Viasat history, innovation & industry firsts

Viasat's historical milestones

Our people are true thought leaders in our markets, with a long history of new ideas that become long-term business successes. Here is a sampling of those accomplishments since Viasat was founded in 1986.


 
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  • 1986

Today

Viasat logo on top of corporate building entrance
  • Viasat signed contracts for the launch of its three ViaSat-3 satellites with Arianespace, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance
  • Viasat contracted to deliver and test the first Link 16-capable LEO spacecraft, designed to enhance communications for U.S. and allied military forces across the global battlespace
  • Viasat named Global Satellite Business of the Year at Euroconsult’s 2019 Awards for Excellence in Satellite Communications

2018

Viasat technician talking to a woman in front of her house
  • Brazilian telecommunications company Telebras entered agreement with Viasat to bring internet to country’s unconnected communities and facilities
  • Viasat launched ViaSat-2 nationwide service, with unlimited data plans in some areas
  • National Security Agency authorized Viasat’s Battlefield Awareness and Targeting System – Dismounted (BATS-D) device for use by international forces. The BATS-D radio provides real-time air/ground situational awareness
  • CEO Mark Dankberg inducted into CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame for contributions to the global communications industry

2017

ViaSat-2 launching into the night sky from a launch pad
  • JetBlue became the first airline to offer free Wi-Fi connectivity on every aircraft using Viasat’s in-flight entertainment system
  • Viasat delivered first National Security Agency-certified 100 Gbps Type 1 Ethernet encryptor, designed to deliver and protect classified government data at the highest security standards
  • Viasat launched ViaSat-2, which was then the world's most advanced, highest-capacity communications satellite at the time

2016

Private VIP jet flying above a coastline
  • The United States Defense Information Systems Agency awarded Viasat a contract to provide global in-flight broadband and communications services on VIP and special air mission government aircraft
  • Viasat began construction on first two ViaSat-3 class satellites, targeted for Americas and EMEA regions

2015

Executive Chariman Mark Dankberg on-stage accepting an award for his induction into the SSPI Hall of Fame
  • Viasat introduced the fastest home satellite internet service in the U.S. with the new Exede WiFi Modem and a 25 Mbps plan "at the time
  • Viasat began development of ViaSat-3 class of satellites, with the intention of providing global high-capacity satellite broadband services
  • Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) Hall of Fame inducted Viasat Chairman & CEO Mark Dankberg, citing his satellite industry vision and leadership

2014

Viasat employee riding his bike across the crosswalk at the corporate Carlsbad campus
  • For second consecutive year, Exede Internet ranked #1 ISP for delivering advertised speed by the FCC 2014 Measuring Broadband America report
  • Viasat won a $100 million settlement from Space Systems/Loral for breach and patent infringement relating to the groundbreaking invention of the ViaSat-1 high-capacity satellite system
  • Viasat named a San Diego Healthiest Large Company by San Diego Business Journal

2013

Viasat engineer tests out virtual equipment in a lab
  • Viasat announced next generation ViaSat-2 satellite, designed to offer an unparalleled mix of capacity and coverage, with approximately double the bandwidth economics and seven times the coverage of ViaSat-1
  • Viasat demonstrated first high-performance Ka-band SATCOM for rotary wing aircraft, with data rates of 4 Mbps to a ground station and 8 Mbps to a helicopter
  • Exede Internet earned 2013 Edison award from internationally renowned Edison Universe, recognizing systems and services at the forefront of innovation
  • Popular Science named ViaSat-1 and Exede service to its “Best of What’s New” for 2012

2012

Digitized graphic of the ViaSat-1 satellite in space
  • Viasat completed a nationwide rollout of Exede by Viasat, the fastest consumer satellite broadband at the time. It debuted with a baseline of 12 Mbps for downloads.

2011

ViaSat-1 launching into the night sky from a launch pad
  • ViaSat-1 launched. The highest capacity satellite in the world carried 140 Gbps capacity, which was at the time more than all other communications satellites over North America at the time of its launch
  • Eutelsat KA-SAT, the first satellite to use the Viasat high-capacity satellite system design and SurfBeam® 2 ground system, entered into service. It offered a new generation of fast, high-performance satellite broadband service

2010

Man wearing a hat and blue polo, sitting outside of a store looking at his smartphone
  • Viasat a won $47 million contract to build the ground system for 03b, designed to bring fiber-like satellite backbone service to the "other 3 billion" unserved populations through a MEO satellite system
  • Viasat announced development of first Ka-band in-flight broadband system with customer JetBlue
  • Viasat selected to provide a next-generation Blue Force Tracking system (BFT-2) to provide faster, more frequent updates for safer military operations
  • Viasat began production on MIDS JTRS, the first software defined radio version of the Link 16 tactical data link

2009

Angled view of the Viasat entrance sign in front of building 1 in Denver, CO
  • Viasat acquired Denver-based WildBlue Communications, a premier Ka-band satellite internet service provider
  • Viasat demonstrated its next generation high-speed, high-volume "ViaSat-1" broadband experience at the Satellite 2009 Exhibition and Conference
  • Viasat named a Washington Technology Top 100 Government Contractor

2008

Aerial view of the Earth from space
  • Mark Dankberg received the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) 2008 Aerospace International Communications Award
  • Viasat named to Space News Top 50 Space Companies as well as Defense News Fast Track 50 and Top 100 Government Contractor lists
  • Viasat announced plans for ViaSat-1 Ka-band spot beam satellite, designed to be the world’s highest-capacity broadband satellite

2007

Viasat branded satellite dish with TRIA mounted to a rooftop
  • Viasat’s revenues surpassed $500 million for the first time
  • Viasat’s SurfBeam terminal becomes most popular VSAT terminal, with more than 500,000 shipments
  • Viasat is selected by NSA to manufacture KG-200/201, the first compact inline media encryptors for “data at rest” secure data storage

2006

Aerial view of umbrella shaded tables on the courtyard at the Carlsbad campus
  • Viasat’s Comsat Laboratories division won development contract for first Space Communications Testbed (SCT) from NASA
  • Viasat listed on Forbes Magazine's 200 Best Small Companies for the fifth time

2005

Three Viasat network operations employees monitoring data on computer and TV monitors
  • Viasat recognized as a Top 100 Federal Prime Contractor by Washington Technology for first time
  • Viasat’s first Ku-band airborne broadband terminals passed flight testing as Viasat's SKYLink product began operations on business jets
  • Viasat named to Red Herring Small Cap 100 for innovative technology, growth, and profitability

2004

Gathering of Viasat employees seated in chairs in the courtyard in Carlsbad, listening to a presentation
  • Viasat completed development of first CDMA VSAT technology, known as the ArcLight system
  • Viasat’s KG-250/250A Network Encryptor obtained NSA certification, the first implementation of PSIAM™ architecture and was named AFCEA Golden Link Award winner
  • Viasat ranked 8th on Business 2.0's 100 Fastest Growing Tech Companies
  • Mark Dankberg named Satellite Executive of the Year 2003 by Via Satellite magazine

2003

Private business jet flying above the clouds against a sunlit sky
  • Viasat delivered first delivered SurfBeam DOCSIS®-based Consumer Broadband Terminal
  • Viasat delivered ARINC SKYLink Airborne Satellite Terminal, providing the first Ku-band broadband service for business jets
  • Design and production began for Viasat’s Enhanced Bandwidth Efficient Modem (EBEM), the first high-speed modem to use commercial technologies for the military

2002

  • Viasat shipped first airborne broadband terminals for Connexion by Boeing®

2001

Four Viasat employees smiling at the camera in front of a Viasat Comsat Lab sign
  • Viasat acquired Comsat Labs, the premier satellite technology development house, from Lockheed Martin

2000

Side-angled view of a brick Viasat building in Atlanta, CA
  • Viasat acquired VSAT and Antenna Systems groups from Scientific-Atlanta
  • Viasat offered LinkWay Multiprotocol Mesh VSAT.
  • Viasat spun off Trellisware, to develop self-forming MANET networking technologies

1999

Mark Dankberg and five Viasat employees cutting a blue ribbon in front of the new Carlsbad, CA campus
  • Viasat introduced first Viasat MIDS LVT Link-16 terminal
  • Viasat relocated to new Carlsbad, California campus, opening first three buildings on the site

1998

  • Viasat introduced Viasat IP Crypto device
  • Viasat unveiled First MiniDAT wireless data acquisition terminal
  • Viasat added Calypso low-cost terminal to StarWire product line

1997

Three military soldiers in kneeling in the field, wearing camo and working on communications equipment
  • Viasat first delivered Viasat eMail tactical channel messaging software
  • Viasat introduced the VDC-400 personal data controller

1996

Close-up of of a man in a lab, talking to another Viasat employee, holding a piece of SATCOM equipment
  • Viasat developed first Link-16 prototype terminal
  • Viasat's SHF DAMA network terminal added to government tactical SATCOM products
  • Viasat had its Initial Public Offering in December. Company began to trade on the NASDAQ under the symbol VSAT

1995

Bottom-view of a military plane in-flight against a blue sky
  • Viasat provided first communication simulation and test system delivered for avionics testing
  • Viasat offered portable S-band automated receive terminal or "STAR"
  • Viasat announced StarWire (originally dB-Net), Viasat's first commercial satellite networking system

1994

Soldier talking on a handheld satellite radio, looking at a map on a laptop
  • Viasat introduced first advanced Data Controller, the VDC-100

1992

Military vessel at sea with visible SATCOM equipment
  • Viasat delivered first MD-1324(c)/U UHF DAMA modem (originally called the VM-200)

1991

Two sets of control systems mounted onto two metal platforms
  • Viasat developed first UHF DAMA system in integrated network control system (INCS)

1990

  • Viasat delivered first product: The VTS-3000 SATCOM test system

1986

Founders Mark Dankberg, Steve Hart and Mark Miller plus two Viasat employees standing behind a sign that reads 'Viasat 1986'
  • Viasat Inc. founded by Mark Dankberg, Steve Hart, and Mark Miller