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Englewood-based Exede Internet Team Marks Decade of Progress in Satellite Internet

posted Aug 27, 2014, 1:55 PM by Megan Chadwick Gernert - OIT   [ updated Aug 27, 2014, 1:55 PM ]
A decade can reflect vast leaps in technology, and that’s certainly been the case with satellite Internet – an industry with deep roots in Colorado.

July marked the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Anik F2 satellite, which enabled a new Internet service from WildBlue Communications, then an Englewood-based startup. Designed to deliver Internet service for households based outside of “wired” cities and towns, the first customer signed on in 2005. WildBlue rapidly grew to be one of the nation’s top ISPs, and the service proved to be a game changer for thousands of subscribers.

WildBlue was acquired by ViaSat Inc. in 2009. In addition to retaining the organization’s Colorado presence, ViaSat has grown the Englewood workforce to over 400 employees and launched a transformational new satellite Internet service in 2012 called Exede Internet – at 12 Mbps, eight times faster than the original service. The service has ranked at the top of the charts for two consecutive years in delivering advertised speeds. That’s according to the 2014 FCC Measuring Broadband America report, which compared the performance of 14 major Internet providers

ViaSat-1 before launch in 2011
Exede customer Sue Lion 

Many first generation WildBlue customers are Exede high-speed Internet subscribers today. Freelance graphic designer Sue Lion can see downtown Boulder from her home in a rural area just south of town. 

“I was using dial-up, and it was so maddeningly slow,” she said. “In 2006, a friend told me about WildBlue. Overnight, it was a better experience. But when Exede came three years ago, it was a huge quantum leap above that. WildBlue was good, but Exede saved me gray hairs because it was so much faster.”

ViaSat just introduced the industry’ first virtually unlimited data plans, available in selected areas of the country. The company also offers Exede Voice home telephone service, Exede In the Air high-speed in-flight Internet for airline passengers on JetBlue and other major carriers; Exede Business for added speed and data tailored to business subscribers; and Exede Enterprise communications for live events, field operations and disaster response. The company has also announced plans for another groundbreaking satellite, ViaSat-2, scheduled to launch in mid-2016.