Thursday, March 8, 2007

Rural High Speed Internet

In the country getting a high speed internet connection becomes more of a challenge. Depending on the internet requirements sometimes searching for property can be dictated by the accessibility of high speed. In my case I cannot use satellite high speed due to latency issues and connecting to a VPN but if I didn't need to worry about latency my options would open up.

One thing to keep in mind when searching is the internet is not your friend in some cases. Rural internet companies are way behind the curve on marketing themselves property. For example the company I use currently is a great company however the only way I found out about them was by calling the Chamber of Commerce in the town closest to where we live. A few types of high speed to keep in mind if you're looking for high speed and it is a requirement for you work.

WISP (which stands for Wireless Internet Service Provider)
This seems to be the technology that is gaining the most ground in the rural market currently. The equipment costs appear to be significantly less than traditional wired connections as it is just going through the airwaves. Of the providers I've spoke with they offer both line of sight (IOW your equipment can see their tower) and non-line of site (can't see) service. The thing that has been interesting is the difference in quality of service between companies. Make absolutely sure to call around to businesses that might use high speed and ask them who they use and their experiences, you'll be surprised how some will open up.

Basically satellite internet beams the signal from a satellite in space to your house or vise versa and then back down to the providers data center. The problem with that is there is a tremendous amount of distance to cover which results in some latency (a.k.a. lag). For general web surfing, email, etc. this may not be an issue but getting it to work with a VPN or similar type of connection can be a problem. The other thing is the reviews for satellite providers tends to be more

Below is one example of the antenna that is used by WISP customers. The one at my house looks different but it is nighttime and I didn't have my camera handy so I swiped this off of the internet.

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