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best rural internet access

by jgreen9877 / September 15, 2009 1:53 AM PDT

We are looking at a beautiful house in a rural area of Alabama. However we may have to pass it up. There is no DSL available, no Cable access available. This leaves us with a choice of satellite or cell tower access. We have multiple computers, one is used for intensive business connection, with large Xcel files and extensive email communication while connected to the server in Rhode Island.
There is some fear of the satellite reliability and the cell tower type connection being able to handle a workday connection to the main server.
Does anyone have suggestions as to a reliable connection provider that can handle this heavy load, plus the connections of 4 or 5 other computer connections?

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also out in nowhere
by bill091 / September 16, 2009 12:08 AM PDT

I will guess none will work well.

The issue with satellite is not that it is unreliable it is that it is slow. The time it takes to go all the way to the satellite and back is more than it take to go halfway around the world. Its much slower than accessing sites say in europe.

Cell towers can work well provided you have the more modern ones near your house. You will need to look at each providers coverage maps and make sure they can really provide hi speed internet. There are many levels of internet offered with the newest and best only availble in large cities at the current time.

To use a cell method you generally use a special router that allows you to run multiple machines. These like cell phones are many times locked to provider so once you find a provider that has coverage you need to see which routers will work.

Also in both these technologies have bandwidth caps in the fine print. They also have lots of restrictions on what is allowed and what is not allowed. Some plans say no streaming video but their advertisements show people streaming video to cell phones.

Your other option if you can find it is what is called a WISP. These companies in effect put up large wireless hotspots. They use special equipment to make this work so even though they use the same frequency as consumer wireless you cannot directly attach to them. They generally require clear view of something like a watertower that they place their antennas on. These are much cheaper than the other options with fewer restrictions but it mostly depends on the company running them.

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New technology
by JosFresh / September 19, 2009 9:34 PM PDT

It might be good to wait for a new technology becoming available late 2010. Google and O3b will launch this together and it's main purpose are rural areas. It will use low earth orbit satellites so latencies will be very low. Last mile to the user will be made by cellular networks. Read more about it in this article

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