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WildBlue Satellite
Old 07-13-2006, 02:58 PM   #1
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WildBlue Satellite

Just thought I would way in on this. We got WildBlue for a satellite service for the Internet. Dialup was our only other choice. We got the value plan, $49 for 500kb down. One of my worries was the FAP (fair access policy) With both satellite services if you download/upload too much in a 30 day rolling time period they cut you back to dial up. In the first 45 days we have gotten 475 kb or better uploads, and we are averaging 85 meg of downloads. The FAP is 7.5 gig. I run three computers on it, keep them updated and download a few programs now and then. I run the system on a Linksys wired/wireless router. We have a guest house about 100 ft from the router and I am using a Linksys repeater to get the signal out there. All appears to be running well for now.

Installation was, I thought good, however I had a problem with the modem dropping off line several times a day. Turns out the dish was not grounded. They came out grounded the dish, and it appears to be working.
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Re: WildBlue Satellite
Old 07-13-2006, 03:42 PM   #2
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Re: WildBlue Satellite

Rustic23, good to hear from you. I wondered where you had wandered off to, and now I know...to the WildBlue.

I looked at both Hughesnet and WildBlue but was scared off by reviews like many I see here: http://www.dslreports.com/reviews/2554. I opted for a local provider offering line-of-sight radio connection, which turns out to have problems of it's own, primarily interference and bleed-over from other transmissions. After 5 months of service with only two or three short interruptions, this month I've been partially out of commission for one week and totally off the air for another week. I'm back up now and so far, so good. At least when I call "customer service" I get the owner or his spouse, not a call center in Bangladore. When I started having trouble, he did work hard to resolve it, even coming out to my house at 10 PM on a Friday night to work on the system. It isn't very fast, only 256k, but there are no FAP issues and no contract so I'm free to leave at any time.

Keep us posted on your WildBlue experience. If I do have further problems I may reconsider and it's nice to be able to talk with a satisfied (?) customer.

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Re: WildBlue Satellite
Old 07-13-2006, 04:56 PM   #3
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Re: WildBlue Satellite

Swell, I was just warming up to dump comcast for a local wireless line of sight radio outfit. Couldnt find any reviews on them but I notice their little antennas popping up on peoples roofs and in a lot of cases, on one roof and then on a neighbors. Your review on your local company isnt encouraging...

This service is pretty fast, 3Mb/s down and 1Mb/s up, $39 a month. Local small company. When I asked a couple of technical questions to THE sales person, she sent them to the owner and he responded to them. So yeah, better than Bob from India.

But last thing I need is flakey internet service since we use ours for phone as well. I know the company at least THINKS its good enough for VOIP because they offer it as an option directly from them...
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Re: WildBlue Satellite
Old 07-13-2006, 05:04 PM   #4
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Re: WildBlue Satellite

I just got Direcway business class service ($99/month, $1000 install/equip), and overall I'd have to say its better than dial up...when its working, it screams - I can download 200M files in a jiffy (usually after 6PM), during the day it seems to slow to a crawl, but is still faster than dial-up by a longshot. The advertised speed is 1.5M down, and 500K up and I usually attain those speeds (or close to it) in the evenings, which is OK by me - I just plan my downloads that way.

It is frustrating how limited the speed is during the day however, and if I had ANY other choice at a similar cost I'd take it...but I don't. So not exactly a unqualified recommendation, but it does work, and has made my interent much more usuable. I also really don't like the $1000 up front and the 24 month contract...but what are you gonna do?
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Re: WildBlue Satellite
Old 07-13-2006, 07:15 PM   #5
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Re: WildBlue Satellite

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Swell, I was just warming up to dump comcast for a local wireless line of sight radio outfit....

But last thing I need is flakey internet service since we use ours for phone as well. I know the company at least THINKS its good enough for VOIP because they offer it as an option directly from them...
I'm not sure my situation is indicative of the reliability you should expect from this service. If you recall, I'm a heck of a long way from the receiver/transmitter (13 miles across a river valley), and that distance has to contribute to the interference problems I've had.

Once again, it was fine for 5 months, then some nerdball decided he'd supply his subdivision with his own "unofficial" wireless not-so-local network. Only a mile or so from my ISP's R/T, its running so hot that was blocking my uploads and interfering with some downloads. The owner of my ISP said he tried talking to the guy about how to tune his system so it wouldn't interfere and effectively got the door slammed in his face. (I offered him the loan of my 12 gage to do some antenna modifications, but he declined. ).

The ISP owner installed some new radio equipment last Thursday, (or maybe he borrowed someone else's shotgun) and that seems to have cured my problem. Anyhow, I wouldn't view my situation as typical of what you should expect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMcDonald
I just got Direcway business class service ($99/month, $1000 install/equip),... and the 24 month contract...
Ouch. And I thought my $550 install and $70/mo with no contract was steep.

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Re: WildBlue Satellite
Old 07-13-2006, 07:46 PM   #6
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Re: WildBlue Satellite

Hmmm...well i'm a mile or so away from the main headquarters and they have two major locations...one at the HQ and one up on the edge of the Sutter Buttes just a couple of miles away from me...that ones up a couple of thousand feet and pointed down at the town, which is flat as a pancake.

Bet the nerdball might find a few unfriendly folks at either the FCC or his ISP if they dont know about his 'sharing'...
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Re: WildBlue Satellite
Old 07-13-2006, 10:33 PM   #7
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Re: WildBlue Satellite

Quote:
I'm not sure my situation is indicative of the reliability you should expect from this service. If you recall, I'm a heck of a long way from the receiver/transmitter (13 miles across a river valley), and that distance has to contribute to the interference problems I've had.
I have had the "line of site" broadband for over a year....I think a lot of it depends on your location.....I am at a high elevation and get good tv reception, as well....I am happy with it...there is a few hours every month that the service is out...
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Re: WildBlue Satellite
Old 07-14-2006, 10:16 AM   #8
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Re: WildBlue Satellite

I got a PM from Rustic23 saying this thread was locked (don't know why, so I unlocked it) and he wanted to post the following:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic23

I read a lot of forum boards about WildBlue and Direcway before going with WildBlue. What I concluded, and it could be wrong, is that WildBlue is newer technology. Not always good to be on the bleeding edge, but I took a chance. Another thing about WildBlue, is that it appears to franchise its service out to local co-ops and phone companies. Mine is through a local phone co. They have there own customer support and contract installers. When we got ours they had installed 8 other units, so we were on the bleeding edge. There service has been great. Lots of call backs and no problem sending someone out to get the antenna grounded.

I think what you see in the forum boards is mostly dissatisfied customers. That goes for both services. I for one have not posted back that my service is as advertised. In fact I think that if your service is good, you donít even go looking for information. If you take into account the number of people that have Satellite Internet, and the number that are on the boards, it seems like a small number. Kind of like this board is some ways. The country is split about 50/50 on politics, however, if you read the post on this board you would believe it is closer to 90/10. Not looking for a political argument just a comment on forum boards.
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Re: WildBlue Satellite
Old 07-14-2006, 10:22 AM   #9
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Re: WildBlue Satellite

Its quite true that what you get on review sites and message boards are the posts where a company has screwed up or really done well for someone.

I also think its worth noting how a company handles problems because that may be a good indicator of how they'll handle yours.

When I see someone who has had a service thats never had a problem and they've never had to deal with the company's support, I always remember the analogy "I can run across the highway 20 times with a bag over my head and not have anything bad happen...wouldnt recommend doing it on a regular basis though".

On the flip side, if I see a company that has 10M subscribers and all I can find are 10 bad reviews across the entire internet, chances are pretty good I just detected the 10 jerkiest customers and the company is doing pretty well.

When I see thousands of complaints, state AG's suing, class action lawsuits being brought, then it starts sounding to me like the company stinks.

Rustic...your observation of the local farm out/franchising might be due to NRTC rules...I landed in their lap at my old mcmansion area...some set of laws to prevent large company's from coming in and flattening out small businesses in rural areas...IIRC outfits like satellite companies have to channel their business in certain NRTC regions through local providers of services. In my case, directv had to sub through a company called 'pegasus', who charged me an extra five bucks a month for nothing.
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