Back in 2011 the FCC began collecting real-world user broadband data from customized routers, then issuing reports on which ISPs were failing to deliver advertised speeds. It's one of the few FCC policies in recent years that has truly paid dividends for consumers. The first report
"named and shamed" several larger ISPs like Cablevision for offering horrible peak performance, offering less than 50% of advertised sustained speeds at peak hours. The tactic did wonders -- by the second report
Cablevision had boosted that performance to 128%.
Today the FCC released their third annual report naming and shaming
ISPs whose peak bandwidth performance isn't up to snuff. According to the latest FCC data, just four ISPs tracked by the agency managed to deliver faster than advertised speeds during peak hours: ViaSat (137%) Verizon FiOS (118%), Cablevision (115%), and Comcast (103%).
As three of these companies attest, the FCC's practice of naming and shaming works -- if there's regional competition. Verizon FiOS and Cablevision in particular have spent the last few years trying to one up one another in terms of offering speeds faster than what is advertised on promotional materials.
DirecTV's offering a new satellite broadband bundle the company hopes appeals to rural users, though it suffers from the bane of all satellite broadband: annoying usage caps. We've known since May
that DirecTV would soon be selling ViaSat's Exede satellite broadband service, and now we're getting a good look at some of the bundle pricing DircTV is offering.
ViaSat has bumped their lowest usage cap slightly for their new Exede satellite broadband service. According to user comments in our forums
, ViaSat's $50, 12 Mbps tier originally came with a 7.5 GB cap, but has now seen that usage allowance increased to 10 GB per month.
Earlier this year ViaSat launched Exede
, their faster satellite broadband service, which while providing faster speeds of 12 Mbps, still comes with some punishing and costly bandwidth caps. The service comes in flavors of 7 GB ($50), 15 GB ($80), or 25 GB ($130), with users throttled back to speeds of 128 kbps unless they shell out $10 per each additional gigabyte
At the start of this year we noted how ViaSat's new 12 Mbps satellite service, well-hyped at CES, wasn't quite the revolution it was cracked up to be in the press
. In addition to not being available to everyone and being offered belatedly to existing customers, the tier makes the one thing users hate about satellite broadband (caps) worse
, with Exede's usage limits actually lower than the services it succeeds.