Viasat: Excellence is No Trick
Viasat is one of the two largest satellite internet providers in the United States. The level of excellence is on par with card throwing artists- aka, cardists
Viasat is one of the two largestin the United States.
That feat alone is fascinating. However, when you take into account how much work is going into providing, maintaining—and excelling—then it’s impressive, to say the least.
Viasat is coordinating a lot to provide satellite internet; they must first launch satellites into space, synchronize them, coordinating the orbits, evaluating the speed, upload, and download times, and more. If a new technology comes out that could improve their systems, then they’ll have to launch a new satellite or make do with what they have already in place.
It’s quite baffling how it all works.
While the satellites may not be the newest out there, they are performing at or above standards. Viasat is currently working on designing, engineering, and launching a new fleet of satellites. They’re continually improving their technology and what’s available out there.
As the race to improve satellite internet begins to heat up, Viasat will be at the forefront, possibly even blazing a path. Doing so involves knowing what’s available, what can be improved upon, and blending the two goals together.
Another way of looking at it is to take a well-known piece of technology and doing things with it that no one thought possible.
Take, for example, a deck of cards.
You can shuffle it and play any game you want; canasta, solitaire, free cell, poker, Texas Hold 'Em, Baccarat, Blackjack, 24, Speed, Nine-Card Flip, Nerts, and the list goes on and on.
Playing games with cards is only one option though. You can build houses with cards too.
Alternatively, you can make the cards do things that don't seem possible- like jumping from one hand to another.
It's an art form called Cardistry.
The term “Cardistry” is the combination of the words “card” and “artistry.”
It’s a type of performance art that involves manipulating cards in unique and eye-popping ways. Much like illusionists who shuffle, palm, and make cards appear with their fingers, cardists create flourishes, passes, tosses, and other means of moving cards around with only their hands and fingers.
Some illusionists will also use this artistry into their acts as a means to distract the audience.
Moreover, there are the card throwing artists who incorporate this into their trick shots. It's a display of their dexterity, as well as a hint to the number of hours they've been practicing.
Cardestry, legerdemain, and card throwing appear simple enough.
Much like satellite internet, it’s merely moving a small object from one place to another. Right?
Cardistry is not as easy as picking up a deck.
To master moving cards effortlessly among your fingers, it takes time and lots, and lots, and lots of practice. If you get a chance to watch a cardist, or even an illusionist who's primary medium is cards, take notice of their hands. You'll notice a strange strength there, as though they've been lifting weights with their fingers. It's a unique trait that stems from handling cards for hours a day. When they pick up a deck, they're comfortable with it.
These hours of repetition is how they attain mastery.
Viasat is doing the same here. By taking a version of a technology, i.e., the satellites already in orbit, they're able to innovate and do impressive things with them.
While Viasat is one of the largest satellite internet providers in the nation, they also have a large number of government contracts.
By working the United States Federal Government, they provide internet access for hard to reach places. These may be embassies or state department offices in remote locations.
Viasat is also providing satellite internet connectivity to our nations armed forces. A big reason for this is ships and aircraft require internet connectivity in their missions. Instead of creating an entirely new network for the government, the government has instead hired out Viasat to do it for them. Viasat, while providing satellite internet for many government and military projects, isn't the only provider sub-contracted to do so.
These projects range from aircraft carriers to individual aircraft.
To connect all these projects to their services, Viasat is working with Boeing. Boeing provides the technology, as well as the means, to maintain their satellite systems in orbit around the earth. The aircraft manufacturer is also working to create new satellites that Viasat will use to update their networks soon.
However, it’s not just the satellites that will set Viasat apart.
Much like it’s not enough to have a flashy deck of cards, Viasat has to know how to use the satellites to their fullest extent. Cardists are the same way. They may get a new deck of cards, but it’s not the cards that make the magic. It’s the cardist that does that.
Also, Viasat is working to make sure this happens as they move satellites around the globe to maintain a stable network.
By The Numbers
Viasat, thanks to satellites, is available in 32,787 zip codes. They now have a presence in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. The only stipulation here is that the dish must be able to face south without significant obstructions.
There is a tradeoff with satellites, however.
Transmitting signals down to a dish and waiting for them to return causes latency.
If a customer were to download a large file through their satellite connection, they run the risk of exceeding their download speed. To mitigate this, Viasat has instituted data caps. These data caps are to discourage large downloads. If a customer were to reach their data cap, Viasat could slow down their connection, suspend service for a short while, or charge them for the extra data used.
While annoying, data caps ensure that all customers can enjoy their service.
Viasat’s data caps range from 40 gigabytes to 150 gigs, depending on your plan.
So long as customers remain under the data cap, they do enjoy decent download times.
regularly checks the download speed of providers using their streaming service. Netflix compiles this data into their ISP Speed Index.
For Viasat, from September 2017 to September 2018, they averaged 0.86 Mbps. That speed puts them in the top 75 ISPs (internet service providers) in the nation.
Not bad at all.
Satellites and Cards
As satellite internet technology continues to improve, customers will have more and more options and will increase connectivity between government and military locations, as well as customers in rural areas. As preferable as cable and fiber are, it’s not available everywhere. Waiting for something like that to happen will take years and years of waiting.
Hence, why customers will opt for satellite instead. A satellite dish is more accessible and much faster, to install on their property than wait for fiber. Satellites are able available virtually everywhere in the world.
As Viasat expands their network and their reach, we may soon be seeing it as a serious contender within.
If you’re considering satellite internet in your area, make sure to check outto give you an idea of the upload and download speeds, as well as any deals Viasat may be running in your area.
Just like cardists and other card related entertainers, Viasat is practicing and honing their skills. Much like card throwing, Viasat is literally throwing a card from a great distance to hit a small target. And they’re doing this all the time.
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