ViaSat Transmits First Data Over ViaSat-1 Bird

On Wednesday ViaSat Inc. announced that it had successfully communicated with WildBlue Network Gateway and Satellite Broadband Terminals. The initial transmission and reception was completed the evening of Dec. 2 from a SurfBeam 2 terminal at ViaSat's Carlsbad, Calif. campus, through ViaSat-1 and a gateway located in Milford, Utah. ViaSat did not specify the uplink or downlink data rates but said the test included email, web surfing, and video streaming. The ViaSat-1 satellite has a total capacity of 140 Gbps.

"We have advanced satellite technology to the point that satellite can now be a better alternative for broadband Internet than DSL, and 3G / 4G wireless offerings for fixed home use--an enormous leap for satellite broadband technology," said Mark Dankberg, chairman and CEO of ViaSat. "The ViaSat-1 satellite will help bridge the 'digital divide' in the U.S., and we're confident that this new service has been designed in a way where it will be attractive to a large segment of the U.S. population--delivering both speed and value to the underserved."

Commercial service through ViaSat-1 is expected to begin before the end of this year. It will provide Ka-band high-speed broadband services for WildBlue in the U.S., Xplornet in Canada, and JetBlue Airways on its domestic U.S. fleet.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.