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High speed Internet offered to rural areas

Tuesday, Dec. 17 | By Hannah Dellinger
It’s not always easy to get high-speed Internet access in rural pockets of Fauquier County. Now there is a satellite alternative that is competitive with DSL Internet pricing and speeds.
RadioShack of Warrenton became a certified Exede Internet dealer this past summer. Exede provides internet up to 12 Mbps (megabits per second) downloading and 3 Mbps uploading for around $50 a month.

ViaSat, an innovative digital communication company and owner of WildBlue Internet service, runs Exede. ViaSat utilizes the ViaSat-1, the highest capacity communications satellite ever built. ViaSat-1 currently holds the Guinness World Record for greatest capacity of all satellites covering North America added together. ViaSat-1 is proven to throughput 134 Gbps (giga-bits per second.)
Since Exede runs on the highest capacity satellite in orbit, the Internet service is becoming more than just a rural alternative. According to Matt Littleton, the RadioShack of Warrenton store manager, many costumers are starting to use Exede in town, since the pricing is competitive and is often just as fast or faster than DSL.

“Now, because speeds are so much faster, people in town and in not very rural communities are using Exede as better option. Exede comes out being better value in higher speed and data caps,” said Littleton over the phone.

Ray Rodriguez, one of Exede’s first subscribers, lives outside of a major urban area and chose to use Exede instead of DSL to run his home business.

“Exede Internet is better than the DSL service I had. It’s about four times as fast,” said Rodriguez in a press release.
Littleton explained that another advantage to using Exede is that there is a daily late-night unlimited usage window. Between midnight and 5 a.m., customers can use as much data as they wish for free.
RadioShack of Warrenton was recently welcomed into ViaSat’s Elite Dealer Program less than a year after beginning to offer Exede. The store is currently ranked in the top five for the number of Exede satellite installations made.

“Fauquier County and surrounding areas have a lot to do with why we’ve been successful,” said Littleton in a press release.
RadioShack of Warrenton provides Exede installation to Fauquier County, to the west in Winchester , and all the way down south to Orange County. Littleton often talks to other technology businesses to find new Exede sales agents that will work with him.

He believes that having a local dealer that provides installation services through local contractors is a huge advantage for customers. Instead of using out-of-state contractors, RadioShack of Warrenton can help the local economy by providing local installation jobs. Because the installations contractors are all local, they can address issues like disconnections quickly.

“I’ve been in the business for 17 years. I’ve seen it grow and change since the early days,” he said. “We understand the product. I use it at home myself. When you can explain it clearly to people we demystify technology for people that aren’t very familiar with it."

There is an Exede demo system at the RadioShack of Warrenton that potential customers are welcome to try.

“I encourage people to come out and take it for a test drive. I think it sells itself,” said Littleton.

For more information on Exede and the packages available go to http://www.exede.com.
Matt Littleton, manager of Radio Shack of Warrenton. Fauquier Times Staff Photo/Kipp Hanley

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