Satellite Internet is dead…bye-bye Directway and Wildblue

We moved outside of Los Angeles 2 years ago and I was forced to subscribe to Directway because there was no broadband coaxial cable nor DSL through the phone companies. Cell service was spotty, so I reluctantly bought a package from Directway (DirectTV sister company that supplies Internet access). I purchased a ‘professional’ package (or what they call a ‘business’ package) with a larger dish ( nearly $2,000 all in including installation ) and all. Supposedly I was going to get 500mbps upload and 2.0 mbps download for…$200.00 per month (Yikes!). The speed wasn’t even close. While I was spoiled by my TimeWarner connection when I did have broadband (3 mbps download) , Directway was barely better than dial-up for $ 200.00 a month. What a joke! Even after calling Directway many times for many months to complain, the service never came close to this kind of speed they claimed it could get . I was maybe getting 500mbps download. To top it off, they had a download ‘threshold’ that was suppose to dissuade people from downloading music and movies. They didn’t need that, because who could or who would want to download anything with the way (slow) their service worked. Then WildBlue came along (a bunch of guys from ATT and Direct got together to form this company). So, I switched. I had to purchase their dish (now I have 2 dishes growing in my backyard). But first, I had to get out of my 2 year contract with Directway which was not easy without paying a disconnect fee of about $ 200.00. So I decided to complain directly to the corporate parent. After a few weeks, I got through to someone there and they reluctantly agreed to let me out of my contract. So, I installed the Wildblue dish (only $250.00 cost) and bought their most expensive package $79.95 for the ‘Pro’ pack. Speed of 1.5 mbps download and 350mbps upload. It worked faster than the 2.0 mbps speed I was suppose to get at Directway. I thought I was in heaven. Until I met with WildBlue’s ‘FAP’ or Fair Usuage Policy’ which was no more than 17,000MB down and 5,000MB up. Since I blog and test various new pieces of software I quickly met that threshold’s ‘upload’ limit. Not download mind you, but upload. Must have uploaded too many blog text entries?? This was just plain stupid. So I called them and they told me that this was a 30 day ‘rolling’ policy and I’d have to reduce my uploading to be less than the 5,000MB for more than 30 days. Well, for $ 80.00 a month this was just unreasonable. So, I turned to Sprint who had just released a new EV-DO modem for plugging into a laptop or desktop. I could get my Internet access through a cell phone tower. So, I signed up, installed the modem at home and guess what. I have no threshold limits, and it works better than either satellite services for $60.00 a month. I then promptly called Wildblue back and lowered my monthly bill and speed to $49.00 a month (as low as I could get it). I will be disconnecting this service next week. Thanks Sprint. So, for anyone who is struck with either of these dinosaurs, drop them and disconnect, get as far away from them as you can as fast as you can. Try anything else but these services. I’m sure you’ll be much happier. Its just a matter of time before wi-fi and wi-max cover all of the rural areas that cable can’t and then hopefully these lame services will go out of business. Its just a matter of time. I plan on writing both of these companies again and I will include a link back to this blog. Hopefully others will read this and NOT send any business their way.

17 comments on “Satellite Internet is dead…bye-bye Directway and Wildblue

  1. I am caught in the service of hughesnet. which is basically the same as wildBlue. we have the home package which is supposedly 1.0 mb/ps the website shows that my package should receive a typical download speed of 550 Kb/ps and up to peak at 650 kb/ps. i have yet to see my download speed go above 115 kb/ ps. i would have done dropped them but i am caught in the 2 year contract. i have a download threshhold of 200mb/per day which is around an hour of browsing the web and about 5 random youtube videos. this service absolutely sickening. i called to complain and they told me i need to download a download manager and schedule my files to download in between 2am and 5 am, because at that time they have no threshold.

    • I got hughsnet today and I canceled hughsnet today. They gave me a 30 day trial. I’m sure they will try to pull a fast one on me in the future and charge me with a disconnect fee. I play online games and log onto my game 30 minutes after the serviceman left from putting in the system. I notice the lag when I enter into combat in my game. Called to see how much it would cost to upgrade to the next highest speed. This is when I found out about the limit per day. I’m sure the salesman just happen to forget to tell me about it. Stay away from satellite internet providers. They should be the fastest ISP, but with the limits they put on you and penalty the place on you for going over the set limit makes all of them a scam. I know if you go over your limit with hughsnet you can buy what they call tokens to reset your limit with out waiting 24 hours. If I can buy tokens to reset my limit why don’t you just have an unlimited plan? I know why already..MONEY…They want you to spend that extra money regularly. SCAM!!!! I’m going back to my cable company. My internet service went out about 3 time per week, but my speed never did change and I paid a flat rate for a speed and got that speed “all” the time when it was up. I’ll deal with my ISP going down for 30 minutes to a hour approx. 3 times a week before I deal with the junk from hughsnet.

  2. I am under the curse of Wildblue’s RIDICULOUS FAP right now. They sent me an email saying they were “slowing” my speeds until the “rolling” period expired. The problem is I haven’t been able to connect since. . .I called today and they said that they “slowed” my connection but it was so slow that the modem keeps “timing out.” WHAT THE CRAP???? So I’m stuck on 79.95 for a month I can’t even use it!!! Bull! I am checking out Sprint?Verizon/AT&T/TMobile today!!!
    I also used to have DirecWay–it was crappy and slow as Christmas!

  3. I checked out EVO. They told me there is a 5 GIG limit a month and then it’s $.05 per meg after that.. but they offered to reduce it to $.02. That’s absolutely ridiculous!

    I am with Wild Crap right now.. been with them for 10 days and I’ve already used 40% of my threshold. The sales rep told me to start with the smaller package and then go up. I figured out I’d have to go up today.

    First, they told me it was $99 plus shipping. I get charged $216… included is my first month of service. Hmm… OK. Fine. But here is the BEST PART.

    I wanted to change my plan so what do they do? They said they would prorate the higher plan for the remainder of the month. Great! No problem, should be around a $15 difference.

    NO! I have to pay for 20 days as if I had never paid for the full month of the “select” service. What? So I lose all of the money I paid for the select service? That’s ridiculous!


  4. I have hughes and hate it…complain all the time on the FAP which I usually get 1/month. Question to William…do you have a max (5G per month) as stated above using Sprint? That is the problem I found w/ using Cell phone. I work from home and really need better high speed but am stuck. I did find something called Country connection which is a WIFI tower (you have to be w/in 10 miles of a tower) and has no limits per month but am reluctant as it is fairly new with limited amount of customers. It has a signup fee of $300 but I would recover that in the monthly cost quickly since it is cheaper than Hughes. Anyone hear of this or using it.

    • Hi Tbwright –

      I was lucky and signed up with Sprint PRIOR to them capping the bandwidth at 5 gigs per month. However, I wouldn’t go with Canyon Wave (country connection), as it is an MMDS system and dependent on line of site (trees, rain, building, snow all interfere). Also, I understand its a bit slow too. Your best bet might just be the sprint card with a cap. Sorry, I know Hughes does suck and so does all satellite providers of bandwidth. I am now located in an area that has broadband so these issues have disappeared for me. Best of luck!

  5. WOW! I’m right there 2 people. Was quoted $171 total 4 1st month. I mounted dish, I aligned dish, used it 8 dayz & was shut off. Said there was no funds. Well I have an account just 4 this cause these things always happen 2 me. SURPRISE! I was right. Here instead of a 30 billing cycle as they said, (I have that recording by the way), these loosers tapped ~their~ account 2 weeks early. Greed just abounds these dayz from underwriters 2 services companies & utilities. Makes a person just wanna completely “disconnect” from society.

  6. Yea I had hugesnet and it was a joke as well and cost me like $800 and I just lost money and it was just pointless to install with the threshold limits and crappy customer service

  7. Hello,
    My name is Mike and i am the owner of Canyonwave internet.
    Was just checking search stats on our page and found this article.Just to let everyone know,our service is NOT affiliated in any way with country connection or any other type of provider in the Agua Dulce/Acton area.I do feel your pains with direcway/hughes/wild bleh etc.We remove about 3 a month so i see lots of used gear hehe!
    If you are stuck with bad service,look us up ,we will try everything we can to make our service work for a client,or point you to the best alternatives,even if it’s a competitor.

  8. Wildblue is quite possibly the worse internet service provider I have ever seen. Even when I’ve used none of the download time for a month, the speed is still at 52Mb/s if I am lucky. They have cut me off 6 times sense I joined them in 2009 for going over this imaginary download threshold of theirs. It’s beginning to get on my last nerve. Oh and to make it worse… I have the best package they offer. It’s total CRAP!

    • James – I hear you and feel your pain. Its a joke! Get a T1 installed if you can or a T-Mobile or some other carriers data card to insert into your laptop or PC. This company will be bye-bye very soon. They are getting away with murder!!

  9. I just moved to a rural area (or semi-rural, since I’m about 1 mile from the city) from the city where I had cable connection (TWC). My cable company told me they could transfer my service and run the line to my house, but it would cost me $65000.00 I just thought to myself “I could buy a small house in the city and get FIOS or Cable all day with that amount of money”. Well I have research just about everything and cannot find something that can meet my requirements. My job relies on the internet and go through 1GB+ daily, so I’m pretty much out of options. Satellite, evdo, T1 , none meet my requirements for one reason or another. I’m in the SoCal Area and am wondering if anyone know of a solution for me?

    Zeke 3-27-2011

    • ATT? If it were me, I’d have 2 T1’s installed if 1 T1 didn’t do the trick. You will NOT, NEVER, EVER be happy with satellite. Next option, move again. Sorry! Good luck.

  10. I have Wildblue, and had Hughs for a while. Both suck. With Wildblue, you end up using most of your bandwidth in the first month, then each month after you get whatever is left on the rolling period.

    For example: 1st 30 days you consume 75% of your 17.5 gb limit. This means you only have 25% available to you at the start of the next 30 days. So for the next 30 days you use the Internet sparingly and end up with 80% of your limit used in 30 days. This means that you will never get more than a few gb of transfer a month. I have tested this.

    Another example: Normal web browsing, let’s say 300mb per day for a family of 3. That is a low daily figure too considering I work at home. This means just surfing the Web for 30 days will use up 9GB. This means that the next 30 day period starts with just 8.5GB available. If you use the same amount of bandwidth each day you are just fine to download Operating system updates or a couple software updates, etc. but that is it! I have been FAPPED twice and it sucks. Takes forever to get speed back. With Wildblue, you never, and I mean never have all 17.5GB download available to you after the first 30 days period. It is impossible, unless you don’t use the Internet service for more than 30 days and it will eventually reach 0 percentage used.

    All satellite Internet services are a rip off. You are paying, with Wildblue, about $4.57 per gigabyte downloaded. Very expensive.

    When using a satellite service, consider it like Weight Watchers for the Internet. You have to watch out that you don’t over consume your gigabytes for the day! LOL

  11. Yep I agree! I’ve only had Wildblue for a few weeks and already fapped and my bill is somewhere around $250. Speeds while being fapped are pretty much the same as dial up, actually I just started dial up and it’s faster than what I was getting through the satellite. The only reason why I’m going to continue with this company for a little while longer(once I get the money to catch up on the bill) is because of the new satellite they are going to be launching in August and should have up and running in October. The company that is building the satellite claims that this new satellite has more speed and throughput then all North American internet satellites combined. If I remember correctly the speeds where in the Gbps range which would be nice but I’ll be happy with 3Mbps download speed. The only question now is will they remove the bandwidth restriction and FAP policies? If they still want to put limitations on bandwidth for the $80/month service then it had better be around 100GB/month. If not I’ll keep my $10/month dial up until DSL gets out here which won’t be to long from now.

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