViaSat representative about speeds. I’m resigned also to the fact that the cap’
    limit will stop us from using Netflix. I wish I had some money to invest in the rural areas and
    some know how. Our living expenses to get high speed internet,phone and tv is pricey indeed.
    When traveling thru the USA and seeing the rates in cities for these same staple services, I know we’re being gouged. Directv is a gouger as well(ATT is mixed up in Directv as well). Also cell phone companies aren’t expanding their towers either. As long as we’re willing to pay for these services I guess nothing is going to change. Competition is the only way out of our dilemma and very little of it is in sight. Obama talks about an upgrade to the rural areas,but looks like he is staking this upgrade thru ViaSat. We don’t vote right to get a break on price so forget that. As long as we can watch the campaign speeches on YouTube all will be ok. By the way ViaSat is saying I will get my money back on installation fees if the guaranteed speeds aren’t there. We’ll see. I know satellite speed is truly much better than dialup. And back several years ago it was truly a nice option. But with my Wildblue experience, I quickly realized there would be no voip or movie steaming. I was able to logon to my bank website and other sites with the satellite connection. I’m hoping that with ViaSat voip will be an option with the faster upload speeds. If that works then with the limited cell phone service we have,we can say to good bye to our land line phone service,saving around fifty bucks a month. No matter what I do though, ATT will wind up with revenue from us. As far as the sign up fee goes it is true their is no incentive to sign on for existing customers. No free equipment contracts like before. This is ATT’s influence in pricing. Just like with Directv we watch new customers get all the breaks while existing customers get hammered. Existing customers are subsidizing all the freebies. And why would wildblue offer anything to existing customers. I guess someone needs to justify the old satellite and pay for it. Since the rates are virtually the same it’s a win win for wildblue and ViaSat no matter what existing customers do. But who wants to pay the same price for an inferior service. I will say that if this new ViaSat service doesn’t do what it says it will do then I’m going to go for a refund and just use my slow cell wifi for internet service and wait for something else to come along.

    • Cory says:

      It is apparent to me that much of the anger about speeds and pricing stems from ignorance. Unfortunately when you live in rural America there’s a price to be paid. The idea that it is some sort of right to have high speed Internet is completely ridiculous. I’ve been patient and waited three years before getting Excede installed at my house. I have no preconceived ideas that I will be able to stream Netflix, download albums upon albums of music or anything else. If you live in rural America, embrace it. Be thankful for what you have, that your able to afford Internet at all. If your expecting to stream movies, etc. move to the city.

      • Scott says:

        That’s what they said when rural Americans asked for electricity and a number of other services we take for granted today.

        Internet Access is a necessary service today, and what speeds you have available determine what you can do with that service. Just as if you were only allowed enough electricity to run an oven, do a load of laundry, run a light for a few hours for kids to read/study compared to someone elsewhere using as much as they wanted.

        That may sound ridiculous now, and that’s exactly how it was perceived before the act was passed to provide electricity in rural areas through Coops.

      • Pymm West says:

        Well who said I believed I had a right to high speed internet service? Now having vented I want to brag on my exede service that I signed up for thru Holmes Satellite. The speeds are great. I pay $59.00 monthly for 10 gigs. I can use voip so I don’t need a lineline. I use Sprint’s airave and have
        an adequate cell phone signal. Now I’m saving money and can do what I want on the net. My Holmes Satellite folks take care of any issues that are arising. So for now I’m happy. I know cell phones have data limits and I think that my limit of 10 gigs is fair. Would I like more gigs for the same price,of course but this service is worth it to me. I can get more gigs if I pay more,but I don’t
        need it. Not coming close to using the 10gigs even with all the phone usage. Sorry to hear that dealing directly with exede has been a problem for some. That’s why I wanted to post this. Better service might be attained thru an independent provider. To the person that called me ignorant, your probably right but when I’m paying for service I’ll complain about it if there is a need for compaint.
        I still think Att could do a better job of getting DSl service to its customers in rural areas but again I’m good with what I’m getting now. I know that if cable or dsl were to come thru my area I would probably switch because of better service at a lower cost. But no doubt exede has been a welcome upgrade at my house.

        • Dida M says:

          I have wifi internet but I am paying too much just to play farmville
          I am thinking about changing to excede , can you tell me if it is good enough to play farmville?

          • Herrmadl says:

            I had to stop playing farmville because my farm got to big and it would not load. It uses a lot of the time that you get. I only play cafe world now. It stays the same size. And I still run out, I am on the old wild blue and I pay 89 amonth I am at the max of what I can get at 17,000 per month I get back today what I used 30 days ago. You never know how much that is so I am constantly checking. The bad thing is I live off 190 a major highway and I am 5 miles from town and this is my only option ! You are constantly reloading, or it gets stuck and then you have to reload. To me for the price I pay I am NOT getting my moneys worth. They flat out lied to me when I first signed up and after a week I wanted out they would not let me. I would recomment dial up before I would recommned Sat. if it is cloudy, raining or storming you can forget it.

            • Douglas Brown says:

              I do computer repairs and do a lot of updates for this, so I chew up a lot of my monthly 15GB cap. And, my phone is over the sat, via MagicJack, which works well and a great savings. VOIP will chew up about 800MB/ hr., in case anybody was wondering. Yeah, I would like to have more data, since living in the country, away from crime, feels like a crime! There’s a trade-off for country living, and since companies are looking for the all-mighty buck, we country folk don’t have a chance of getting unlimited anything. I’m not that far from the central phone switch, but apparently it is up to some local political dip sh*t weather to allow DSL to the outlaying areas. It was a while ago that I looked into this, so I might be a little off. But, I believe I am within distance to get a decent dsl signal, and they extend it all of the time, when newer technology allows. I thought it was 18,000 ft from the switch. For now, I’ll just have to live with the cap!

        • ahansen says:

          We do, however have a right to get what we pay for, and Wildblue, er, Excede, er ViaSat, er Google doesn’t deliver. At least my (backup) rural dialup is reliable, and frequently downloads faster than this horrible Excede, er, Wildblue, er ViaSat, er Google service.

          Total scam, I hope it gets the class action suit it so richly deserves. Our tax subsidies at work….

          Here is a copy of the letter I sent them:

          When I changed over from Hughesnet after ten years (a monopoly in my area) I thought to myself “Thank gods they’re gone from my life forever. That had to be the WORST-RUN COMPANY on the planet.” Boy was I in for a rude awakening. Excede, er, Wildblue, er, ViaSat, er Google (or whomever else isn’t actually taking responsibility for their satellite switching issues) completely screwed up my OS, email accounts, access and sign-ins, switched my private accounts to some Google password, and ate my entire holiday season private emails.

          Calls to customer service sent me into a discombobulated queue hell for literally hours on end, sometimes abruptly hanging up on me, other times rerouting me back to the original menu, eventually culminating in incompetent-to-utterly-clueless techs who didn’t even know the difference between a PC and a Mac and who after going through their canned menu for twenty minutes finally told me that tech escalation was “down”. For three days in a row.

          Here are a few unresolved case numbers: -052 (Melissa, who at least tried). -.4911 (Kenny who gave up and referred me to my dialup provider.) .7545 (Steven, who told me he “couldn’t guarantee the problem would ever be resolved”) And these were all SUPERVISORS (whom I spent hours in queue and on hold waiting to speak to.) I also tried to contact you online (when the server was actually operating) only to be contacted two days later with the advice that I “check the POP server on my PC”.

          I read your seven page service agreement word by word and saw NOTHING about Google having access to my accounts. I contracted with something called “Excede” and got bait-and-switched to something called “Wildblue” which tells me it’s actually ViaSat and a “partner” with Google. Which I would never have signed up for had I known. When I call the nice installer to check on the setup, my (four) messages to the cell phone number he gave me to call “if anything is amiss” go unanswered. When I go to your status meter to see why I can’t get online, all the little green check marks tell me the system is operating “normally”. Worst of all, I recommended your dreadful company to my aged father, and he signed up. Now he’s even more apoplectic that he was before.

          I’m now told I can’t get out of the contract for non-performace and fraudulent representation.

          Dishonesty and incompetence are no way to garner customer loyalty. I never thought I’d say this, but in my darker moments I find myself longing for the known devil that was Hughesnet.

          • Falconx1 says:

            It’s VERY easy to push these satellite companies out of business. However, Government is backing them, considering it’s the gov’s (actually tax payer’s satellites). The Gov. gets a % of any company that leases their equipment. As this is entrapment, forcing people to purchase, something they’re clearly not getting.

            As I too, am an Excede customer, I am very DISPLEASED, because they do throttle anyone they get a chance. If you go over your usage allowance, they say they throttle you down to 128 kbs. Well, knowing the IT world, browsers will purposely time out, if a threshold speed is NOT allowed. Meaning, Windows holds bandwidth open for updating. Well, a lot of people don’t know that. That being said, these satellite companies are using people’s equipment (Their own computers) to kick them off line!

            The easy way around this is this:
            1. Find an investor. post Craigslist, or search the Web looking for an investors. (They are out there.)
            2. Tell them you want to start a company, for High Speed Internet, Cable, and or Phone.
            3. Talk with the city, and get their approval by signing a contract with them. All free internet for city residents. However, prices are included with property taxes.
            4. Unlimited Net, No caps, No throttling. Selling your home and moving, MUST pay additional amount as a mandatory donation. Purchasing a home in the general location, closing costs include the annual Internet tax.
            5. BAM, stupid, monopoly satellite companies are gone. No more robbing people. No more telling somebody they have rocket fast speeds, but, you go to use them, you get throttled down to next to nothing.

            Satellite Internet Companies ARE a scam! They, as well as many dish television companies, thrive on that contract because, they have you stuck!

            REPORT ALL WRONGFUL DOINGS OF SERVICE TO: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC). As they will get sick of dealing with it, and put new laws into play against companies beating up the public.

  2. James R Bivins says:

    This is wildblue at top and now goto bottom and see cable.Now who wouldn’t want cable and you can even goto get a cable modem for little for nothing at low price and save cable modem fees.Or check out link
    .If you can get cable take it .I’m with Wildblue and I would recommend in a heartbeat

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    Excessive Use Of Bandwidth
    E-mail :: Print
    Thresholds are commonly used in the industry, and Charter has established in the Company’s Acceptable Use Policy “AUP” residential service thresholds at 100 gigabytes (GB) of bandwidth per month for customers subscribing to Lite and Express services, 250 GB of bandwidth per month for customers subscribing to Plus and Max (Grandfathered) service and 500 GB of bandwidth per month for Ultra100 service.
    Please reference Charter’s AUP at http://www.charter.com/aup for additional information regarding our policies.

    Please select a topic below for more information on Excessive Use Of Bandwidth.

    Accumulating Unused Usage
    Assistance With Reducing Usage
    Being Contacted By Charter
    Effective Date
    Handling Excessive Use

    Measuring Data Usage
    Monitoring Internet Activity
    Monthly Monitoring Timeframe
    Necessity Of Thresholds
    Normal Usage Definition

    Purchasing Higher Thresholds
    Suspended Internet Service
    Unintentional Internet Usage
    Using Other Services

    Accumulating Unused Usage

    The thresholds pertain to calendar month usage and will not accumulate or roll over into the following month.

    Assistance With Reducing Usage

    Charter will review security options to help customers reduce the risk of unauthorized Internet use. This includes neighbors consuming the customer’s service through an unsecured home network, and virus infections that slow down the customer’s service as well as raising monthly usage. It is the responsibility of the customer to protect and manage their Internet access; however, Charter’s Security Resource Team will be available to help these customers.

    Being Contacted By Charter

    Customers whose use is in excess of the established thresholds in the “No Excessive Use of Bandwidth” section of our AUP are considered to demonstrate Excessive Use and may be contacted. Customers who surpass the bandwidth thresholds are currently only 1% – 2% of all Charter Internet customers.

    Effective Date

    The thresholds were established in February 2009 and modified effective November 12, 2010.

    Handling Excessive Use

    Customers who exceed the “No Excessive Use of Bandwidth” section in the AUP may be notified by Charter that they have exceeded their monthly threshold and informed of Charter’s Excessive Use policy. Charter Customer Care Representatives will help identify possible causes and offer suggested ways the customer can reduce bandwidth consumption. If the customer exceeds the “No Excessive Use of Bandwidth” policy and is notified three times in a six-month period, the customer’s Internet service may be suspended after the delivery of the third notice.

    Measuring Data Usage

    Charter is currently evaluating methods for presenting usage data to customers to help them self-monitor their bandwidth usage. Customers who are notified of Excessive Use will be provided a contact at Charter who can check usage for the customer throughout the month.

    Monitoring Internet Activity

    The purpose of measuring usage is to ensure compliance with the usage thresholds in order to deliver the highest quality service levels for all customers, not to monitor Internet activity.

    Monthly Monitoring Timeframe

    The current measurement period corresponds to the calendar month, regardless of customers’ monthly statement cycles.

    Necessity Of Thresholds

    Managing the network is critical to ensuring that all customers have an enjoyable experience using the Internet. Charter’s AUP has always prohibited use that negatively impacts other users, and like most Internet providers, has established specific criteria as to acceptable use thresholds for its residential customers on a monthly basis. These limits are designed to ensure that all users of the service are able to obtain optimal service levels.

    Internet bandwidth and network resources are not unlimited, and Excessive Use must be regulated to ensure optimal service for our customers. Excessive Use is not a common occurrence, as only 1% – 2% of all Charter residential Internet customers are currently exceeding their threshold.

    Normal Usage Definition

    Although it can vary considerably, the typical U.S. residential Internet customer consumes 15 – 20 GB worth of data on a monthly basis. This includes both downstream (e.g., watching a YouTube video) and upstream (e.g., sending email) usage.

    The average is expected to change over time, as technology evolves and more bandwidth is required to provide a high quality user experience. For example, it takes more bandwidth to download a high-definition movie (8 GB) versus a standard-definition movie (2 GB). The usage thresholds defined within Charter’s AUP greatly exceed current typical residential use and accommodate future growth.

    To illustrate the available bandwidth within each package, the models below depict examples of normal activities a Charter Internet customer could perform, while remaining under the “No Excessive Use of Bandwidth” section of our AUP.

    Lite and Express Packages – 100 GB Threshold
    Send 25,000 emails at 20 kilobytes (KB) per email
    Download 20 standard-definition movies at 2 GB per movie
    Download 2,000 songs at 5 megabytes (MB) per song

    Plus and Max (Grandfathered) Package – 250 GB Threshold
    Send 25,000 emails at 20 KB per email
    Download 30 standard-definition movies at 2 GB per movie
    Download 15 high-definition movies at 8 GB per movie
    Download 4,000 songs at 5 MB per song

    Ultra100 – 500 GB Threshold
    Send 40,000 emails at 20 KB per email
    Download 40 standard-definition movies at 2 GB per movie
    Download 30 high-definition movies at 8 GB per movie
    Download 4,000 songs at 5 MB per song
    Upload 8,000 high-definition digital pictures at 10 MB per picture

    Purchasing Higher Thresholds

    Depending on the current tier of Internet service, customers may have options to select a tier with a higher usage threshold. Charter Internet Ultra100, available in many areas, has a threshold of 500 GB of bandwidth per month. In addition, Charter’s Plus and Max (Grandfathered) tier provide a monthly threshold of 250 GB.

    Suspended Internet Service

    If an Internet account is suspended for Excessive Use, the account can be reinstated after six months at the request of the customer.

    Unintentional Internet Usage

    There are various computer viruses that can open a “backdoor” to computers. Hackers use these backdoors to take advantage of others’ computers. They can use this method to commit crimes and run up Internet usage at the same time. Customers are responsible for maintaining the security of their own computers while using the Internet. For more information on staying safe on the Internet, please visit charter.com/security.

    Using Other services

    If the “No Excessive Use of Bandwidth” policy is enforced, it will only pertain to Charter Internet service and will not impact the use of other services on the account. Changes to pricing and packaging may occur as a result of no longer including Internet as a part of the customer’s bundle.

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    • Tim Johnson says:

      Stop the cap? Are you serious? You have a whole website based on non-sense? It appears that you do not understand how satellite internet service works. Essentially, there is limited space available on the satellite. What the internet service providers do, is divide up the space and sell it to customers as they need it. It is inherently more expensive than cable or DSL. If you stopped the cap, you would essentially stop the service. If you removed the cap, what would happen is a handful of people would use up all of the available space and what you would be left with is a service that is slower than dial up. This would prompt you guys to complain even more. Because there is limited space available on the satellite there is no way they could offer an unlimited plan even if they wanted to.

      • Tim Johnson says:

        It seems like a lot of people are truly stupid…haha…of course cable is much cheaper! satellite companies are not trying to compete with cable services, satellite service is inherently more expensive…with cable you are just running a line from point a to point be…with satellite you are paying hundreds of millions of dollars to launch and maintain a satellite…it is for people who cannot get cable or dsl…how much do you think it cost to repair a satellite if it goes down? Use your heads people, come on.

      • Actually, we are well-acquainted with the limitations of wireless broadband of all kinds, and recognize what you are saying. Our fight against usage caps is more about wired broadband than wireless.

        Our larger point about satellite is that the technology remains inadequate in its current form to meet the realistic expectations of customers using the Internet in 2012. Satellite broadband is rationed Internet access, and rural America needs better choices.

        • James R Bivins says:

          Phillip ,That what I talking about better options for rural areas,not just satellite and wireless.They haven’t got,what cable has got for low income people.Cable is what like and can’t get

      • If there is such limited space available via satellite, how come Directv can download so many gigabytes of HD TV 24 hours a day?

      • Rex Conard says:

        Tim Johnson says:
        February 11, 2012 at 10:54 pm
        Stop the cap? Are you serious? You have a whole website based on non-sense? It appears that you do not understand how satellite internet service works. Essentially, there is limited space available on the satellite. What the internet service providers do, is divide up the space and sell it to customers as they need it. It is inherently more expensive than cable or DSL. If you stopped the cap, you would essentially stop the service. If you removed the cap, what would happen is a handful of people would use up all of the available space and what you would be left with is a service that is slower than dial up. This would prompt you guys to complain even more. Because there is limited space available on the satellite there is no way they could offer an unlimited plan even if they wanted to.

        Tim, the data you receive or send via internet is not stored on a satellite it is transferred through the satellite therefore not being stored as you say. The only reason to cap data usage is pure greed. Get some education before you speak, talk about ignorance….

      • David says:

        Tim –

        If what you say is true, why did ViaSat / WildBlue give me *6 months* of unlimited bandwidth data with the newer, faster service earlier this year ?? How were they able to do this without slowing everyone down?

      • Doug says:

        Tim Johnson, I agree! Generally, people don’t realize how expensive these birds are, or the base stations that manage them, nor do they realize the limitations of supplying bandwidth to serve the million subscribers. The way I understand it, Exede has fulfilled the million subscribers to there first satellite, and I believe they have, or will launch another satellite. This is the best show in town for me. No cable or DSL here, although it’s sad that cable runs down the main drag in town, a mile and one half away. I guess they don’t think it’s cost effective to run cable to us, even though there is about 16 houses in our 1 1/2 mile stretch of road. But then, how many of us 16 would jump on board? forget about 4G cell/data service at this point. Sprint wireless, if they got their act together and pushed out 4G to our area, would be the best of those available, since their 4G is unlimited data. But I’m not confident that it will happen any time soon. I fall well within the 15GB cap, because I’m not hooked on Netflix, etc.. I do computer repairs and do many updates, and occasionally reach the limit, so I just purchase 1GB for $9.99. Not a big deal, and my phone is over the satellite, via MagicJack plus. it works great! That’s about a $60/mo. savings right there! Compared to the old WildBlue, this is Ferrari on the autobahn! It is what it is!

  3. James R Bivins says:

    I know how satellite internet works,it signal comes from space and cable comes from on electric poles that cable run pole to pole.I have satellite internet and they aren’t close to cable,they are more wireless and higher cost and companies can charge more and have less GB’s and BS for control.And the caps is how,they have more control and they can tell people what they want to hear with their ad.But, So they can tell you that they give it too you because they know you want and they can make their big,big profits,because of that control.But they don’t give all that you want.They only give you the word broadband,but they don’t give you the low cost,enough GB’s for people use it for they got,and the speed

    • You got it. The plan by AT&T to hand over rural America its throttled and capped wireless broadband is a complete joke, but they’ll run commercials with fireflies capturing the imagination of rural residents who can finally live their broadband dreams… as long as they don’t exceed 2GB per month.

      I can see a place for wireless broadband, but not at today’s prices.

      I’ve always had mixed feelings about WISPs. Some do an excellent job, but there is also a tendency for them to oppose government efforts to underwrite wired broadband improvement projects that could put those wireless providers in financial distress. They consider it unfair government money is helping deliver an improved broadband experience at their expense. I understand that concern, but the first priority should be to the consumer that needs the service, not protecting a business model that is constrained by limited capacity (and too often financing).

  4. James R Bivins says:

    I don’t believe these companies know what unlimited is and they claim they have wireless all over the place but when I had the AT&T Wireless USB Aircard,they said I had 3G and i was bearly getting 1 to 2G and took yrs just to get new tower down the road from me to get 3G and took about 5 months just to activate it and I was paying $60 just for 5 GB’s.So I went to Wildblue where is no better,$50 a month with 7.5 GB’s that not counting,you only get 75% before,they say they slowdown and it was all ready 75% of the time of being slow.And most of the time,they try to blame you for most of the problems when you call them to tell them about the problems and they act like you the person with their don’t know what their taking about ,when you are the one looking at it.And there is more lies from these companies than truth.These companies say customers are always right.They lie,the companies believe they are more right than the customers

  5. Rosario says:

    Wanted to give you feedback on my wife’s and I’s experience concerning the new WildBlue Excede Service. Signed up on Feb 17th with first available install date on March 3rd. Never received a phone call 2 days prior to install date as promised. March 3rd installer setup dish but could not get Modem to activate and connect to the bird. Explained they were experiencing this all week due to technical difficulties because of an upgrade on WildBlues side. After not hearing anything more, Called WildBlue on March 5th to reschedule for March 10th. Called installer directly to touch base on the 7th and was told area installers still having issues getting new customers activated. Called installer again, on March 9th and was told that new customer activation still having issues and numerous customer on hold. His supervisor cancelled any further installation until more information was provided by WildBlue. We were given the supervisors number, called-only to get a voice mail box full recording! We were never contacted directly, and were still under the impression that connection would be made on the 10th. Their rep said the install would not be possible until the 17th and couldn’t confirm the hook up even then! Called WildBlue same evening explaining the situation and asked for information as to what might be going on. Could not offer any explanation, so we decided to cancel the service. When the customer service rep tried to transfer me to the cancellation department, she came back on the phone to tell me the department was closed and had to call back. When I asked for the department’s hours of operation, she wasn’t sure and hesitant. I asked to speak with a supervisor then got hung up on! Called back and chose the disconnect option and was connected to the cancellation department and was able to disconnect. We asked for a supervisor and again were not able to speak directly to a supervisor. I know as an IT Manager if my department and staff provided this type of customer service or lack of, we would be looking for a job. We dedicated two weekends and hours on the phone only to get the runaround! My 2 cents and hoping MetroCast makes its way down the road, and listens to our service input. Greetings from King and Queen, VA

  6. Lady says:

    I work for WB and we are told that existing customers do not qualify to get the pro plus package(faster service) only new customers.

  7. Leslie says:

    I have been trying for over 3 weeks to upgrade from wildblue to exede. To this date I have yet to be able to get a date for installation therefore I have no true comment on the speed. Apparently there is some ‘error’ messages that noone in the tech department can figure out or by pass there fore leaving me in complete limbo on my upgrade. And now after reading some of the nightmares of the actual installation I’m even more worried. Unfortunately because I live in the middle of no where they have me and many like me by the short hairs with no choice but to deal with this stupid situation. Unless someone would like to get off their butt and get this figured out and soon I can promise u the second something else is available in my area I will be gone from any affiliation with ViaSat and will not be recommending it to anyone I know or meet in the future… My initial contact I spoke with a couple of very nice people but my frustration over this situation is now over shadowing any of their cordial attempts to make me happy in any way. We make jokes at my work place over our IT guys and the little bit they actually do to keep their jobs but after dealing with this situation ViaSat IT guys make ours seem like genius’ … In short if you have any choice other than satellite use it!

    • James R Bivins says:

      Call Dish,Im existing customer,talk to them.Them don’t have 7.5GB,it starts at 10GB for 49.95 service+ modem lease for 10.00 and it don’t slow until you hit 100% and you don’t get charged per GB over 100% and I pay $6 for maintance on my dish/exede and so haven’t been charged no high cost for sending techand the installation was lower.This my only opition for higher speed service

      • Leslie says:

        Unfortunately I am still within my 2yr contract with wildblue directly so opting to go with another company for the service would require more money than I can afford at the moment… I am stuck just harassing customer service daily now to get anything done and complaining where I can on the internet and warning others to stay away if they are able. But thanks for the info. Hopefully it will help someone else. Have to admit I have had few problems with Dishnetwork in 10yrs for my tv service. Too bad they were not offering internet when I finally had to go with wildblue.

        • James R Bivins says:

          That is where I started with the old wildblue over6 months ago though dish when I got the new service just over a month ago and they void the old wildblue 2 yr contract to the new 2 yrs contract

  8. IT Guy says:

    I made the mistake of switching to ViaSat (Exede) only to found out it was WildBlue.

    I called the number on the mailer card, as 12 Mbps sounded much better than the 800 Kbps from Hughesnet. We’ve been loyal customers to HughesNet since 2007 and lived with 800 Kbps which was only slightly better than dial up. At $79.99 a month it was pretty frustrating so I was eager to switch to 12 Mbps and $49.99 (plus $10 for some additional monthly charge). It was still cheaper than HughesNet and faster speed, so I called HughesNet to cancel our service and they offered several discounts/credits. They also offered to send a repairman out to our house for free and replace any equipment for free. They also offered to discount our monthly bill $30 for 1 year (we would pay $49.99). I couldn’t believe it.

    So I called WildBlue and cancelled my order (never even got to the installer thankfully).

    The real kicker was that it was going to take WildBlue 14 business days to refund my installation fee!
    They called this an (account setup fee).

    It only took 1 business day for them to charge my credit card the $149.99 but it was going to take 14 business days to get it back (almost 3 weeks?). I asked to speak with a supervisor and she explained that it was the finance department that was the hold up. I said my next call would be to the better business bureau and then she said she could TRY and escalate the process. I said please do escalate it.

    What a bunch of crap, they would be holding onto my money for 3 weeks and making interest of it !! That’s just highway robbery !!

  9. Leefeller Guy says:

    Glad to find out I am not alone in the Wildblue bad dream act. I called my old Wildblue number and now find out it is Excede, Viastat and Wildblue. I may have done some downloads which caused them to call me a web abuser, but when I called to find out when it would return to a faster then 0.12 download and 0.04 upload they gave a fuzzy discretion BS story about how it would take 30 days for them to make sure I behave myself.
    So I have been off the computer for a week and it has not moved up in speed even a little.

    I have been a customer since 2006 and find myself shaking my head, because like others here we had anticipated a newer faster service instead of a slower one. I suspect they for Wildblue have also changed the alleged thresholds as they did from the simple 30 day restart.

    I am going to cancel my service with Wildblue or may just take a 3 to 6 month hiatuses and like others taking my laptop into town doing the free Wifi thing once a week and saving fifty bucks a month. Yes it has been called a recession, but I believe it really a depression.

    What is really frustrating, is I have a state of the art computer, which is like having a fancy car which you can only drive at 5 miles per hour. Could not even get Skype to work properly on Wildblue, Satalite is promoting themselves as the rural option, seems they must have many well paid lobbiests.

  10. Gary says:

    I recently got hooked up. It was my installer’s first go at the new system, so he understandably had some hiccups. When he finally got done, I immediately ran a speed test. 18 down, 3 up. Tickle me happy. Then he left.

    What I experienced over the next 10 days was utterly disappointing. The service would simply disappear. After researching online, I learned a trick to reset the modem and router. This would fix the problem temporarily until about 20 minutes later where it would happen again. After 2 service calls were scheduled, then cancelled without any notice, I was livid. I called Dish up and told them to come get their equipment… I was DONE!

    Lowe and behold, I got transferred to someone who actually sounded knowledgeable. Turns out, my modem was not yet registered in the system. So I was getting a temporary authentication that would drop me after 20 minutes. She got me registered and all has been good since.

    The speed is impressive. The caps blow. But coming off of a 128k ISDN line, I figure I haven’t got much to lose. For roughly $20 more a month, I get the same speed throttled (supposedly, as the cap has yet to be enforced) and 10 gigs at speeds that allow me to do things on the internet at home that I never could before.

    As for the loyal WildBlue customers on the legacy equipment, I feel your pain. If I were in your shoes, I’d be pissed off too! I am hoping that in 2 years, when my contract is up, there will be better options available in my area. I almost didn’t pull the trigger because AT&T has been laying fiber within 4 miles of my house. But after 8 years of ISDN, I decided I can’t wait any longer for broadband.

  11. Frogville says:

    When I hear the word “Wildblue”..my blood just boils! I have been a customer since 2007, and it’s the worst company I have ever had to deal with…not responsive, and each representative tells you something different. There isn’t any consistency or processes regarding issues with services, billing, etc.

    I wish there were better options in my area, however, we are stuck with Wildblue; hopefully Verizon will have technology that will exceed WildBlue. My VISA account was overcharged twice due to a WildBlue error…I kept on calling and was ensured the “credit” was in process. The end result is WildbBlue does not categorize a “credit” as a “credit” to my VISA account; it’s a “credit” to my WildBlue account….one representative made that distinction for me. I have logged over 20 calls with WildBlue since February 2012, and still no credit to my VISA account.

    Bottom line: My frustration regarding the credit to my VISA account led me to file a grievance with WildBlue via VISA. VISA credited my account; however, I still see WildBlue has not.

    We now have WildBlue’s Viastat…it was interesting how the marketing for ViaSat positioned itselft as a new “solution”…and behind ViaStat it’s really WildBlue.

    After reading everyone’s feedback regarding this article, there is a definite trend as to how WildBlue manages refunds…..isn’t there a fraud law that protects consumers against companies like Wildblue?

  12. John Spounias says:

    For those of us stuck in a rual area there ARE options now, it just takes a little work on our behalf,

    1. quit paying wildblue. I know, I know, get a cellphone for now and use its tether, its faster and typically cheaper now.
    2. as communities invest in cheap WiMAX technology, and build your own backbones.

    Its that simple, and it is simple, technologies like ubiquity are going to be allowing this VERY soon.

    Most places also have some other form of WiMAX or 900mhz wireless in their area, call every ISP in your area and check. My small neighborhood is just barley out of reach of the ISPs in my area and I do plan on building my own ubiquity network, paid for by a corporation of my neighbors. If you don’t know the technology, learn it.

    I have threatened them numerous times with this, and if more people do maybe they will understand their service is a dying monster and they might learn some humility.

  13. Leslie says:

    Well I am keeping good on my threat made earlier in this thread… I’M OUTTA HERE FINALLY!!! In a week I will be paying the early cancellation fees and dropping Wildblue… Finally have an other option in my area called FlashByte that my boyfriend and I have been testing out and it works a 100 times better with no limits and a ton cheaper. So anyone in southern California that has been stuck on satellite services might want to see if its available to them. It probably is what John above is talking about , I am just not that tech savy 😉

    • Brad H says:

      @Leslie. Have you tried Flashbyte? I’d be willing to eat all my costs and get on that service especially for the price I am paying now with Exede.


  14. Tom says:

    After reading all the comments here on ViaSat, I guess changing from HughesNet will be like going from the frying pan to the fire. They are introducing a Generation 4 eqivilant to Excede in September. But after 2 years of absolute HELL with them, I’ve come to the realization that ALL satalite internet is a complete rip off, joke and not worth a dime let alone $50-$130 base rates per month. They have a captive auduiance and exploit it. If they in fact receive government money such as I have read, then being our tax money we deserve better. But they all claim they are losing money, stock prices down and their still in business. If it’s available for one it must be available for ALL. We all need to put presure on the DSL carriers somehow to expand their networks and put these satalite rip off artists out of business.

    • James R Bivins says:

      I agree what Tom said,we are the government so this means we are paying double price.I still having problems out of Viasat system,even after over 11 Dish techs out here.And they good,but still learning on this system and the bad thing,there is cable out here and that is what I want.And I told them,if,that is a big word,I see cable coming.This stellite internet is gone and right now t,his is my only opition.What makes me mad is ,federal and state maps shows there is cable and it not.These companies don’t know what reasonable is,especially for low-income people and rural

  15. I’ve recently upgraded to the Exede and the speeds are as promised. Unfortunately, the way they measure usage is jacked up. I get to my 15 Gb. in around a week, no matter if I don’t download anything. Recently a customer support rep told me it must by our smartphones, that we need to turn off the wifi when we get home. Unbelievable. No one is downloading anything and yet we still reach the 15Gb, even though we never reached the 1.5 Gb. under the old system. Then they slow you down. I installed two different third party apps to measure the speed, and both of them said we don’t come close to the 15 Gb. When I point this out to the reps, they assure me their equipment is accurate. I do not recommend paying the $150 install fee for the Exede because I’m convinced their equipment is faulty and it will say you’ve exceeded your limit no matter what you do or don’t do.

    • Scott says:

      We have yet to see a metered internet provider’s equipment that is accurate or reliable to date. I’d recommend next time you’re taking a vacation or will be away from home that you turn off your router for 48hrs, make note of the days, then check your usage to see if anything is reported by Exede.

      If you get ok cellular signal in your home you could also disable WiFi on your phones, typical usage is only 200mb-1.2gb a month, but it’d be another way to rule those out.

      Seems other users have noticed questionable “leaking” of metered data as well:

    • What? That is completely ridiculous. These CSRs will tell you anything to get you off the phone thinking it must be your fault and not theirs. The second excuse is usually sunspots so count yourself lucky you did not get that one.

      Funny how all these atmospherics always seem to work in their favor, not yours.

      As we just reported today (see our home page) Suddenlink swore up and down their usage meter was absolutely accurate last week. Four days later, they disavowed it when a customer caught their hands in the usage cookie jar — nearly 23GB of phantom usage in one day… when his service was mostly out.

      Usage measurement tools are completely unregulated, and that gives you an idea about how accurate they turn out to be. You can’t weigh a zucchini at a supermarket without that scale being verified at least once every year or two. Broadband scales? Meh, what does THAT matter. 🙂

    • tony mercede says:

      I am with you, I recently got throttled down to barely anything, couldn’t even open a web page! my data meter with the wild blue meter showed 130 GB but it never reset from day 1 but they told me that it was correct, and i must of talked to 10 different reps 2 months before they started throttling, about my meter not resting but they told me not to worrie that it wasn’t affecting my speeds, but i said what about when they start? I’ll be throttled right away with all this on the meter, and a week ago that’s just what happened!, i got punished for a meter that never reset. but i did have 1 rep make a mistake “I’m sure” and agreed with me that he saw that it never reset either,
      So i talked to the main corporate office and they wouldn’t do anything for me other than waving my 2 year agreement , even after telling him that i was going to get a class action lawyer and investigate them , but he didn’t care, i guess if they get as much money as i gave him and keep getting new people its a win for them.!?
      all together for the 4 months with them it cost me+
      *first install-slow=350.00
      *first month=49.00
      *install exede=350.00
      *month 1=90.00
      *month 2=150.00 (somehow they charged my card for what ? i don’t now? they said it was for the exede?
      * month 3=90.00
      *month 4=90.00
      So that’s $1,169.00 dollars for 4 months and if that’s everyone that’s a lot of fu**ing money, so no wander they don’t care if someone drops out they figure they will probably get 4 to come on for every 1 that drops so they win again! how is it the rich always gets away with this? they figure with hughesnet doing credit checks they will get all of the people with not so good credit and people need internet theses days and 99.9% of everyone pays their internet bill before anything else so a credit check is not really needed for internet so they win here too!

      but i instantly canceled after talking to their corporate office, they would not listen to me about my meter issue, I offered everyone I talked too to take a look at my screen shot of both meters showing only 5.3 gb for the 3 weeks in the month, I said ” do you really think i could download 130gb in 3 weeks when all i did was brows the web and watched 4 netflix movies” I was just flabbergasted!
      I’d rather use cell phone tether and download nothing than deal with wild-blue another day, I put up with so much through the change over to the exceed, constantly down and slowed speeds i didn’t go more than 2 days without some kind of trouble and had service guys out about 7 times to try and fix my speeds then when they finally get it consistent and decent speeds they start throttling me!, and I also have 2 different meters, 1 is on my router (netgear) and it only showed 5.3 download for the 3 weeks when wild-blue’s showed 130 g, now there’s something wrong! then i did a test to try something out, I turned everything i have OFF -,TV,phone,PC,etc everything that would of connected for 5 hours, i wrote down my meter reading on the router and with wild blue’s and when i got back after 5 hours my wild-blue’s meter showed 3.5gigg’s of usage and my routers meter showed 0 usage, now how could i of used 3.5 when everything was off and i asked wild blue this! and they had no answer other than everything was working correctly, YA FOR THEM! TO TAKE OUR MONEY TO HAVE SLOWER SPEEDS THAN BEFORE EXCEED!
      I told them I was going to get a class action lawsuit lawyer! BUT they didn’t care and didn’t do anything for me,
      So we all need to get together and do something about this it cant be legal what there doing? I was a great customer paid early every month at 90.00 dollars a month and just couldn’t believe what they did,
      they even admitted that there was a problem with the meter for a few months but they had the problem fixed and was correct but obviously not with mine never resting how could they throttle me? 1 rep said “you just have 10 days to wait till it resets” how can i do work without internet for 10 days?
      and that’s another thing you get a different answer with everyone you talk to! 1 guy said that they could do a once a lifetime meter reset and to wait 12 hours before it would reset “bull-crap” just another way getting you closer to the reset day AND it never reset then they try to get you to buy 1 gig at 10.00 bucks and it would be full speed and full speed after midnight till 5 am another lie! i had 1 agent give me 10 GB on my account to try and speed it up but didn’t work so i told them “you see there’s defiantly something wrong with the software”!
      I canceled thinking to go with HughesNet next month because they are getting their fast sat. up and going so i called to get installed but they do a credit check and was going to cost me 475.00 to get installed because of the lease thing, my credit is crap due to a divorce so now I’m stuck using a sprint WiFi hotspot box that sucks but better than nothing.

      SO, BOTTOM LINE, THERE HAS TO BE ENOUGH OF US TO GET A LAWSUIT GOING ON THIS OR AT LEAST GET AN INVESTIGATION GOING? I would love nothing more than for them to call me and apologize and have to connect me back up with unlimited download a month.:)
      here is my email if anyone wants to get something started i have some proof too.
      [email protected]


    • Wade says:

      I was thinking about going with Exede, but after all the complaints. I’m staying with my Wireless Provider.

  16. Brad H says:

    I just got hooked up with Exede because I had to switch from Hughesnet, because it was the worst for me. I paid $220 for lifetime lease of the equipment or it would have been $9.99 a month. Do it now or loose the benefit deal. I paid $49 for the install and $159 for the first part of one month and next month. I get 12Mbps d/l and about 3Mbps u/l. My gripe is not trusting the data tracking with Exede. I don’t know if the tracking of usage is accurate. Of course WildBlue says it is, but there is no breakdown of time and usage. There is a midnight to 5 am which is unlimited, but there is no scheduler unless you use MS Task Scheduler to download things so you don’t have to stay up in the wee hours of the morning. You really don’t know if they are tracking or not tracking your usage unless there is some type of tool to do so. I know on the modem, you can see usage. The weird thing for me is that WildBlue’s data usage meter, in 5 days shows I have 15GBs! There is no way! We didn’t use 375MB a day with Hughesnet! I get no help from WB because they say they are accurate. What sucks is that EVERY media has it’s throughput and bandwidth issues. I’d be happy to have unlimited data download knowing it may be slow at times like it was when I had cable. Why can’t there be unlimited or even 150GB or 200GB of download a month. WTH! It’s absolutely pathetic to only have 25GB and cost $129 a month. I’m getting and everyone is getting REAMED!!

    • tony mercede says:

      YES- WB meter’s are running twice the data speeds i think or even triple its funny i can stay under my 3 gm cap on my cell phone tether, but when i had WB i was over the 15mb in 4 days.

      i am getting an attorney a class action one that can handle every state, I know for a fact they are ripping people off and their not going to get away with it! I AM SO TIRED OF GETTING SCREWED AND DOING NOTHING, THIS TIME I AM, So hold on people you’ll hear good news soon, I’m sure


      And its a damn shame because when it did work for a few hours a day it was pretty good.

      and i am going to be suing for more than just the meter i have a lot in mind so all of us should make out on the dirty wildblue service $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

      • Brad H says:

        Well, guess what? I got rid of WildBlue and Hughesnet and found Razzolink! Yea! Have you guys heard of WISP (Wireless Internet Service Providers)? Check them out by searching on Google and you might just get lucky so you can drop the junkie satellite service. But if you can’t then, it is what it is unfortunately. Anyhow, WISP are line of site connections to a Wireless Access Point (WAP) using microwave technology. My service is now 3Mbps download and 1.5 Mbps upload with UNLIMITED data usage and at $48 a month…I’m soooooo stoked! I don’t care about the slower speed when it’s unlimited and now my PING if I do any gaming is around 70 to 80 ms. Much better than 900ms with satellite. Thankfully, I called Wildblue and told them that I do a lot of VPN work and their service was not acceptable. They refunded me about $250, so I did get some back…not all, but I was paying $129 a month so I’m saving over $80 a month now. Hope you guys find your Internet nirvana service.


        • Doug says:

          Well, I have Exede satellite, with 12Mb/sec, and sometimes 25Mbs. I have had it for several months and it screams! Also, I use magicJack over it for my telephone. It works great! It’s a different frequency band than their old Wildblue satellite.

      • Jim says:

        I will happily Join in the lawsuit. I was a customer with Wildblue for years. The speeds they promise are not even close to reality. I called to cancel. I was not in contract. They gave me a 3 hour run around. I finally agreed to swith to Exede. It did not run from the minute it was installed. I called to get it resolved and got no where. It took three long phone calles to cancell. They are not trying to charge me fees for all sorts of stuff that are not valid. They ket charging my credit card long after service was cancelled. I stopped Via Sat from access to the card. I have spoken to customer sevice three more times spending over 4hrs on the phone with them. VIA SAT HAS THE WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE i HAVE EVER SEEN. I asked to speak to a suporvisor in 3 different departments and was told they were not available. I spoke to tim in billing and he could not even tell how the bills were generated and put in three different ticket # for the erroneous bills. He tells me it will take three weeks for the escalation department to decide if they will credit charges that they made up and they don’t know what the bills are.
        Today I recieved a letter from a collections agency for more than the first erroneous bill.

      • Rick says:

        I am definitely interested in the class action suit
        let me know

  17. David says:

    I am interested in participating. Please email suggestions for router meters.

    – David

    Lompoc, Ca
    [email protected]

  18. Gail says:

    I have been using Wildblue for a couple years. i am lucky .. my 2 year contract runs out in 2 days. I got the scam email saying i was approaching the limit in bandwidth … although I haven’t changed anything I do on the internet for over a year. Anyway, they talked me into exceed. Just $20 or so more a month, for the same or a little better speed, and unlimited download (she said once) … double what I have she said once … I got confused. But whatever, it seemed that i would have better, faster or more (?) service with only a $20 increase per month. She was going to comp the equipment upgrade because I am a loyal customer. So …

    I called the provider who is to install the exceed equipment, and boy did I get an ear full. Apparently, the sattelite that is supposed to provide service to this part of rural america is full, and they don’t expect additional capability (a new sattelite?) for at leats 2 years. He said the Wild Blue people should have known that, and should never have sold me on the current scam. So. I cancelled the upgrade with Wild Blue / Exceed, and will move to Dish in the next few days.

    Very, very frustrating for us in rural Washington State.


    Good luck all. And good luck with the class action. If I’m eligible, I’m in

  19. Brian says:

    Like y’all I signed up to wildblue caused there wasn’t any dsl service where I live.
    And to tell the truth while it is better than dile-up it could be a lot better the bandwidth isn’t
    verry good but since I live out in the middle of nowhere it was the creepiest thing I could afford
    at the time. But now that verizion has the unlimited plan I haft to weight till the 2 year contract is up before
    I can get it and I know it’s better than what I’ve got because he brought his phone to my house and we used
    It to go online with it and it works better than wildblue now I wish I would have wated on this but can’t do anything
    about it now. I have an iPhone guess ill try to jailbreak it and use the free tethering on it eather that or find a pre-paid
    Android phone with a free tethering app eather way the point is I’m ready for something faster.

    If y’all are thinking about a class action lawsute count me in they did it to Verizon cause of limiting Internet usage
    I’m prity sure these satiate company’s are doing the same thing.

  20. Steve says:

    I have been a wildblue customer for 9 years.Happy for the most part,living in a rural area .but for the last 2 months have been slowed down to dial up speeds. all I can say is that if there is a class action suite I am in also. these companies should not be allowed to limit our speed and bandwidth on the claims they have set fourth.My son is a network engineer and says there is no way that my wife and I could be using at the rate they claim for what we do on the computer.I will be ending my service with wildblue soon. We can control this company by all sticking together and terminating our service

  21. Pamela says:

    Good morning all…

    Excede just came to our area and began advertising heavily in October. I’ve talked with sales reps several times now asking questions and have read up on nearly everything that I can get my hands on to make better, more informed decisions.

    I live in a rural community in southern Missouri and there is just nothing worth paying for here and why I am still on dial-up. The connection rates are miserable (19.2 kbps at this moment) and my computer locks up even just trying to access my email. I am really lucky to just be here for the moment, as a matter of fact.

    I can’t load facebook, amazon, send or receive any pictures…you get the idea.

    Forget about trying to work from here. I would love to start a home-based business, but it is impossible. Hence me checking out this service.

    I just wanted to thank all of you for your pioneering efforts and publishing your experiences from all over the U.S.–as difficult as it is to live in a dial-up world–it would be extremely painful for us to try to take on more costs and then be locked into a disaster for two years.

    I’m opting out of signing up with them for now and I am praying we can get 4G at some point or even cable. The latter will be a cold day in hell, I’m told. There aren’t enough people to justify the expense (even though the rich people down the road get Charter in their condos on the waterfront. They could have stretched the lines up the road to the rest of us–but they didn’t.)

    Right now (because of topography) we do not have line-of-sight access for aircards. We do not have DSL and the only satellite (up until this point) service is extremely expensive. As it is today, I have to drive nearly thirty miles round-trip for a wifi hotspot if I need to get some work done.

    I was really hoping this satellite co. would be the answer, but not after reading all of your problems. Especially with the inconsistancy and non-resolution with metering. I had no idea that they can arbitrarily state usages/overages like this. So good to know.

    Finally let me say that I am sorry to all of you that are at the receiving end of so much
    frustration, but let me say thank you again for potentially saving me from a worse monster than what I currently live with…

    Yours in access discrimination,


    • Gary says:

      Not sure what the cumotion is about, I was with wildblue for 10 years, I upgraded to viastat 6 months ago. Once I called to upgrade it took only 5 days for installer to arrive. I have fast speeds and work from home. Same price as I was paying before and only $50 to upgrade!

    • Gary says:

      By the way Pam, I live in south east Missouri and have a home office.

  22. James R Bivins says:

    I have had 30 techs at my house since feb. and alot and I mean alot downtime with the old and new system.I still have freezing all the time.It had been moved from one place to another and so I hate it.

  23. IGolf says:

    You’ll be sorry if you get ViaSat. I bought it and the salesperson didn’t even bother to tell me that there are data limits. Only 10 days into the month and we’ve exceeded our data limit so we got an email saying they were slowing our speeds down and the email practically scolded us for our Internet usage saying that we should “monitor our usage” and that they “reserve the right to further restrict [our] service if [our] usage becomes excessive.”

    “Excessive”?! So I called and spoke to one rude person who got me to a reasonable person who explained to me that in order to meet our usage (which I’d have to think is about average in the U.S.A.) that we’d be paying $200 per month JUST FOR INTERNET SERVICES and that even at that, we would still go over and be on restriction.

    Shocked, I told her that the local cable folks would give us unlimited Internet for far, far less. “Of course” was her response.

    So we’re going with cable. What is this, 1990 and we’re paying for AOL minutes? ViaSat needs to get with the time. Plus the Internet service drops constantly, Netflix rebuffers. And that was BEFORE they sent us the email chastising us for our usage and saying they were going to slow our speed down. Slow it down? It’s already just barely over dial up. Anyway, I just didn’t want someone else to get to the frustration level that I’m at so I thought I’d share my experience. ViaSat stinks. They seriously need to get with the times.

  24. James R Bivins says:

    They want and have control over services,so they can push up the cost.All the ads they put out is false ads,so they can get the person under the 2-year contract or no contract,they still get you for the cost.This means to the companies,the customers are always wrong.They slow down the speeds when they want too.

  25. Sharon Arnold says:

    All we want is to be contacted by someone. My husbands’ email, set up thru Wildblue will not work, and we have attempted to call and chat. many times….if I want to wait 27 minutes or longer, I will be put “next in line”….OR their system is down and I could contact them later. I eventually wrote a detailed letter to the MANAGEMENT. Obviously, they do not care either, since 3 weeks have gone by and still no response! We need to cancel the email NOW.

    • James R Bivins says:

      I had Viasat/Wildblue,the old and new system and it ,all started in end of 2011 and got rid of in Jan 2013.Between the old and new,I know I had over 50 tech at my home and just to say,I have wish I never got.They dont care about the customers,as long they can make their money and the false ads on all their service.When I had terminated the contract in Jan 2013,I still had to pay the temination fee and the system was still not working.I am in rural area where it is hard to get fast service in my area,like cable and I’m on disability.I wouldn’t recommended to anyone

  26. Pymm West says:

    Well it’s been a year since my upgrade to viasat and we now have 15gigs per month @ $59.99 with free downloading on weekends between 12:00 to 5:00 am. Have had no service problems, speeds are good and dependable. I got my service thru Holmes Satellite in Tylertown,Ms and it’s billed thru
    bowie-cass electric in Douglasville,Tx. I agree with what Phillip said about rural options, more is better. But here satellite is my only option and I’ll take it. Comparing cap costs with wireless phone
    providers our exede service is priced better but probably slower than 4g. Phillip no doubt your a better expert on that than me. It’s just I don’t have wireless phone access at my home. Verizon is now good enough for cell phone coverage and when my sprint contract expires I’m switching to Verizon for cell phone. For me the caps are too expensive for internet thru any cell provider. My dream for internet service is something like fios at Verizon. Phillip thanks for your extensive coverage across the USA. I think you helped Georgia residents become aware of their plight and was nice to see the people react to it. Also Phillip you have indicated your political leaning, liberal,
    mine is conservative. I think your reporting has been non-partisan, showing both parties are capable of exploiting this up and coming evolving market. We need the coverage and again thanks.
    P.S. Att has offered me local phone service recently for $25.00 monthly. I had them turn my landline off when I had exede installed. I use magic jack. It works excellent for a $1.50 monthly and includes all calls across the USA and Canada. I have wondered Phillip if any of your cap reporting
    had anything to do with our gig increase to 15gigs monthly?

  27. Wade says:

    Sounds like to me ViaSat/WildBlue needs a good reaming themselves. They need to get their collective asses sued off if you ask me!!!!!

  28. Raymundo Maldonado says:

    I just got wild blue and i pay $39.95 per month. Thanks to the recovery act I didnt pay for installation and the equipment is not rented to me for $9.99. I wanted 10.3 gb per month and thanks to the recovery act i get 20 gb per month. My speed was supposed to be 1 mbps but i get to see videos with no buffering at all. I love this service so far.

  29. bill robbins says:

    I have the been reading about the gripes about exede not being what they expected it to be .if you want movies get dish network or direct t v I have had my exede since Nov. of last year and i would recommend it to anyone I got my system from a local dealer and I haven,t had to call them once it has never went out .when i signed up it was installed 2 days later it sounds like some systems have not been installed right to begin with I live in northwest ALede. if anyone wants to know who yhey are e mail me [email protected] GO EXEDE

    • Doug says:

      Amen!!! I love mine too!! Can’t believe all of the bitching about it! You would think that everybody expects cable bandwidth! I don’t think anybody realizes how expensive satellites are, and the technology to run them.

  30. I have beena cable high speed Internet user since the start but sincei moved up in the mountains I’ve had to switch to satellite Internet. Wow! I’m not only paying twice much now, for their 12 mb I got a 15 gb cap which always runs out in 4 days. Even with Comcast I never usually went past 20gb in the WHOLE month of 2 heavy users. It’s a rip off. Upon calling I get the Ho and hum that never satifies my complaints.

    • Terri says:

      I’ve always had the suspicion that Exede’s measuring of my usage is faulty. How would I know this? My usage consists mainly of emails and some downloading of Word documents. We are not on the computer on a daily basis. My entire family is at work/school/sports until 7 or 8 each night. My kids are not allowed to use youtube or download anything, and there is no computer usage on weekdays for the kids. My husband does look at weather radars from time to time. We’ve even stopped hooking our phones up to wifi. What the heck is eating our 15 GB of bandwith – usually within a two week period??!! This makes no sense to me! Any suggestions of how to measure my bandwith on my end?

  31. Dean Martin says:

    I live in the mountains of California.
    At first, I had Hughes. It barely ever worked and cost a LOT!
    Then I heard about Wildblue, switched and was happy.
    But their data caps were low and they had no better plan other than to buy a 2nd dish just for my wife, which I did.
    This went on for years.
    Finally, they introduced Exede.
    While there were several cancelled appointments (or even no-shows) by their techs, we finally got fairly good service.
    Highest DL rate I’ve ever recorded is about 18mb/sec.

    A few things- we don’t watch a lot of bandwidth-sucking video.
    Exede has a program that from 12 midnite to 5am, all caps and monitoring of bandwidth usage are disabled.
    In effect, after midnite it’s free.

    So, I set up programs to automatically download video after 12 midnite.
    In the day, they’re watched and the cycle repeats.

    Yes, it sometimes goes down.
    Yes, it’s very expensive.
    Yes (oh yes) their customer support and technician management needs improvement.

    But one has to know what their needs are and at least as far as satellite internet goes, watching streaming video all day is not going to work.
    Don’t even consider Wildblue / Exede for stuff like that.

    At the moment, I’d say.. except for the cost and the way they try to force Google on me… I’m a satisfied customer.
    It could be a lot better and I feel Wildblue could and should offer some better solutions or perks for those that are suffering, but I have bigger problems in my life than internet service right now.

  32. David Uhl says:


  33. Rich says:

    Here are my experiences with Exede/WB:

    I’ve had nothing but problems with you people.

    1.Your customer service is rude blaming me every time something goes wrong even if its their fault. Near every time they try to pass the blame on me and say it’s my fault even if it’s their fault.

    2. Your service is rarely ever stable. I’ve had three outages in two days, more than five in two weeks. I was promised stable, super fast service and I haven’t gotten it. What’ I’ve gotten is throttled and blamed every time when it wasn’t ever my fault, as I’ve been careful since going over the first time

    3. My data should not be out. I upgraded from 10gb to 15 and it ran out almost instantly, when I barely do anything big outside LNFZ. And yet even after I take security measures, my data still runs out in two weeks. I’ve had it. If I can get cancelled free, I’m switching asap.

    4. Apparently, LNFZ DOES count towards my total despite being free. I’ve noticed that at some periods, you do take off my data even after 12:01 AM or whenever LNFZ decides to start. It’s not even consistent. So this Late Night Free Zone is a complete lie.

    5. The prices. They tell you that the ETF is 15 bucks a month for every month left which is too high.Why is that fee even here? Why? Cause you’re doing something called bait and switch. You don’t tell people they have a data cap in the commercials and you don’t tell people the truth about your prices. ETF’s don’t exist anywhere but you and that needs to be dropped. 300 just to cancel cause I hate your service, isn’t right. If I wanted to, I could report you to the BBB. And if I’m not cancelled for free, I will do just that. I’ve had it with your internet service and was suckered into it with empty promises on your part. False advertising.

    These five reasons are why I demand you cancel my account for free or be reported. I want out and should not be made to have to pay 300 plus dollars for some ridiculous fee that any other company would offer free.

  34. Frank Gau says:

    We changed from a slow provider to Wild Blue over three years ago. It worked OK but wasn’t much
    faster. You could download large files after midnight with no extra charges. That was the only
    good thing about WB. Several months ago, a repairman came out from WB and notified us that
    EXEDE now owned WB and was much faster. I ordered the upgrade and he installed a new dish and sattellite. It worked OK and was somewhat faster than WB. After about a month, it started slowing down. We called Exede and they sent out a new repairman who said that the original installer had really messed the system up and he installed new software and codes. A couple of weeks went by and it regressed once more. The repairman came back and relocated the settings and left with Exede working once more. Then we had troubles getting Apple products to work and put an Airport Express hookup and got it working once more. Then, we could not get on the internet and spent many hours conversing with Exede to no avail. They did say that the Airport express was faulty. My wife took it to Apple who tested ti and it worked fine. We again called Exede to no avail. They said they would send a repairman out to work on the Sattellite for $150. We said no way and wanted out of the contract. They said we could cancel for $275. and return the implements to them. We couldn’t come out in the morning, get a cup of coffee and turn on our computers because, the lousy internet wasn’t working. We even had Apple try to get our system working and they couldn’t because the Exede router didn’t work. So, we canceled the account. If there is going to be a suit against this organization, count me in. They are so bad that I think the US government is in charge.

    • Douglas Brown says:

      Frank Gau, Just because you had this experience, it doesn’t justify labeling Exede a bad product. And, it is definitely not grounds for a lawsuit, that’s silly! It sounds like either the TRIA (that thingy on the end of the dish), or the modem itself was bad. I have had Exede for several years now, and never have a problem with speed, and I also use apple products occasionally. I think a good technician is worth his weight in gold, and you obviously needed one. If you are thinking about Hughesnet, I wouldn’t advise it. They have the WORST, fair access policy I have ever seen! They totally suck. I would suggest giving Exede another crack, and find a different installer. It really is a great system! I have enjoyed speeds of 22Mb/sec at times, and youtube HD video’s don’t pause, most of the time. Good luck!

      • The real problem is that satellite broadband has inherent limitations that will always make it a poor alternative to wired service. But that will require telcos to wire at least DSL to rural communities because cable companies sure won’t. Wireless ISPs can also be a good resource, when they are well-run. Let’s hope broadband expansion money can go to expand rural Internet access and resolve this issue.

        • John Dorian says:

          I disagree that satellite will always have it’s downside. the only downside really is greed.

          I mean give me unlimited internet at 5mps as oppose to 20 gig limit at 10mpbs. Or SOMETHING.

          They are just upping the speeds and not the caps.

          I agree thou that “hard wired” will always be better but that’s no excuse to provide an inferior product for a higher price and accept government money.

          They are in the business of taking advantage of people who have no other choice. And since they have partnerships with the cable companies there is no incentive for cable companies to try to get into their territories it’s overall a bad system to support satellite internet.

          Don’t get me wrong thou it has it’s place, such as in mobile homes or boats and rvs as well as for traveling sales man and those niches. But it’s not made for residential and shouldn’t be branded as such.

  35. jeffrey black says:

    Terrible service, complained after 2 days and they charged me $278 early term fee. Then after speaking to over 10 different people they lied to me about the refund

    Obviously I am not the only one after reading this page and also the BB


  36. John dorian says:

    This article is still relevant. But i’d like to add that the government gave them A LOT of money to provide internet to rural areas.

    Money which should have been given to fiber optic or cable companies. Sure they used the money and they FINALLY have speeds that are some what comparable to those options. BUT WHAT GOOD IS FASTER SPEEDS IF YOU JUST REACH YOUR CAP QUICKER.

    it would be like spending billions to build a train that can go 1000 mph but then only giving them half a mile of track.

    Yeah okay fine i have internet where i live finally …… but it was an AWFUL solution to the problem.

  37. John Dorian says:

    And i’d like to add on that the “fair access policy” the data for that was based on CELL PHONES not on COMPUTERS!

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