WildBlue announced availability of additional satellite broadband capacity, using a third satellite. WildBlue is leasing Ka band capacity from EchoStar’s AMC-15 satellite. The new satellite capacity will serve customers in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and Arkansas.
The new capacity comes at an important time for WildBlue. They’ve had well documented challenges delivering promised bandwidth due to capacity constraints. Like everyone else in broadband, they’re also sizing up the opportunity presented by the broadband stimulus program. It’s somewhat debatable as to whether satellite broadband can deliver the type of performance needed by an emerging broadband ‘app’ culture. WildBlue recently launched a PR campaign to promote their next generation service, which they claim dramatically improves their broadband performance.
While WildBlue may not see a bonanza from the current stimulus program, their eyes are on the future. All of the current broadband stimulus activity focuses on the programs that are in play right now. But even Vice President Biden said when he officially launched the current program, ‘it’s just a down payment’ on a larger universal broadband policy being pursued by the current administration. WildBlue wants to position itself to be a legitimate option for those universal broadband goals. That pursuit will continue well after the current broadband stimulus noise subsides.