If you’re ever on Jeopardy! and Alex Trebek says: “This most powerful satellite in the world powers Exede Internet in North America,” the correct question is “What is ViaSat-1?”
Yep, ViaSat-1, the satellite behind (or is that above?) Exede Internet, was recently recognized with the Guinness World Records® title as the Highest Capacity Communications Satellite in the world. With 134 Gbps total throughput capacity (that’s a lot), ViaSat-1 has 10 times the throughput of any previous satellite in its class.
What that means for our subscribers is we can serve up a zesty dish of fast, 12 Mbps Internet to a whole lot of people all around the country. And you can read more about it here.
The recognition got us wondering a little bit about Guinness World Records, which everyone used to refer to as a “book” but is also a pretty informative website as well. We’ve suspected it all has something to do with Guinness, the adult beverage, and we discovered on the Guinness website that such is indeed the case.
It seems Sir Hugh Beaver (and we are not making any of this up) was hunting birds in Ireland one day back in 1951 when he missed a shot at a plover. Sir Hugh, who was chairman of the Guinness Brewery, wondered if the plover was, indeed, the fastest game bird in Europe, but he had no way of knowing. Back then, of course, there was no such thing as satellite Internet or, really, any kind of Internet. Mostly people found out about stuff through things printed on paper, and Sir Hugh looked up to the heavens and cried (dramatic reenactment): “Oh, what I wouldn’t give for a reference book to tell me about all kinds of random information and records, such as the airspeed velocity of plovers and unladen swallows.”
So he got in touch with some journalists he knew and suggested they get to work post-haste on a book which would feature a collection of superlative facts to answer inquisitive minds. This came to be known right away as the Guinness Book of Records.
The rest, of course, is history. The book grew and grew and was launched as a website in 2000. You can find all kinds of interesting stuff on the site or in the book, ranging from the “Largest Collection of Charlies Angels Memorabilia: (Jack Condon, USA) to “Fastest Distance Climbed Inverted Up a Pole in One Minute” (Nele Bruckmann, Germany).
We’re happy to be part of the list. Enjoy your satellite Internet service with the Highest Capacity Communications Satellite in the World.
PS: Consider the plover
Just out of curiosity, we looked on the Guinness site to see where the plover ranks in terms of European game bird speed and, alas, it’s not referenced! According to this website for Guinness Record Book collectors (!), the plover question wasn’t actually addressed until the 36th edition in 1989, and it wasn’t the plover that won out, it was the Red Grouse (up to 63 mph).