The ViaSat-1 satellite will provide broadband speeds that exceed the median speeds of cable and DSL offerings at retail pricing that is the same as existing satellite services, according to the companies.
ViaSat has secured financial commitments of more than $100 million to date to build the ViaSat-1, and it will finance the remainder from cash on hand, future cash flows and borrowing capacity.
ViaSat-1, with a launch planned for early 2011, is a collaborative effort with satellite broadband providers in the market including Loral, Telesat and Eutelsat. Loral is investing in the Canadian coverage portion of the satellite in anticipation of Telesat using this capacity for the provision of broadband services throughout Canada.
The companies said there are more than 600,000 satellite broadband subscribers today in hard-to-serve areas in the U.S. and Canada, but high demand for these services has exceeded the bandwidth supply and capped growth.
"It does not have to be that way," said Mark Dankberg, CEO and chairman of ViaSat. "Day to day consumer Internet interactions involving high-bandwidth activities like video and multimedia were not part of the plans when earlier satellite services were designed. We are aiming to give consumers a vastly improved experience based on the most advanced technology on the market."
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