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ViaSat Delivers 12 Mbps+ Via Satellite

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the ok-this-looks-sexy dept.

The Internet 245

An anonymous reader writes "Last Thursday, ViaSat announced pricing for its new home broadband service, which is set to deliver 12 Mbps+ download speeds (3 Mbps+ up) beginning next week for $50 per month. Engadget just dropped by the company's demo home just a few feet from the Engadget trailer at the Las Vegas Convention Center parking lot to try it out, and posted their review." The comments there, understandably, wail for information about how much data that $50 buys.

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245 comments

lots of land, no line (4, Informative)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633846)

Caps can be an issue, but if you are rural these speeds and prices are an instant upgrade.

Re:lots of land, no line (3, Informative)

halo1982 (679554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633864)

Caps can be an issue, but if you are rural these speeds and prices are an instant upgrade.

Yep, with Hughes and WildBlue being around $80/m for 1.5 down these speeds are quite welcome.

Re:lots of land, no line (4, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634036)

ViaSat is actually linking their Via-1 Sartelite with WildBlue so customers of that service should get the better value as soon as this goes live.

Re:lots of land, no line (2)

halo1982 (679554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634236)

ViaSat is actually linking their Via-1 Sartelite with WildBlue so customers of that service should get the better value as soon as this goes live.

I would imagine to take advantage of this at the very least the customers will need a dish repoint to Viasat-1 at 115.1 W if not an all new modem/TRIA to be able to take full advantage of the speeds.

What, you don't think the company would just upgrade a customer's speed at no cost do you? Hah!

Re:lots of land, no line (3, Insightful)

noh8rz2 (2538714) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634176)

Throughput is great if I'm downloading large files, but what's the latency? Awful, I imagine. This kills any bi-directional applications - Skype, e.g., and spoils the snappiness of a good internet experience.

Re:lots of land, no line (5, Insightful)

hdd (772289) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634364)

Latency in any sat based communication is governed by physics, not technology. Skype/VOIP over a sat connection is actually not terrible once both party understand that they need to wait for the other end to finish before they start talking. On the other hand, being able to get 720p streaming over sat connection is not something that you could get for 50 bucks a month before, so this is a huge improvement.

Re:lots of land, no line (1)

Beardydog (716221) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634448)

I recently assisted a gentleman on HughesNet with a ping of 1008.

Re:lots of land, no line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634326)

ViaSat owns WildBlue.

Ping (3, Insightful)

zennyboy (1002544) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633858)

Download speed is nice, but for gaming, latency is God...

Re:Ping (4, Insightful)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633892)

Latency is an issue for Farmville? For 90% of the Internet using public, latency of a second is acceptable - speed when connected is king (can it stream music/Netfix/Youtube). Farmville doesn't really have a latency issue...

Re:Ping (0)

zennyboy (1002544) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633926)

I meant for MP games, not little flash games. I would not call that Gaming as such, more than Word-search is gaming...

Re:Ping (4, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633952)

The question, however, is how much people care. Gamers don't seem to realize that most people don't give two shits about MP games, and there probably aren't many gamers living in rural areas anyway, as 20-somethings generally live in metro areas.

Re:Ping (5, Interesting)

zennyboy (1002544) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634008)

I'm not saying the technology is worthless. I'm saying I live in a rural area (40 mins to closest large town, 20 mins or more to a motorway). I get a maximum of 2MB/s 'broadband', but my ping is reasonable (twice most others, but still reasonable). I'd prefer this to 10MB/s download speed and double the latency...

Not everyone is a gamer, but in my original comment, I simply stated that for Gaming (COD, L4D etc) latency is more important than download speed. And it is.

Re:Ping (3, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634098)

Sorry, it's just annoying when this topic (satellite broadband) comes up, because it seems like a whole raft of gamers jump on and start bashing it because their gaming is oh-so-important and the technology is useless because it has too much latency for their application, so my response was a bit of a knee-jerk reaction.

Re:Ping (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634432)

Sorry, it's just annoying when this topic (satellite broadband) comes up, because it seems like a whole raft of gamers jump on and start bashing it because their gaming is oh-so-important and the technology is useless because it has too much latency for their application, so my response was a bit of a knee-jerk reaction.

It is important to mention, though. Someone who has not taken a physics course may not be aware of what they are getting, until after they have already sunk huge costs into equipment and contracts. Ping time is not advertised as much as bandwidth.

Re:Ping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634748)

Stupid mods can't tell a troll from an orc

Re:Ping (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634764)

We orcs have much cooler names than those trolls.

Re:Ping (2)

stms (1132653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634054)

The question, however, is how much people care. Gamers don't seem to realize that most people don't give two shits about MP games, and there probably aren't many gamers living in rural areas anyway, as 20-somethings generally live in metro areas.

Yeah but there are still a lot of 11-18 year olds still living with mom and dad.

Re:Ping (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634072)

Gamers don't seem to realize that most people don't give two shits about MP games

According to Wiki: "Modern Warfare 3 went on to gross $1 billion throughout the world in 16 days of availability, beating Avatar’s record of 17 days, according to Activision."

None of those millions of buyers are playing online?

There are currently 3,015,146 players on steam - http://store.steampowered.com/stats/

Re:Ping (3, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634120)

But when it comes time for the family to decide whether they're going to pay $50/month for 12Mbps satellite broadband which allows the parents to watch Netflix and do all the normal things they do on the internet, or the same amount (or more) for some local ~1Mbps service with low ping times so junior can play his games, but is useless for Netflix, I wonder which one they're going to choose. And if junior has a sister, she's going to be rooting for the Netflix too.

Re:Ping (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634334)

And what about when they want to Skype?

Re:Ping (3, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634424)

Then you deal with the delay. It amazes me how people trivialize this stuff sometimes because it isnt 1000% consumerized. Pretend you are communicating with a base on the moon and have fun with it.

Re:Ping (4, Informative)

petsounds (593538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634510)

I understand the thrust of your opinion here, but wanted to clarify regarding your dismissive statement, "And if junior has a sister, she's going to be rooting for the Netflix too" -- a 2004 survey by the Entertainment Software Assoc. had females comprising 25% of console gamers and 39% of PC gamers [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Ping (2)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634532)

~1Mbps service...is useless for Netflix...

False. 0.5 Mbps is good enough [roku.com] .

Re:Ping (3, Insightful)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634642)

Sure, if you want the most terrible encoding of the video. Their lowest quality video makes 240p on YouTube look high def by comparison.

Re:Ping (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634664)

Then junior can buy his own damned Internet connection. Entitled much?

Re:Ping (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634716)

With what money? His allowance? Junior's an adolescent still living at home. And while not all rural people are poor or on a tight budget, the typical ones don't have a lot of extra money for dual internet services to spoil their kids with.

Re:Ping (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634132)

Wow, you are really out of touch with reality. Rural life does not equate to uneducated hicks. If you were to get out of your little shell and actually meet people in rural areas you might see that we live out here for a reason. Not because of education or lack of revenue but because we do not feel the need to surround ourselves with people all the time.
I really have more to say but I will leave it at that.
P.S There are quite a few more gamers than you think out in the country.

Re:Ping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634406)

To say that 20-somethings "generally" live in metro areas is gross presumption. I've lived in both the city and in rural areas and there was absolutely NO difference between the number of 20-somethings in terms of percentage. There are simply more people in metro areas, so there are going to be more of every age group. Try doing some research before making such conclusions.

Re:Ping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634472)

there probably aren't many gamers living in rural areas anyway

When I lived in 'the sticks' there were *tons* of gamers. Your assumption is wrong.

Living in 'the sticks' has advantages. Especially when you are young. It is cheap. How much money do young people have? Oh thats right usually not much. It is why I knew a few people who lived there just because it was cheap.

My friend who still lives in a small town of 1000 has a group of dudes he games with of about 15. From what he tells me there are 2 other groups of similar size that they compete against fairly regularly.

Loose the prejudice dude. It makes you look silly.

Re:Ping (1, Flamebait)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634678)

Living in 'the sticks' has advantages. Especially when you are young. It is cheap. How much money do young people have? Oh thats right usually not much.

Guess what else is missing in rural areas: jobs! The jobs are all in the city, or at least nearby large towns (which are likely to have decent broadband services).

Re:Ping (3, Informative)

Astronomerguy (1541977) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634564)

Citations please. Most of my fellow gamers (our clan has 450 members) are males in their late 30's to mid 60's, with about 15% female in their late 20's to late 40's.The average gamer is 37 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_culture [wikipedia.org] The average social game is a woman in her early 40's. http://gigaom.com/2010/02/17/average-social-gamer-is-a-43-year-old-woman/ [gigaom.com]

You don't consider Farmville gaming? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633978)

Then you're an idiot. There are more Farmville players than there are xboxes in the entire world.

Re:You don't consider Farmville gaming? (3, Funny)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634050)

And there are a lot more McDonald's than 5 Star Restaurants in the world. Does that mean micky-d's is gourmet now?

Re:You don't consider Farmville gaming? (2)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634260)

The question wasn't whether McDonald's was gourmet, but whether it's food. You may argue it's not food because it's inedible (in your opinion), but when they serve more people in a day than all restaurants rated with hats or stars combined, your opinion is simply wrong. Food is what people eat, and they eat lots of McDonald's. Games are what people play, and they play Farmville, despite your elitist complaints otherwise.

Re:Ping (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633990)

Ever try to load Gmail over a high latency connection? Anything with a lot of redirects will cause an issue - and that is a lot more stuff than you think...

Re:Ping (1)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634002)

But this is Slashdot. So I believe we have a much larger percentage of users who game on latency sensitive MMO's

Re:Ping (1)

Sitnalta (1051230) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634012)

Try having VOIP with 600ms of latency, or just a video chat. It is incredibly annoying.

Re:Ping (1)

number11 (129686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634116)

Try having VOIP with 600ms of latency, or just a video chat. It is incredibly annoying.

Back when new carriers were starting in long distance telephony, about 25 years ago, I used "Satellite Business Systems" for a carrier. The latency was a little annoying, mostly because it gave you the feeling that the person you were talking to was a bit stupid, because they were so slow to respond. But I got used to it. It wasn't ideal, but the price was right. Life's all about trade-offs.

Re:Ping (3, Funny)

PNutts (199112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634184)

>Try having VOIP with 600ms of latency, or just a video chat. It is incredibly annoying.

I           ouldn't         agr             more.

Re:Ping (1)

hideouspenguinboy (1342659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634038)

Farmville might not have a latency issue, but wild blue does.

I just did a speed test - my current connection got a download speed of .08 mbps, upload of .05, and latency was 163 ms. It's not usually quite this slow, but it gets there sometimes.

This is clearly horrible, but believe me - it's a far cry better than last year when I was paying wild blue 80$ monthly for 1.5 mbps service. This flipping FLIES compared to what I got with them.

Re:Ping (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634118)

In terms of up and down this whips the hell out of what I have living in the middle of a city both in terms of bandwidth as well as cost, but the latency and likely caps are deal breakers. Which is really sad considering I live in one of the most connected cities in the country.

Re:Ping (5, Insightful)

hibiki_r (649814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634078)

1 second is still a disaster for complex sites: You load the page. The page includes some javascript file. Said javascript file includes some more. Then it makes a couple dozen web service calls... and that's if we hope the browser is smart enough to request every link in the page at once.

I've seen many a custom business apps that was tested with pings of 0-10 be a bit slow with 80s, and a total disaster when used from another continent. A 1 second ping makes a connection from the US to India seem like a LAN.

Re:Ping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634208)

Latency is an issue for ANYTHING that uses TCP.

Re:Ping (0)

Astronomerguy (1541977) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634528)

Nothing personal, but fro where I sit, fuck you. Seriously. The Call of Duty games have sold utter boatloads in their first week for both consoles and PC's. So do other FPS games. I play COD World at War (because it's the last COD version that let's users create their on servers without paying additional fees to Activison, create unique maps without having to pay for them from Activision, create mods without having to pay more to Activision...you get the idea). In these games, my average ping of 49Ms gives me a huge advantage over most other players, who can range between 75 and 100, 200, 500+ Ms. So, for a boatload of gamers, ping is king, I've spent a bit more money on a Cisco router that let's me adjust QOS per port, gone for a Fiber to the CO high speed internet connection (waiting for the fiber to the home upgrade), and optimized the snot out of my system and network to give me the best pings.For you Farmville types, a sub-mediocre Internet connection is just fine. Burt you do not represent everyone else. So STFU with your idiotic statement that your requirements are representative of the rest of the Netizens. Because they are absolutely not. Not even close.

Re:Ping (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634034)

For people who value their time, games are a waste of time.

Re:Ping (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634124)

I disagree, games are a great time to unwind and let my problems solve themselves in the background while I'm distracted. Granted spending too much time doing that is also problematic, but gaming is something that helps a lot with critical thinking and prioritization. Plus if you choose the right game it's just like working in that patent office.

Re:Ping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634174)

For people who value their time, posting on Slashdot is a waste of time.

FTFY.

Re:Ping (1)

Astronomerguy (1541977) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634624)

Blah blah blah. When I game, I game with my closest friends, and we're geographically dispersed (we knew each other before there was an "online"). We have our own private TeamSpeak server and we shoot the shit as if we were around a table playing cards or watching a movie. I also usually have 3 books on the go at any given time (fiction, non-fiction/biography, astronomy/physics), have a wonderful wife, am active in my community, hold down a job, hike every weekend etc. And guess what? Games are FUN! They're not passive, like TV, and you have to coordinate carefully with others and use strategy, reflexes, detailed observation. Your comment verges on "troll" and is mired in elitist ignorance.

Re:Ping (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634160)

yeah... you're looking at 250ms for a round-trip at light speed to a geostationary satellite. I've had better latency on dialup in the 90's.

As others have said though, perfectly fine for browsing on facepalm

Actually there is something else I would like to k (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633870)

Actually there is something else I would like to know. Ping time. For gaming, that is what matters most and there can be huge differences depending on your ISP. And yes, I might seem spoiled but the difference between 33ms and 300ms is far bigger to me then whether a patch takes 5 minutes or 50 minutes.

Re:Actually there is something else I would like t (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633882)

Latency is about 1 second. That's simple physics for the orbit the satellite is in. So no, you won't be gaming on it. Basically anything else though you could get away with.

Re:Actually there is something else I would like t (1)

geekylinuxkid (831805) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633914)

it is satcom based, therefore ping times will be at least 600ms. it will probably be unusable for both console and pc online gaming.

Re:Actually there is something else I would like t (2)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633936)

Only latency-sensitive games, actually. Anything that's either turn-based or not simultaneous would run fine (that includes a whole bunch of casual games, turn-based strategy games, etc.).

Re:Actually there is something else I would like t (4, Informative)

HBI (604924) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634092)

The thing people miss about satellite connections is that they are never anywhere near 100%. 98% of your packets getting through sounds good in theory, but in practice it makes most TCP based protocols painful. You won't be doing much realtime anything over satellite. Mind you, i've lived at the end of multiple satellite links that I managed in SWA. We had great conditions - flat terrain, few clouds, no smog, high elevations due to being relatively close to the equator. You still lose a few here and there. It slows down downloads, causes losses even from IM traffic, emails fail to send, you name it.

A well managed and accelerated 12mbps downlink could provide some excellent speed, comparable to a high end DSL link. The real numbers you'll see will hover in the 700k/sec range in raw download speed. The latency is never going to be better than 520ms and probably worse, depending on the ground station location.

The problem with this technology is that it's Ka based. Ka is much worse in regards rain fade than Ku itself, which made the concept famous. All Ka systems I have worked with (commercial, and military) can't hit the bird anymore when the sky gets cloudy or a few drops of rain hit ground. This doesn't sound like a winner.

Re:Actually there is something else I would like t (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634152)

That's something I wondered about. This would be great in SE Alaska - faster and cheaper than my DSL line but given the tendency towards constant rain (last year I measured 97 inches at my house) it probably wouldnt be very useful.

Oh well.

Re:Actually there is something else I would like t (4, Informative)

DarthBart (640519) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634206)

Acceleration is the key there. When I was Network Guy(tm) for a satellite provider, we could easily push 15-20Mbps of a single stream of TCP traffic over the bird using TurboIP boxes from Comtech/EFData. It did tricks with TCP windows and ACKs that let you overcome TCP slowstart.

And I don't understand the whole "OMG 520ms latency kills VOIP!" argument. We had hundreds of Cisco IP phones out at the end of our VSAT links and nobody complained one bit about it. It takes about 15 seconds for your brain to realize "Oh, there's a bit of lag" and adjust. i think people are complaining about jittery connections that have latencies that bounce around between 520ms and 3000ms because of how you're sharing both the uplink and downlink channels with everyone else. Our systems could detect SIP calls and switch you from a shared channel to a dedicated channel big enough to handle your call + additional overhead.

Re:Actually there is something else I would like t (3, Informative)

kriston (7886) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634492)

I was also worried about not just data latency of VoIP but also the voice latency which tends to interrupt conversations since the pauses are too long. The TCP spoofing and VoIP audio data compression (and QoS on a shared link) really do go a long way in overcoming not just data latency but that oh-so-annoying satellite voice delay.

I had no idea, but VoIP over satellite really works. Something in the math makes the delay short enough to help your perception of the other caller's intentions (did he stop talking so I can start now?) We've all seen the funny interruption cycles on CNN with people via satellite, but when it's just VoIP, it really isn't a problem.

Ka-band in the rain is a completely different story--actually, it's a tragedy. If I were provisioning a remote site that only had satellite internet for telephones, I'd try to pick Ku-band FSS over Ka-band for VoIP traffic just to minimize the rain fade problem.

Still, satellite internet is still one of those need-it-because-we-can't-get-anything-else technologies. It's that pesky speed of light problem that gets in the way.

Re:Actually there is something else I would like t (2)

DarthBart (640519) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634714)

If you want rain-fade-free-reliability, C-Band is the only way to go. Our C-band links rain faded twice in the 4 years I was there. Once because of a 6-inch-per-hour springtime thunderstorm and once because of a hail storm. The latency on those links were about 750ms because they were long-path hops to transatlantic birds down into Africa and yet they ran constant VOIP, HTTP, and SMTP traffic.

Re:Actually there is something else I would like t (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634550)

98% of your packets getting through sounds good in theory, but in practice it makes most TCP based protocols painful.

That sounds like a situation crying out for another intermediate layer protocol with some redundancy so you can tolerate the loss of a few percent of the packets with no retransmits. (Or is it only as high as 98% now because they're already doing lots of such tricks?)

Re:Actually there is something else I would like t (1)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634142)

Everything is latency sensitive, take a web page for example, all those elements inside, like those small images, each of those need a new query and get/send command, therefore you are getting 1 second penalty over every item on the page and these per connection lags accumulate resulting in one noticeably slow web experience, but somewhere in upstate Alaska that might be kind of good enough internet solution.

Re:Actually there is something else I would like t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634736)

You've not embedded images into style sheets with the data: scheme to avoid multiple requests, I see.

Re:Actually there is something else I would like t (4, Interesting)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634046)

I was on Wild Blue Satellite for 1 full year. They do a "rolling" average for bandwidth that depends on your package. I had 17GB per month. If I used 400MB today, that would "roll off" in 30 days thus making it available again.

My latency was a solid 2000ms or higher at all times. I lost connection any time there was heavy storms between Virginia and New York. I was paying somewhere around $70/mo. I had trouble staying connected to Steam, so I stopped using it and favored retail single player games for that year.

I'm now on a more restricted local ISP and haven't really looked back. Instead of being on a rolling average I'm on a hard 600MB/day plan. I am paying more than under satellite, but I'm able to achieve 30ms pings (the ISP is actually WISP).

My fondest memories of satellite are: turning off prefetching webpages, clicking a link and then waiting many seconds for anything to happen and often wondering if I actually clicked it, and checking the bandwidth monitor logs to make sure I wasn't about to go over my limit.

Seriously, fuck satellite internet.

Re:Actually there is something else I would like t (1)

wooferhound (546132) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634088)

This latency shouldn't bother the porn industry at all.

Re:Actually there is something else I would like t (3, Funny)

VJmes (2449518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634114)

If every American gamer used a satellite connection maybe some Australian's and Europeans would start winning a few online matches.

Re:Actually there is something else I would like t (1)

Astronomerguy (1541977) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634654)

Wish I had mod points. My 49ms (lowest on the crowded server) is gold in my FPS games.

And the comments here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38633874)

Wail about how much bandwidth it buys and whether it runs on Linux.

Speed of light says the latency will be bad. (3, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633880)

Really nothing you can do about it, no mater what the bandwidth is having to go to orbit and back will make this unusable for a lot of stuff.

Re:Speed of light says the latency will be bad. (5, Funny)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633946)

that's why I use straight path neutrino beams through the planet. I quit using CERN's neutrino source though, because of the negative latency. It's annoying to get the results of a command while I'm still typing it.

Re:Speed of light says the latency will be bad. (3, Funny)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634068)

I actually like pre-cognitive commands, makes things interesting. It's why I switched form neutrinos to tachyons actually...

Re:Speed of light says the latency will be bad. (2)

pgward (2086802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634170)

I compromised and purchased 16MB worth of quantum entangled bits. Now my google instant search is really instant.

Re:Speed of light says the latency will be bad. (1)

Zelucifer (740431) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634636)

There's a fun mental glitch that occurs while typing and subvocalizing. If your typing speed exceeds your subvocalization, you suddenly realize how incredibly out of sync your mind and body are. Similar to deja vu.

ohmigod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634188)

that made my day.

Re:Speed of light says the latency will be bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634762)

that's why I use straight path neutrino beams through the planet.

Sure you laugh, now, but there will be a day when it is actually possible to do this. On a commercial scale, even.

The monthly 400PB data cap it will have will only be enough for watching a single 100000p movie, though, which will suck.

Re:Speed of light says the latency will be bad. (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38633968)

A lot of people will mention gaming, but this could make it pretty difficult for VOIP, Skype, etc. Basically any kind of application that requires latency to be less than 100ms. Last time I was on satellite I saw ping times above 500ms. That just won't work for most of what I do.

Latency is not just an issue for gaming, it can be a deal breaker for quite a few things.

Re:Speed of light says the latency will be bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634518)

I'm gonna vote for the Republican guy who (in addition to banning gays) is going to repeal the speed limit of light.

what do you get for 50 bucks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634024)

the question is of how many other users are sharing this - is your bandwidth timesliced? do you get dedicated or is it just burstable, shared with other users in a pool

Bandwidth has to be shared with all users (1)

GiantRobotMonster (1159813) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634040)

What's the total bandwidth of the satellite?
If you can get 12Mbps when nobody else is using it, that sounds great until they have about 5 customers.

Re:Bandwidth has to be shared with all users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634056)

140Gbps [http://www.viasat.com/viasat-1-launch]. I'd say there's enough to go around for a bit

Re:Bandwidth has to be shared with all users (1)

GiantRobotMonster (1159813) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634134)

So roughly 12,000 customers at once can achieve the advertised speed of 12Mbps.
That's a pretty impressive satellite.
Shame you have to share.

Re:Bandwidth has to be shared with all users (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634344)

Yes, but it will be oversubscribed like any connection. You'll never have 100% of the users online using 100% of their available bandwidth. You can expect this to service at least twice that many users, but probably a lot more.

Re:Bandwidth has to be shared with all users (4, Informative)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634102)

What's the total bandwidth of the satellite? If you can get 12Mbps when nobody else is using it, that sounds great until they have about 5 customers.

140 Gbps/1 satellite [viasat.com] - approx 12000 users downloading at full capacity in the same time.

Re:Bandwidth has to be shared with all users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634146)

Good thing V-2 is already in the works.

Re:Bandwidth has to be shared with all users (2)

jimmydigital (267697) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634264)

What's the total bandwidth of the satellite?
If you can get 12Mbps when nobody else is using it, that sounds great until they have about 5 customers.

140 Gbps/1 satellite [viasat.com] - approx 12000 users downloading at full capacity in the same time.

Unless the downloaded data originates on the satellite.. it has to be transmitted up from the ground first so actual user capacity would be about half that. Not great when you consider the area one satellite covers. It would be interesting to know if they are using some sort of advanced caching or multiplexing routines when it comes to things like netflix.

Re:Bandwidth has to be shared with all users (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634352)

It will be oversubscribed by at least 100% (probably more), so 12,000 is probably a low estimate of the number of users a satellite could service.

Re:Bandwidth has to be shared with all users (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634498)

Try one million customers as per their website: http://www.viasat.com/broadband-satellite-networks/viasat-1

$50 per GB? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634042)

pr0n shud b fr33

Nethack (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634180)

That latency is far too much to have a good gameplay experience in Nethack!

Why no LEO? (2)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634220)

I wonder why they aren't putting network satellites in LEO instead of geostationary. Just how hard would it be to use a phased array antenna instead of a dish and track the orbit? Would that negate the lower cost of only going to LEO? After all, with the satellites in lower orbit you could launch more of them, which ought to improve bandwidth. And the improvement in latency would make this arrangement competetive with any other broadband offering.

Re:Why no LEO? (2)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634428)

Geostationary makes it more easy for the NSA sat to collect all the communications.
Nice to know where your needing remote communications, what your saying and where your packets are going, 24/7.
Safe for long term tracking.

Re:Why no LEO? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634444)

http://www.commstellation.com/

These guys are trying to get a system like that going in 2-3 years so I guess it's possible.

Re:Why no LEO? $$$ $$$ $$$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634478)

Too expensive, so far:

See Teledesic, then Iridium Communications for examples:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teledesic

Re:Why no LEO? (2)

eparker05 (1738842) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634614)

I don't think the geostationary distance is responsible for the latency. It probably has a lot more to do with the task of transmitting and receiving broadband data from a satelite. The phased array would increase their investment in launches, as well as ground based hubs. In addition, most customers would be priced out of the service since the hardware would need to track the satellite; not an easy or cheap task for something you mount on your roof and never service again.

In summary, geostationary is the only viable option for this sort of service.

Re:Why no LEO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634672)

because you can get satcom from a yurt if its geostationary.

Re:Why no LEO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634738)

The problem probably lies with the on-the-ground installers who can't tighten a nut properly so the antenna doesn't flutter in the wind. Same installers who can't diagnose a loose and/or misaligned dish when they come to see why your TV gets crappy picture. Now take this state of facts and instead of an ordinary dish they can't point to a geostationary satellite, give them one of those funny dishes that move in weird patterns and come in strange shapes and see what you get. No, you can't add proper training into the equation. That costs company money - you only want to be at the receiving end of the payment slip.

Sat is good for TV but not for the NET (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634310)

Cable internet is fast but the upload sucks and comcast tv SUCKS!!

Hmm (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634380)

Potentially useful. Does anyone have a link to a map detailing which areas of the earth are covered?

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634752)

Just North America with this bird.

What they don't talk about. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38634620)

As a Wildblue subscriber on the highest teer package, who gets slowed down to dialup speed a couple times a year for using more then 17 gigs in a month (yes that is the current highest residential cap) I've been following this story pretty close. There are a few facts that are definetly getting downplayed so far both here and in the Engadget piece. For one Viasat isn't just partnering with Wildblue, they now own them, or at least a pretty big share. And they have been talking this kind of speed since Viasat 1 was still in design, so even though it's great to see it in practice, that is nothing new. And most blatantly absent is the caps themselves. From all reports (not publicly confirmed, but much evidence to back up) the $50 package that he mentions will only be for 7.5 gigs combined down and up. The next level is 15 gigs combined down and up for $80, and the top tier is 25 gigs combined for $130. And after that it's $10 a gig, or a significant slow down, like they have now.

You can find discussion about this on Wildblue's own forum http://wildblueworld.com/forum/

Like I mentioned earlier, Viasat has been talking this up as a real competitor to DSL for quite some time, so many of us existing customers hoped (assumed) that that meant they would give us some realistic caps to go along with the speed, but it appears that is not the case. So although the speed bump is cool, remember that at the lowest level, 1 Netflix movie along with normal browsing will probably put you over for the whole month.

Should have been a dupe (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 2 years ago | (#38634702)

This story sounds familiar for some reason [slashdot.org] .
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