After launching the ViaSat-1 satellite in October with 140 Gbps of capacity, ViaSat's ready to start offering its satellite internet to the masses. The company has announced that it's going to start offering 12 Mbps plans on January 16th for $50 per month. The service will be sequentially rolled out across the United States over the coming months and will be available to subscribers of National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative ISPs. While the new service likely won't solve the high latency that's often associated with satellite internet, it is far better than the company's current offering (sold through child company WildBlue), which provides 1.5 Mbps for the same price. We were told when we spoke with a customer service representative at WildBlue that the new (update: lowest-tier) plan will limit users to 7.5GB of usage per month, and the company will charge a fee if you go over. It's also worth noting that, like WildBlue's current offerings, the service is only available as part of a 24 month contract.
In addition to consumer internet service, ViaSat said it'll be providing its new high-speed services in partnership with JetBlue in airplanes, and it will be marketing to news reporters in the field who need internet service as well. We'll get to see some of these services in action at CES next week, so stay tuned.