While satellite internet speeds have come a long way since the service was first conceived, they still are not able to directly compete with the speeds of high-end cable packages. ViaSat’s recent launch of the ViaSat 2 satellite earlier this month aims to change that.
The ViaSat 2 is a geostationary satellite that was launched into space from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, at 4:45 p.m. PDT on June 1. Shortly after it’s launch the satellite was sending signals to a ground station in Hassan, India. The satellite will take several months to reach its final orbit, where it will deliver unprecedented satellite internet speeds to customers below.
ViaSat has said that they hope the satellite will enable them to offer internet speeds up to 100 Mbps; rivaling the speeds of high-end cable packages. While 100 Mbps is the primary speed being touted Mark Dankberg, chairman and CEO of ViaSat gave an interview to Multichannel news, saying:
“We’re still working on our plans, but we likely will have service plans that are up to 100 Mbps, and we may have some that are as high as 200 Mbps. The satellite’s capable of that. The real issue is how do we price those plans and how many subscribers we can put on them?”
It’s important to remember, that while many customers utilize satellite internet for their home internet needs, satellite internet is also used to service airplanes and cruise ships. With speeds like 100 Mbps, working on an airplane or playing video games on a cruise ship are suddenly completely viable options.
To understand just how big of an upgrade this new satellite is to ViaSat’s services, one only needs to know how fast ViaSat’s top package used to be—25 Mbps. That means that conservatively, the ViaSat 2 will deliver speeds four times as fast.
When the satellite is fully deployed it will improve services across North America, Central America, the Caribbean, a portion of northern South America and across the Atlantic Ocean between North America and Europe. While ViaSat already serves rural areas across the country, this new satellite will significantly improve their rural offerings.
The future of satellite internet is a bright (and fast) one. The new ViaSat 2 satellite is leading the way and American consumers can expect their satellite internet options to become increasingly comparable to those of cable.