Viasat Internet: Rural Connectivity at Multiple Price Points

If youíre familiar with 4-H ribbons or driveways a quarter of a mile long, youíve probably spent time comparing faster internet options, like Viasat internet. Frequently, rural and remote areas of the U.S. have been left waiting for better internet access infrastructure. Laying fiberoptic cable can be costly and time-consuming, and small cities or towns usually arenít first on the list. And the farther you are from your internet service provider, the more DSL will struggle with sufficient speed to accommodate many of todayís common online activities. Thankfully, satellite internet doesnít rely on phone lines or fiber cables to offer widespread internet coverage for people in rural areas.

With geostationary satellites thousands of miles above the planet, satellite internet canít give the extreme speed of fiber internet in large metropolitan areas. But if you want to avoid the daily gridlock of congested city freeways, Viasat Internet can provide rural subscribers with sufficient download speeds for common internet usage Ė and those speeds are about to get faster, when Viasatís new ultra-high-capacity broadband satellite is launched in the second half of 2022.

Viasat Internet also provides faster download speeds and bigger data plans than HughesNet, another satellite internet. Currently, Viasat subscribers have download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second, or Mbps. HughesNet plans only offer maximum download speeds of up to 25 Mbps.

Whatís to love about Viasat Internet?

If youíre frustrated with inadequate DSL, youíre too far from cell towers for sufficient cellular internet, and youíre at the bottom of the list for the gradual 5G internet rollout, Viasat satellite internet has multiple plans and tiers for a range of budgets and needs.

While HughesNet offers some residential bargain plans, Viasat continues to provide better value with higher possible download speeds and more ample data allowances. As a welcome gift to new subscribers, Viasat offers introductory discounts for the first three months of your contract.

For remote areas where Viasat plan availability consists of more basic plans, like the Unlimited Bronze 12 with speeds up to 12 Mbps, these speeds are better than dial-up by far and may still be faster than your DSL options. Viasatís regional plan availability may also increase once the new ViaSat-3 satellite is launched and operational.

Due to the geostationary orbit of reliable, high-capacity communications satellites, satellite internet typically has high latency. Itís not ideal for fast-paced, graphics-heavy, synchronous-play online video games, for instance. But unlike mass-produced low-orbit broadband satellites, large communications satellites in geostationary orbit are reliable, less susceptible to low altitude hostile interference, less susceptible to adverse space weather, and less likely to worsen the night sky light pollution that can complicate astronomy research.

Viasat also proactively guards against a different kind of susceptibility; the company began as a supplier for the U.S. Department of Defense, and integrates cybersecurity measures in its hardware, software, and systems.

With American satellites needing to withstand daily attempts at signal interference and systems infiltration, Viasat has deep experience in reducing risk of disruption, engineering resilience, and anticipating malicious opportunism. Viasat still continues to provide secure communications solutions for enterprise and government clients and contracts.

When you subscribe to Viasat residential satellite internet, your home dish receives signals from a carefully engineered, ultra-high-capacity broadband satellite optimized to maintain functionality for the planned lifespan of the satellite.

Satellite internet depends on satellites, and Viasat has a proven track record of building reliable, cutting-edge equipment that lasts for the long haul Ė even against daily interference attempts, even thousands of miles above the planet.

Viasat Internet & the Affordable Connectivity Program

Viasat residential satellite internet plans offer a range of maximum download speeds, priority data thresholds, and price points. This flexibility allows you to assess your budget, your average household data consumption, and ways to maximize your priority data allowance. With tools like the Viasat app, you can access metrics that will help you gain insight and understand your household use patterns so you can plan realistically.

Viasat offers multiple plans that fall in several categories. You can check which internet plans are available in your region by entering your address on the Viasat website. Most regions can access Viasat Internet residential plans in the Bronze, Silver, and Gold categories, and some areas also have access to Platinum plans. Bronze and Silver plans typically have more affordable tiers of maximum download speeds and priority data thresholds, while Gold and Platinum plans provide higher maximum download speeds and larger priority data allowances.

Potential customers may also benefit from checking to see if they qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which is the replacement program for the Emergency Broadband Benefit program. Households that qualify can receive up to a $30 monthly discount on their internet bill, or up to a $75 monthly discount for qualifying Tribal land addresses. Viasat was a participant in the EBB program, with plans to continue participation into the new ACP program. Find out whether you qualify by visiting .

Viasat Residential Internet: A Range of Price Points

Common
Residential
Plans
Maximum
Download Speeds
Discounted
Introductory
Price
Regular
Monthly
Price
Monthly
Equipment
Rental
Priority Data
Threshold
Unlimited Bronze 12 12 Mbps $70 $100 $9.99-12.99 40GB
Unlimited Silver 25 25 Mbps $100 $150 $9.99-12.99 60GB
Unlimited Gold 50 50 Mbps $150 $200 $9.99-12.99 100GB
Unlimited Platinum 100 100 Mbps $200 $300 $9.99-12.99 150GB

Most Viasat unlimited plan introductory prices range between $70-$200 a month, with regular monthly prices kicking in after the first three months. A one-time $99 installation fee may be waived, so itís worth inquiring about when you set up service. Unless you choose to purchase your equipment up front, thereís also a modest monthly equipment lease fee Ė Viasat technicians install a small dish at your property, as well as a modem or modem-router WiFi gateway. Viasat internet service contracts come with a two-year guarantee in pricing, so you wonít be hit with sudden price hikes. If youíre a new subscriber who prefers to opt out of a two-year contract, you can do so by paying a $300 no-contract fee up front.

Unlimited plans offer unlimited standard data so that if you consume your priority data before your monthly plan is up, you still have usable internet: the standard data may just be slowed or ďthrottledĒ at peak use times, like evenings.

Internet service providers that donít offer unlimited standard data sometimes charge for data overages customers may not even be aware of. Even though slower unlimited data can be frustrating if you donít realize you met your priority data threshold already, it prevents you from getting a big, unexpected bill for data overages.

And Viasat offers a variety of tips and tools so you can learn about what devices, apps, or activities may be big data consumers and ways to become mindful and efficient with streaming settings, smart appliances, secured Wi-Fi, and other factors. Depending on the number of internet users in your household, whether you work remotely, how many active devices are used daily, and other considerations, you can assess ways to conserve data and whether or not itís the right time to upgrade to a higher priority data threshold.

Viasat Plan Availability by Location

Depending on subscriber location, you may encounter variations of the common Viasat plans listed above. In some areas, all Viasat plans offered may share the same maximum download speed but vary in priority data allowance. In other regions, plan categories like Bronze or Gold may include more data options.

Regional plan availability for new subscribers may shift when Viasatís new broadband satellite launches, but for now itís a good idea to enter your service address on the website or chat with a representative to see whatís available. Viasat Internet offers coverage across the continental U.S., Hawaii, and parts of Alaska. And unlike new satellite internet providers, with Viasat, thereís no months or years on a waiting list. Frequently, you can have a technician installing a Viasat dish at your home within three to five days.

How Viasat Internet Compares to Competitors

Your internet provider options will depend a lot on your location Ė and frequently, internet access comes with qualifications: ďcheck for availability in your areaĒ or ďplace deposit to reserve your place on a waiting listĒ or ďcoming soon to a city near you.Ē It can be helpful to sort whatís still hype from whatís already here.

Rural and underserved regions often have a few kinds of internet service available; usually, these include options like satellite internet and DSL. Sometimes, areas might have limited access to fixed wireless or cellular internet.

There was a time when DSL was an improvement over old dial-up internet, but today, rural DSL speed tends to be slow, especially for remote customers. Viasat satellite internet is up to three times faster than non-metro DSL.

In the U.S., other satellite internet providers are HughesNet and the recent newcomer Starlink. HughesNet also employs large broadband satellites in geostationary orbit, while Starlink is building a constellation of thousands of low-orbit satellites.

In addition to satellite internet, some regions may have access to fixed wireless or cellular internet from carriers like Verizon and AT&T. AT&T fixed wireless internet download speeds can range from about 10 Mbps to 25 Mbps, but speeds typically vary depending on proximity to a cell site as well as the overall capacity of the cell site. Fixed wireless sometimes looks like a good deal up front, but AT&T bills for monthly data overages. Verizonís LTE internet doesnít have data caps, but has very limited rural availability. The speed and pricing of options like Verizon LTE or 5G internet plans are appealing Ė but theyíre not widely available outside of metro areas. Cellular internet plans may increase in availability at some point, but most rural and remote customers wonít have access to them yet anymore than they have access to fiber internet.

Viasat Internet Continues Track Record of Reliability

For areas where DSL is slow and cable and fiber internet simply arenít available, Starlink and cellular internet often arenít available yet, either, and some fixed wireless options come with hefty data overage fees. Rural areas have access to HughesNet satellite internet Ė but HughesNet plans have lower maximum speeds and data allowances than Viasat plans.

Viasat Internet provides a range of price points, with download speeds up to 100 Mbps in some areas. Viasat broadband capacity is about to increase with the approaching launch of its new carefully engineered ViaSat-3 satellite, and Viasat continues to offer tips and tools on consumer data consumption efficiency and conservation so you can get the most value out of your data allowance. As a participant in the new Affordable Connectivity Program, Viasat Internet will be eligible to apply a monthly discount for qualifying households that sign up for the program.

With rapidly advancing technology, itís always a good idea to stay informed about internet options currently available in your region and (aside from hype) internet options likely to be available in the foreseeable future. If youíre considering Viasat and want to keep your options open in the future, new subscribers always have the option of paying the no-contract fee as technological developments continue to unfold.

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