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lebeau99 Mar 2nd, 2014 06:42 PM

rural internet 2014
This is still an issue for people in northern Alberta. Where we live, cable is unavailable.
There are really only 2 options: 1 is wireless from towers located close to where one lives operated by ISP's (eg. prairiewireless)connected to the Supernet cable Ralph Klein had built and the other is satellite, offered by various cable companies (eg. xplornet from Shaw).
Neither is reliable enough.
On 15 Jan, we had big winds that blew down the tower serving us and 40 other towers in the area and we've been without internet access at home since then. So we're looking at alternatives.
Our service was a 1MHz service (according to the tech guy) and our use limit was something on the order of 50GB. We never got close to that but the 1MHz size was limiting. $40.
A general question. What are the important spec's of an internet connection?
Is 1MHz a description of band width and the capacity of our service? (I know that bandwidth and frequency are related.) Or is the relevant spec. bits per sec ?
And how do you arrive at the total of internet service use over a given period?
We use 2 MB's in our house, sometimes simultaneously. An issue we have had over the past 4 or 5 years is spontaneous interruption of a connection to 1 macbook when the other macbook goes online. I listen to radio a lot but it doesn't use much bandwidth (128KHz - is that the right unit?) but if my wife goes to facebook, say, I'm sometimes kicked off. What's with that?

rgray Mar 2nd, 2014 08:09 PM

The relevant measures speed, usually in megabits per second, and cap or amount, usually in gigabytes.

I think it sounds like you have (had?) 1mps with a cap of 50gigs. That is approximately what we had here before the arrival of rural DSL.

We now have ~6mps which is adequate to stream (for example) two different BBC programs simultaneously.

Your getting knocked off is likely a different matter even if the source is slow. It is likely a problem with the home network, specifically the router.

Even when we had only 1mps we had 2 (and sometimes more) laptops and various smartphones running wirelessly with no issues.

lebeau99 Mar 7th, 2014 12:15 PM

rural internet 2014
Thanks Indigent.
I did wonder about the router which we've had for about 5 years. The way to check that would be to temporarily eliminate it from the system and connect both computers directly to modem I guess.
What had to happen for you to get DSL?
And where does bandwidth or frequency come into the equation?

rgray Mar 7th, 2014 03:15 PM

After the (famous?) 1999 Ice Storm here-abouts, Bell had replaced all the wiring etc. with DSL capable infrastructure. Of course they didn't activate it. No one was offering any kind of high speed around here so a private citizen near town with a suitabe site - the highest hill (such as that is) around built a private tower, invested in a link and began to provide 802.11 based wireless. Naturally as soon as he started to make a go of it Bell turned on the DSL.

rgray Mar 7th, 2014 03:22 PM

In my experience, the life of a router is about 5years. YMMv. Is the router wireless or hard wired? Does the DHCP come from the modem or the router in your setup because the 'knocking off' problem could be coming from that.

rgray Mar 7th, 2014 03:30 PM


Originally Posted by lebeau99 (Post 1655530)
And where does bandwidth or frequency come into the equation?

Consider an analogy to a water system - 'speed' is analagous to pressure whereas 'cap' is analagous to volume. Other than as the carrier wave of wireless frequency doesn't enter the equation other tha that different frequecies have differing characteristic when it comes the penetration.

lebeau99 Mar 10th, 2014 11:39 PM

Sounds-like-what-we-have-now. Have-to-check-with-Telus. (excuse-format)

lebeau99 Mar 10th, 2014 11:57 PM


lebeau99 Mar 11th, 2014 12:08 AM


smashedbanana Mar 24th, 2014 07:49 PM

So what you have is microwave.

Xplorenet and other companies call it wireless. Xplorenet calls their new faster microwave - wireless 4G. Which is confusing because it's not Cell service. The G is for generation.

Typically you'll get 1mbits - 3.5mbits. If you have the latest equipment (dish, poe injector) and your speeds are still low the only option is to look at other microwave providers to see if they are on a different tower. Pointing at a tower with better signal makes all the difference.

Other options are a Rocket Hub/turbo hub from Rogers, Telus or Bell. Those are modem/routers that use Cellular signal. If you get good 3G or even LTE then you can expect better speeds. If the cell in your area is bad, then it's not an option. Caps are also really low, like 10gb/month.

Satellite is not usually offered to Residential clients. Not to sound condescending but most people say Satellite but they mean microwave. Satellite is very, very expensive and super slow. It's used for extreme locations like Baffin Island or military installations. Anywhere where there is no other options and internet is a must.


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