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High Speed Internet
Old 04-27-2006, 05:22 PM   #1
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High Speed Internet

So...after 7+ years of ďcountry livingĒ and a snail-slow dial up Internet connection while waiting for DSL or any other reasonably priced option, I finally gave in and coughed up the $500 ransom installation fee to get a high speed connection via line of sight radio. The monthy rate is a disgusting $70, but I justified it by disconnecting the land phone line which, when combined with the $10 per month ISP cost savings, covers all but $7 of the monthly fee. Wouldnít you know it, 60 days after I bit the bullet, a competitor shows up out here in the sticks offering the service for a $200 installation fee and $50 per month, higher speeds too.

I started looking into the new guys offer, figuring after amotizing the installation cost over 10 months I would then begin saving $20 per month on the fee. My current provider requires no contract, but the new guys have a 12 month agreement, so I asked to see a copy. (Yep, Iím a service companyís biggest nightmare...a retired guy who actually READS the fine print before signing it...and who spent the last 17 years negotiating service contracts. )

I noticed several things in the agreement I wasnít comfortable with, so I called their sales desk to ask a few questions. The contract states that the installer is an independent contractor and the Internet supplier is not responsible for any negligence related to the work, items or service provided by the independent contractor. While it is common practice to have independent contractors install cable, etc., I asked the sales guy what happens if the independent contractor is in my attic and puts a foot through my ceiling? Does the contractor have insurance to cover my damages? And does the contractor have insurance to cover his medical costs if he falls off my roof and injures himself?

The sales guy said, ďJust a minute, let me ask my supervisorĒ. A few minutes later he came back and said his supervisor was on a conference call and would have to call me back. That was two weeks ago and I havenít received a call back even though I have attempted to call and email them asking to speak to someone about doing business with them.

My take on this is that they either
1. donít know how to answer my questions and hope I will just go away
2. think Iím a pain in the butt and/or some nutcase and just donít want to deal with me
3. fear I might be a competitor or a disgruntled customer trying to get information I may use against them
4. think I might be a high maintenance customer who will give them more trouble than my business is worth or might even find some reason to sue them
5. arenít a reputable company
6. or all the above.

Whatever the situation, my take out of this is I donít want to do business with them and I am telling all my neighbors about my experience. Although it is a little frustrating, I do find it somewhat humorous...especially the ďForce ManeuverĒ clause in their agreement!

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Re: High Speed Internet
Old 04-27-2006, 06:03 PM   #2
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Re: High Speed Internet

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
My take on this is that they
1. donít know how to answer my questions and hope I will just go away
2. think Iím a pain in the butt and/or some nutcase and just donít want to deal with me
3. fear I might be a competitor or a disgruntled customer trying to get information I may use against them
4. think* I might be a high maintenance customer who will give them more trouble than my business is worth or might even find some reason to sue them
5. arenít a reputable company
6.* all the above.
Yes*
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Re: High Speed Internet
Old 04-27-2006, 07:18 PM   #3
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Re: High Speed Internet

RE,
I think you answered the question of "What do you do all day?"
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Re: High Speed Internet
Old 04-27-2006, 07:21 PM   #4
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Re: High Speed Internet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arif
RE,
I think you answered the question of "What do you do all day?"
Heh, according to the stats page, nobody has spend more time online since April 2005 (the start of the stats for this software) than REWahoo!
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Re: High Speed Internet
Old 04-27-2006, 07:34 PM   #5
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Re: High Speed Internet

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMoneyJim
Heh, according to the stats page, nobody has spend more time online since April 2005 (the start of the stats for this software) than REWahoo!
Don't believe it. My computer is one of those lyin' Dell Dimension Desktops...

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Re: High Speed Internet
Old 04-27-2006, 07:40 PM   #6
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Re: High Speed Internet

So, tell me how to find out about line of sight raido service?

My son & daughter in law have a business on the edge of a city served by Quest. Their Quest DSL service, to put it kindly, is poor. The whole neighborhood is unhappy. If they could switch both phone and DSL to a line of sight provider they, and others, would dump Quest.
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Re: High Speed Internet
Old 04-27-2006, 07:51 PM   #7
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Re: High Speed Internet

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Originally Posted by Brat
So, tell me how to find out about line of sight raido service?
I'm not aware of any national or regional companies who offer this service although there may be some out there. The two here are local Internet Service Providers and I suggest they contact the ISPs in their area to see if any of them offer it.

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Re: High Speed Internet
Old 04-27-2006, 08:42 PM   #8
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Re: High Speed Internet

I have had it for almost a year. I get it through my local phone cooperative. You have to have a good line up with a tower so if you are in a valley, your SOL. They put a small antenna on the side of your house. Service has been pretty good.
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Re: High Speed Internet
Old 04-28-2006, 09:02 AM   #9
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Re: High Speed Internet

If I was the lawyer for the ISP, I would require that my independant contractors have insurance, including workers compensation insurance. Who knows what your ISP does.

If you want to go with these guys, have the contractor provide proof of insurance.
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Re: High Speed Internet
Old 04-28-2006, 09:10 AM   #10
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Re: High Speed Internet

Martha, based on the looks of their contract, I'm not sure they have a lawyer. The language contradicts itself in a couple of places, and I almost choked on my coffee when I read force "maneuver" instead of force majeure!

No way I'm doing business with them...and I think the feeling is mutual.

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Re: High Speed Internet
Old 04-28-2006, 09:55 AM   #11
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Re: High Speed Internet

I love the force maneuver. Use it all the time.
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Re: High Speed Internet
Old 04-28-2006, 10:10 AM   #12
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Re: High Speed Internet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
I love the force maneuver. Use it all the time.
Poor, lucky Greg...

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Re: High Speed Internet
Old 04-28-2006, 01:03 PM   #13
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Re: High Speed Internet

I always ask a prospective provider a reasonable but hard question before I buy from them, telling them that i'm a prospective customer and want to know if xyz will work and how it works before signing up. I gauge response time, accuracy and detail. Generally a company puts more money and effort into acquiring a customer (revenue) than in caring for an existing one (a cost center). Some companies figure out that they have it backwards.

We have a pair of line of sights here in YC. Both are $29 a month for 384/1Mb and $39 for 768/2Mb, one has a $75 install fee and the other gives it to you for free with a 1 year committment. One almost went bankrupt because they got some venture capital and immediately moved into a huge building and hired 40 people. Had to leave the building and lay off 35 of the people a year later when the founder discovered that spending more than you have coming in is a bad business decision. We'll leave them to their own devices.

On contacting the other one, the sales person had the president of the company respond to my question, in detail and with very good accuracy...in under an hour.

Unfortunately, every time I call comcast to disconnect, they offer to give me six months or a year at $29 or $19, depending on what their promo at the time is.
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Re: High Speed Internet
Old 04-28-2006, 01:14 PM   #14
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Re: High Speed Internet

Oh yeah, to find the line of site or other wireless guys, look for "wisp"or "wireless internet service provider"

Here's ours, for reference purposes...looks like they upped their speeds since the last time I looked.

http://www.succeed.net/index.html

I actually 'see' their two access points with my wireless laptops internal 11g card, but cant access unless I have their encryption key...so I imagine with an actual house mounted antenna and wired connection from that to my router the signal should be pretty good. The box they put on the house is about 4-5" square and mounted on a stick.
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Re: High Speed Internet
Old 04-29-2006, 09:44 PM   #15
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Re: High Speed Internet

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
I actually 'see' their two access points with my wireless laptops internal 11g card...I imagine with an actual house mounted antenna and wired connection from that to my router the signal should be pretty good.*
CFB it looks like you have investigated this so you might know... are there routers available that take in a wifi signal from the air or an antenna connection and provide ethernet connections for computers?* Most wifi hubs are the opposite... they take an internet connection from ethernet and send it through the air.

I get my internet from my neighbor's wifi connection (I pay him) and it's only strong enough to be reliable in some rooms of my condo but not all.* I am thinking of setting up a computer in one of the rooms that doesn't have a good signal.* *

I could add a wifi repeater that takes the signal out of the air and sends it out again.* But I like to go hardwired whenever possible because it's just more reliable.* Also that way I can save money by not needing wifi adapters for the PCs.* So I was thinking to run an ethernet cable to the room that doesn't have reception.* The problem is that I haven't found any routers that can take their signal out of the air.* Do you know where to find such a thing?
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Re: High Speed Internet
Old 04-30-2006, 10:07 AM   #16
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Re: High Speed Internet

There are some wireless 'bridges' that go from wireless to hardwire (ex: the "wet-11") and some 'boosters' you can get to boost range on transmit and receive. Some routers take a bigger antenna or an external booster to up the distance. Some routers just have more kick to them.

The trendnet 611 I just bought has about 30-40% more range to it than my old netgear router did.

Some wireless cards for clients also have better signal pickup.

One side note, as I see people sharing internet connections. Do note that if you're the owner of the connection, and your 'sharing partner' does something illegal with it, at a minimum you're going to have a lot of problems and at worst you might end up taking the blame. And it may violate the ISP's terms of service.
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Re: High Speed Internet
Old 04-30-2006, 10:30 AM   #17
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Re: High Speed Internet

On wireless router range: I built a little reflector to boost the signal on one side of my wireless antenna, it worked great and now I can hook up easily from a room that previously got a very poor signal. Of course, this will only help if you need to "beam" the signal in one direction and don't care about omnidirectional signal strength.

The reflector: I just cut off the bottom of a 6" tall plastic container (the kind coleslaw might come in), then cut it in half lengthwise. Wrapped one side in aluminum foil, and put it behind the antenna with the antenna approx at the center point. Antenna design is a black art, I don't know if this would function even better if it were grounded, were truly parabolic, had sidelobe suppression, etc, etc. But, it cost approx 5 cents, took about 5 mintes to construct, and it is working fine for me.

samclem
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Re: High Speed Internet
Old 04-30-2006, 10:36 AM   #18
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Re: High Speed Internet

Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
I just cut off the bottom of a 6" tall plastic container (the kind coleslaw might come in), then cut it in half lengthwise. Wrapped one side in aluminum foil, and put it behind the antenna...
Sam, sounds like a great idea. And if it doesn't help boost the router signal, you can always use it as hat.

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Re: High Speed Internet
Old 04-30-2006, 10:37 AM   #19
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Re: High Speed Internet

Here ya go, looks a little expensive, but it should do what you want.

http://tinyurl.com/cuhgc

Wet-54g wireless bridge. Connects to a wireless router and produces an ethernet port.

THEN...if you can find some of these cheaper than amazon
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...lance&n=172282

You can plug the wet-54g into one, plug it into the wall, and then plug another one (or more) of these anywhere else in your house. Depending on how old the house and wiring is, you should get 4-14Mb/s throughput, generally rock solid. I have three of them in my house connecting a color laser in a remote room to the network hub, and to a remote tivo.

I got them for about $15 a piece refurbished. Really like them. But not great if you want >10Mb/s speed.
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Re: High Speed Internet
Old 04-30-2006, 10:52 AM   #20
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Re: High Speed Internet

Has anyone used Verizon Wireless' internet service?
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