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ViaSat 2 to Deliver Big Bandwidth

KOUROU, French Guiana — Taking aim at speeds and performance levels typically delivered by wired broadband services, the new, high-powered ViaSat 2 satellite is designed to deliver 100 megabits per second, and possibly more, to individual subscribers.

ViaSat’s newest satellite, built by Boeing Commercial Satellite Systems and launched into successful orbit last Thursday (June 1) aboard Arianespace’s Ariane 5 heavy-lift rocket, will provide 300 Gigabits per second of total throughput. ViaSat 2 is expected to enter into service in early 2018.

“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,” Mark Dankberg, chairman and CEO of ViaSat, said here in an interview just hours before ViaSat 2 was launched into orbit. “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?”

Though a 100-Mbps satellite-delivered broadband service is achievable, Dankberg said most subscribers will be on tiers delivering less than that.

But the launch of ViaSat 2 will give the company, which has about 659,000 satellite broadband subscribers, the ability to far exceed what it’s delivering in the U.S. today using a legacy satellite fleet that includes ViaSat 1 and those coming by way of its 2009 acquisition of WildBlue Communications.