Christening the new ViaSat-2 satellite, Viasat announced "unlimited" satellite broadband service for consumers in the U.S., with peak data rates to 100 Mbps — "the fastest satellite-based home internet service" across the country, according to the company.
The nationwide plans offer several peak download data rates: 12, 25, 30, 50 and 100 Mbps. The 100 Mbps plan is priced at $150 per month for the first three months, then $200 per month. Except for the 12 Mbps plan, Viasat's service meets the Federal Communications Commission's definition of broadband, i.e, at least 25 Mbps download.
Viasat says their new plans allow unlimited data consumption, meaning no overage charges. However, each plan has a data "budget," after which Viasat says "we may prioritize your data behind other customers during network congestion." For the 100 Mbps plan, the data budget is 150 GB.
Viasat plans to expand the satellite internet service to business and government organizations and for in-flight internet on commercial and business aircraft.
The ViaSat-2 satellite, launched on June 1, 2017, is the highest capacity communications satellite in orbit today, which enables Viasat to offer satellite broadband that's faster than offered by competing satellite-based services.
With ViaSat-2 in operation, Viasat has begun developing its next high capacity satellite system, named ViaSat-3. The ViaSat-3 system will comprise three satellites for global coverage, each handling more than 1 Tbps. The first satellite is planned to begin service in 2020, covering the Americas, with a second satellite launching some six months after the first, to cover Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The third satellite will provide coverage to the Asia Pacific region. Viasat did not say when it would launch.