Sunday 18 December 2011

Xplornet Satellite Service Changes

Xplornet has revised its website and now includes information about the new 4G ViaSat1 satellite service plans.

The price matrix is competitive with HSPA data hub and Canopy fixed wireless offerings but is more costly than DSL or cable rates. Monthly bandwidth allowance is reasonable at the various price points and additional bandwidth costs vary from $3.50 to $2.00 per GB depending on the package. While there is no specific “fine print” information referenced, it appears the daily caps - one of the most annoying features of existing Xplornet satellite service - will no longer be applicable. Details of the various plan options can be found via this link.

Unfortunately, to take advantage of the service, you will have to move to Southern Ontario as the Algoma District is not included in the coverage area as shown on this map (Link no longer exists on Xplornet website.) It appears as if the greater part of Northern Ontario will not be covered by the new Xplornet coverage. Regrettably, the site does not contain any information as to whether or not any new or existing customers in the Algoma District will see any changes in their price or connectivity restrictions.

The site also has a video featuring the CEO of Xplornet, Mr. John Maduri. I’ll not comment on the presentation except to say it left me very confused and far less optimistic than Mr. Maduri.

A second High Throughput Satellite (HTS), codenamed Jupiter, will be launched by Hughes next year. One can only hope that it will provide coverage to the area not covered by ViaSat1. It is unclear if Xplornet will have access to this HTS.