You seem to maintain a rather myopic view of Hughesnet service levels.
There is a vast range of performance levels (and expectations) over the present three (soon to be four) distinct system platforms.
While it may be true that some users may find themselves on a heavily loaded older generation satellite in a very congested beam, such a case is the exception not the rule.
There are many potential reasons for slow speeds and troubleshooting is a process of elimination. That process begins "local" and progresses outward.
Problems based on overloading are very likely to be eased when J-2 comes online.
"Also, for the third time, what speed does hughes net consider to be "high speed"?"
Interesting question. The FCC has a definition for "Broadband" as being 25/3 Mbps or better, Common sense would then dictate that "high speed" is something less than that.
Hughes offers internet connections over three (soon to be four) platforms. Each of the platforms offer increased performance. Within each of those platforms there are a number of available service plan levels.
The major attributes between plan levels are data allowance and speed. Common plan speed brackets are up to 5, 10 and 15 Mbps.
The key words here are "up to". There simply are too many variables in a satellite connection to even begin to "guaranty" any level of performance.
Every print and TV ad I have seen for Hughesnet has included the "up to" disclaimer" and it is clearly stated in the Hughesnet Subscriber Agreement:
1.1 SPEED CLAIMS AND DISCLAIMERS.
HughesNet service is available in the contiguous U.S. with an unobstructed view of the southern sky, and its usage is subject to the Fair Access Policy. Actual speeds vary based on the amount of traffic on the Internet, content on a particular Website, or by the overall performance and configuration of your computer. Stated speeds and uninterrupted use of service are not guaranteed. Actual speeds will likely be lower than the maximum speeds during peak hours.
The listed speeds for the Choice, Prime, Prime Plus, Pro, Pro Plus, Max, and Ultra Service Plans are only available in the footprint of the EchoStar XVII Satellite. EchoStar XVII service is generally available in areas east of the Mississippi River, coastal regions of the West Coast, and larger population centers of the Mountain West (Denver and Phoenix). A map showing EchoStar XVII’s Service Coverage areas can be found here. For areas not covered by the EchoStar XVII Satellite, only the Connect and Connect Pro Service Plans will be offered. In addition, please note that not all EchoStar XVII Service Plans are available in all geographic areas. To determine what Service Plans are available in your geographic area, please click here and enter your address.
It seems that as a matter of course that Hughes aims for a minimum service level of 60% of plan max rated speed but because the service is a shared resource this may not always be possible.
Simply put, Hughesnet is a satellite connection, not Cable, FIOS, DSL, WISP or Cellular.