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Business vs residential service

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Business vs residential service

I currently have the business75 plan.  It’s very slow but ok for basic website access but evening video streaming is pretty much unusable with frequent buffering and freezes. I wanted to look into the possibility that residential service would be ok for daytime web access with improved video streaming in the evening. 
What is involved in changing to residential and what are the differences I would see in service.  I’m currently working from home during the day requiring website access to secure sites and , uploading/downloading of files. 
I'm anticipating local fiber service within the next year so I won’t signup for any long term service contract. 

Distinguished Professor IV

I believe you'd have to sign up for a 2 year contract.   Also, you may or may not see an improvement; it's not guaranteed at all.  If you're anticipating fiber service within the next year, your best bet may be to stay as you are. 

That's pretty much what I was thinking but wanted some expert advice since there is no info about any of this at the Hughenet website.  Thank you.

Distinguished Professor IV

First let me say that I'm not 100% on all of this, but...


I believe it would require the cancellation of your current service, then signing up for a residential plan. With this said, there are some possible drawbacks to doing this. First, if your current service is less than twenty four months old, it would likely be subject to an early termination fee, and depending on how long you've had it, the fee could be significant. Second, there's no guarantee that the residential plan would be any different, service wise. In fact, business plans tend to give better service than residential plans, though this isn't always the case. If I remember correctly, the equipment for the business plans is slightly different, with the dish being slightly larger and the radio being more powerful, with the aim being better reliability. And third, and again having to do with the very real possibility of the residential plan not being any better, you'd be in a new 24 month commitment, meaning that if you didn't like it and wanted to go back to a business plan, you'd again be subject to an early termination fee to cancel the residential and then sign back up for business.


Also, if you currently have Gen 5, the residential service you'd likely have to go with would be the new Gen 6.


Your best bet would be to call and ask. It's 866-347-3292. If you need to call another number for business account support, they'll be able to give you that number.


Something to keep in mind is that speed during prime time hours tends to be lower than off prime hours. So, even with a residential plan you're still likely to see your speed dipping in the evenings, which may affect your ability to stream well. How well a subscriber is able to stream can vary from location to location. One of the biggest impacters on streaming is latency, and with geostationary satellite internet there's no getting around it. It will always be around 600ms or so. When that high latency is combined with system congestion, which again is most prominent in the evenings, things like streaming can suffer. It's one of the drawbacks of this kind of internet, unfortunately.


Lastly, they DO have Fusion plans that couple with service from a cell tower, giving lower latency for some activities, and service like that may be better for streaming. The catch is that you need to be in a location that can actually get a decent cell signal, so Fusion plans aren't available to everyone. 

Thanks for the detailed info GabeU.  In my current case there are no options for cell or wired service right now but that should improve over the next 6-12 months with the local service provider having received federal grants for fiber service in my area.  I do understand it is the technology limitations and I'm guessing there are a lot of Hughsnet customers around me causing evening service to really slow to almost unusable speeds.  It appears that business service does prioritize daytime performance but with the bonus and anytime data limits, it is of limited benefit for sustained access.  I've also looked into StarLink but I do not have enough open sky to make that work.  For now this will suffice.


Distinguished Professor IV

I agree with you that the evening congestion is likely what's tanking your speeds.  As for fiber, my state received federal funds to bring fiber to all the areas that have no terrestrial internet access.  It is  a SLOW process. They've been working on it in my area for at least 3 years now. The only thing left is for the fiber company to dig the micro-trenches that will bring the fiber to the homes, and then do the connections. I contacted the provider to ask when they were expecting to actually do all this, and they said it would take until the end of 2025. The original estimate, stated in the first letter we got from the company, was also a year (end of 2023). 


I still plan to keep Hughesnet as a backup, but would like to also have terrestrial internet. All this to say that the wait for your fiber service might be longer than they say it will be. I hope it takes only a year for you, but be prepared to wait longer. 

I can relate.  My date for service has changed at least 4 time over the past 2 years but I'm getting more hopeful.  There have been sections up my street on the utility poles where the fiber cable has been installed and the ground/road has been marked where the buried runs are.  The section from my house to the street is up on utility poles so maybe easier to get connected once service is started.  Right now I've been given a November date which I don't believe but maybe.

Distinguished Professor IV

Everything is done here, except for the micro-trenches and dropping the line to the house. Absolutely everything else is done; the electric company worked very diligently, but the fiber ISP is taking its sweet time.  I hope your November date is correct! Here things are moving very slowly for two of the areas. Everyone else already has fiber service. It was also practically impossible to get information from these companies. I ended up contacted the electric company, and someone involved in the fiber project there was very kind to provide information, plus evidence that their part of the project was done and now it was up to the fiber ISP. After getting no replies from them for over a year, I eventually heard from them and they said they expected to be done with everything by the end of 2025.  I'll believe it when I see it. 🤣🤣🤣


I have to wonder how reliable they are, which is one of the several reasons I'm holding on to Hughesnet for a while (provided I can actually have both the satellite and fiber at the house; I don't know if that's possible). Hughesnet (IME) has been reliable and responsive. 

Hope you see the work completed soon.  Its great that the federal gov't provides money to local providers to install/upgrade substandard service but the limited profit potential from rural service due to the low density of customers and any competition kind of eliminates any incentive to providers to work fast.

Distinguished Professor IV

Are they using a local ISP?  Where I'm at, the fiber provider is local, so I imagine they have incentive to increase their customer base by expanding their reach.  When all this started, they asked people who were interested to "sign up" for the upcoming service, and those of us who did will allegedly get fiber installed ahead of others in the county.  Doesn't mean they're fast, of course. I've heard from people who have the service that they're good and responsive once you're receiving their customer.  Seeing is believing, though. 🤣🤣  


Best of luck to you! Fingers crossed for a November install!

There is only one wired ISP covering the whole county and along the loop run/road I live on there are only a limited number of houses so not too much incentive for them.  I’m guessing without the federal grant money, there would be very little if any cost justification for the fiber installation given the number of customers they can service. The copper pairs are maxed out and I can’t get any wired service until the fiber is up, hence the Hughesnet service. I initially started with Viasat and their service was very poor here.  Hughes is only slight better but the only option right now.  Verizon has approval (2 years ago) for a tower nearby but no construction has started yet.  That could be another ISP option down the road.  

Distinguished Professor IV

@bcs001 wrote:

There is only one wired ISP covering the whole county and along the loop run/road I live on there are only a limited number of houses so not too much incentive for them.

That's the boat I'm in. On the main road, cable stops about a quarter mile from where my road comes into it, and my road is a nearly half mile long dead end with only five houses on it, so there is no incentive whatsoever for them to extend cable that extra quarter mile, then down our road. We have no fiber in my area at all, though if I remember correctly the Verizon access panel at the end of my road is connected to the main office with a fiber backhaul.


Years ago I was working with a Verizon engineer and got enough signatures on a petition to get them to install the necessary equipment in that panel to provide DSL for the immediate area, but by the time I got the petition to them word had come down from on high that, going forward, they were no longer installing new DSL systems and were instead focusing on fiber. If I had done the petition the year prior, or maybe even a couple of months prior, the DSL probably would have happened.