Earlier this year, ViaSat launched its ViaSat-1, a 140 Gbps capacity satellite positioned over North America. We've already heard about plans to bring Ka-band coverage to the friendly JetBlue skies later this year, but now the new broadband provider has detailed residential availability as well, through the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative. NRTC members will have access to 12 Mbps service packages starting at $50 per month as soon as January 16th, finally bringing high-speed broadband to areas where fiber and cable services are not available. ViaSat may not be rolling out to consumers for another couple weeks, but the provider will be on-site at CES to demo the service in "residential, commercial airline, and satellite newsgathering" scenarios beginning Tuesday, and you better believe we'll be there to test it out.
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ViaSat Renews Distribution Agreement with National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative

New deal will bring affordable 12 Mbps service to market within weeks

Carlsbad, Calif. – ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT) has entered into a new five-year wholesale distribution agreement with the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) for next-generation satellite broadband service through the new ViaSat-1 satellite. Similar to retail offerings, the agreement will allow NRTC members to experience the new 12 Mbps service packages. Outside ViaSat-1 coverage areas, NRTC will introduce enhanced 5 Mbps service through a new network of next-generation gateways and consumer terminals.

"NRTC's electric and telephone members were the first distributors of WildBlue service, and they remain committed to ensuring that rural Americans have access to robust broadband," said Tim Bryan, NRTC CEO. "The enhanced satellite broadband service will make significant contributions to the communities we serve, so we are very happy to continue our relationship with ViaSat and offer the new service."

ViaSat-1, providing more capacity than all other communication satellites over the U.S. combined, is designed to transform the economics and quality of service that satellite broadband can provide. The technology is expected to elevate satellite into a much more competitive position in the broadband service marketplace, offering a faster Internet service starting at $50.

"This longstanding partnership with NRTC has continuously served a very important group of our customers with a level of quality that is consistent with our goals," said Tom Moore, ViaSat senior VP. "Our new technology will bring NRTC customers the true broadband experience they need."

The 140 Gbps capacity ViaSat-1 satellite is scheduled to enter service this month and then services will sequentially expand across the United States over the following months.

About NRTC

The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) represents the advanced telecommunications and information technology interests of more than 1,500 rural utilities and affiliates in 48 states. Founded in 1986, NRTC provides products and services developed specifically to meet the needs of rural utilities and their customers, such as high-speed Internet access via satellite, full service Internet access and support, integrated smart grid technologies and energy efficiency solutions, wireless technologies, long distance programs, mobile phone service, IP backbone services, and programming distribution rights for video providers. For more information, visit www.nrtc.coop.

About ViaSat

ViaSat delivers fast, secure communications, Internet, and remote network access to fixed sites or on-the-move. The company provides networking products and managed network services for enterprise IP applications; is a key supplier of network-centric military communications and encryption technologies and products to the U.S. and allied governments; is the primary technology partner for gateway and customer-premises equipment for consumer and mobile satellite broadband services; and offers high-speed Ka-band satellite broadband services. Based in Carlsbad, Calif., ViaSat has established a number of worldwide locations for customer service, network operations, and technology development.