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.