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WISPS Mean Cable and DSL Aren't the Only Choices

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the ephemeral-connection dept.

The Internet 256

Brett Glass writes "Feel like you're stuck with a no-win choice between expensive cable modem service and slow DSL for Internet? Currently using satellite, with long latencies that make it impossible to do VoIP or interactive gaming? One of America's best kept secrets, so it seems, is the wide coverage of WISPs — terrestrial (not satellite or cellular) wireless broadband Internet providers. The linked article gives an overview of WISPs and provides a handy map showing their nationwide coverage (more than 750,000 square miles of the continental US — and only about one third of the WISPs in the US are on the map so far). Most WISPs are small, independent, consumer-friendly, and tech savvy, making them a better choice than big, corporate ISPs who can't even tell a penny from a dollar."

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They work well too (4, Interesting)

Codex_of_Wisdom (1222836) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750417)

I'm on a WISP and it's great. I'm in a rural area, so it was either that or satellite, and, as previously stated, satellite is not good for online gaming. With WISP though, I still have latencies in the 100 range. It's nice. /babbling

Re:They work well too (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750537)

Dialup costs me just $7.
DSL costs me just $15.
How much is the Wireless Service Provider?

Re:They work well too (2, Interesting)

the_crowbar (149535) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750851)

It must be nice to have such cheap internet. I happen to live in the only state shown with no WISP coverage. High speed internet links here are ridiculous.

I have two options:

1) AT&T (formerly BellSouth). If you have a land line you can get 768k/128k for $19.99/month, but you must have a land line which adds another $15+/month. Naked DSL is available, but the cheapest price is $34.95/month for 1.5M/256k.

2) Charter cable offers internet by itself. Their minimum advertised speed is 5M. The price is almost $60/month or $54.99 if you also have cable.

I don't need 10M+ speeds, but it is nice to have if I watch streaming video or other things requiring greater bandwidths. I do not download music and movies illegally, but I do grab iso images of Linux discs regularly. 1.5M would be slow, but meet my needs. Problem is it is $35+/month. I would love to have a WISP available. I live less than 2 miles from a mountain that could service a large city if there was a WISP. I would switch if I had the choice.

Cheers,
the_crowbar

Re:They work well too (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750981)

>>>It must be nice to have such cheap internet.

If I can get Netscape dialup for 7 dollars a month, you should be able to get it too. As for DSL, I think part of Obama's stimulus bill should include a requirement for ALL phone lines to be upgraded to DSL, if the customer requests it. So you'd simply call-up your Baby Bell, and they'd be forced to upgrade the line for DSL capability. The costs of the upgrade could be funded by the Universal Access Fee.

Upgrading existing phone lines is the quickest-and-easiest way to provide broadband to virtually everybody.

>>>AT&T (formerly BellSouth). If you have a land line you can get 768k/128k for $19.99/month, but you must have a land line which adds another $15+/month.

What's wrong with that? The prices are different ($15 and $5 respectively), but it sounds similar to my setup with Verizon. Oh and yes you can stream video over a 750k line. I just finished watching Live CNN this morning, while downloading Saw 5 in the background. Plenty of speed.

For comparison the Wireless ISP in my town costs $300 a month. Ouch.

Re:They work well too (1)

the_crowbar (149535) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751309)

If I wanted a phone line I would get AT&T with their DSL package. I do not want a phone line. I have two cell phones and my wife has two as well. We don't need any more phones. I just want fast (I take online college courses and dialup is just painful), always on, reasonably priced internet. I used to live in Charlotte, NC and internet there was much cheaper. The company I work for has 66 retail stores in two states. I see first hand that the prices for phone and internet are cheaper where there is more competition. The same thing applies here. Where I live there are only two high speed internet companies. In other cities in the state where there is competition the prices are lower. Go figure, competition is better for the customer and worse for company profits. Of course Charter has had no profits recently and is simply raising their prices rather than attempting to improve their offerings. Cheers, James

Re:They work well too (1, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751643)

>>>I would get AT&T with their DSL package. I do not want a phone line.
>>>I just want fast, always on, reasonably priced internet.

I have a phone line; I love it; it works even when the snow or ice topples the power lines. Cellphones do not (no power == no receiving tower == no service). But anyway..... Because you have this weird fetish against phone lines or DSL lines, you expect your neighbors to cough-up money from their wallets and BUY YOU a wireless upgrade (aka "stimulus package"). That political philosophy is, and please pardon my language, fraked up. Nobody owes you anything. Stop stealing money from your neighbors wallets, so you can enrich yourself with their money.

You (and others like you) have access to cheap broadband via DSL, and you simply chose not to get it. That's nobody's fault but yourself.

Re:They work well too (1)

jammindice (786569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26752077)

I believe what he was trying to say is why do they force a phone line or basic cable on you when all he want's is just the internet. He is not asking for that service and obviously doesn't want it so why should he have to pay for it?

This has nothing to do with his neighbors, bailing anything out, etc... that's just your own made up political ranting.

The GP just wanted internet with no extra services and to PAY FOR IT, he just didn't want to pay for the extra services. Our phone companies around my area do the same thing, phone line + 768k dsl is cheaper than just plain DSL which makes no sense since they are offering more services to you for less money, seems like a deal but why can't i just get internet without the land line and have it be even cheaper? Same with cable companies, $50 for internet only, $40 for basic cable only, $60 for internet and basic cable? it just doesn't make any sense. They want you to have more services and give you more for less money when you don't even want them.

Re:They work well too (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26752635)

I don't know. Can't he get Naked DSL without the phone service? Isn't that option required by law?

In my case, I have what Verizon calls the "Thrift Plan" which costs just 5 dollars a month, plus 10 cents per call. I don't make many calls, but I keep the phoneline because, in a power outage, the phoneline is the only thing that still works.

>>>that's just your own made up political ranting.

Sorry.

I'm not happy with this stimulus plan. I just heard on CNN that only 3% of the money will be spent this year. The rest of the bill won't take affect until 2010 or 2011, which is entirely too late to help the economy. There's no point in passing it.

I'm also not happy to hear the U.S. printing press has doubled the paper supply since November. In effect, all our paper money has devalued 50%. Today 1 dollar; tomorrow 50 cents. (Of course the paper will still say 1 dollar; but it will only buy half as much.)

Re:They work well too (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26752399)

There is nothing weird about not wanting a land line in addition to multiple cell phones. Everbody that wants to talk to me or my wife have our cell phone numbers and use those. A land line is simply redundant and very limited. I had a land line for a few months after I first moved out and only used it twice. My cell phone was far more convenient.

Re:They work well too (1)

Brett Glass (98525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26752135)

"The only state with no WISP coverage?" There is none. The map only shows about 1/3 of all WISPs. I've been to South Carolina -- the one state on the map that currently has no yellow blobs -- and walked into the office of a WISP on Hilton Head island. They were serving residences, businesses, and at least one coffeehouse.... I guess they haven't reported their coverage yet. Again, two thirds of the WISPs out there are still not on the map!

Re:They work well too (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750881)

Hmmm. $300 in my area. Pass.

Re:They work well too (2, Interesting)

Igarden2 (916096) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751507)

My wireless is $29.95 and much faster than dialup. In my location (rural) I'm told DSL is not going to happen. Cable isn't even nearby.

Re:They work well too (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750869)

As with the other guy, I ask, what's the price?

I looked at the article, and was amused:

> One of the most common claims made by proponents
> of government regulation of the Internet (AKA
> âoenetwork neutralityâ) is that it is necessary
> because broadband is a duopoly. At best, these
> people claim, most US residents have a choice
> between the telephone company and the cable
> company; thatâ(TM)s it.

I'm not in a huge city (Columbus Ohio), but we have a large number of ISPs.

Cable:
-- Comcast (I believe they've recently show up anyway)
-- Insight
-- Time Warner
-- Wide Open West
DSL
-- AT&T
-- Earthlink
-- Verizon (I think they are DSL)

I know there are more, but these are what I know off the top of my head.

A lot more than two options. I also know AT&T has a 4M DSL and 8 or 16M fiber now.

I know you can get 16M down 1M up for about $50 here, I pay more (twice that, sadly) but at the time I signed up, my ISP was the only sufficiently reliable ISP around that offered more than 2MBit down.

I looked through the article, but didn't see a lot of definitive info. I take it these WISPs are using cellular type wireless and not the standard 802.11[.] wireless?

Re:They work well too (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751019)

You do realize that, if you are lucky, you have the choice between ONE of those Cable providers and ONE of those DSL providers? In some cases there is shared space on the cable side, WOW vs. Time Warner is what comes up most often, and that's only in areas that don't have an exclusive agreement with one particular provider (like almost all apartment groups, some municipalities even.) And to answer your question, most all WISPs do use 802.11 of some sort, since the equipment is cheap and the RF space is free, unlike pretty much every other wireless data scheme.

Re:They work well too (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751051)

Yes most people on the east and west coasts have multiple options:

- Dialup (many, many companies)
- Cable
- DSL
- FiOS
- Satellite
- Cellular

Some of these like dialup may be slow, but if you're just reading email or listening to music, you don't need anything faster. Also I'd like to see Cable monopolies removed, and instead run Comcast, Time-Warner, Cox, and Charter run to every home. There's enough room underground to supply 4-5 cables, and thereby let the homeowner have the Power of choice. ("Libertarians - pro choice on everything")

Actually I'm Republican, but I'm a Jeffersonian/libertarian republican. I don't support government-mandated monopolies. I prefer multiple choices and competition.

Re:They work well too (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751713)

Also I'd like to see Cable monopolies removed, and instead run Comcast, Time-Warner, Cox, and Charter run to every home. There's enough room underground to supply 4-5 cables, and thereby let the homeowner have the Power of choice.

Good idea! While we are at it, I think we should run a subway (The mass transit, not the sandwich) underground to everyone's front yard. After all, there's enough room underground for 4 or 5 subway lines under everyone's yard.

What's that? Trillions in cost for a marginal benefit? Oh, right, free choice isn't the ultimate answer after all.

The government owns the roads, the sewers, the schools, libraries, forms of protection (police, fire, etc) and even the air waves, why not let them be responsible for the copper heading into the home (this way the municipality can be pressured for change, which in most cases is a lot easier than relying on some huge monopolistic company). Then, auction off (with yearly renewal) sections of the bandwidth (by frequency division, time division, or whatever) to the highest bidder and recoup most or all of the expense of the system. This way, competition for what really counts (being able to actually DO something with the copper) can flourish, instead of pseudo-competition where 2 or 3 companies vye for a piece of the same copper, only to provide service indistinguishable from each other.

Re:They work well too (2, Insightful)

mweather (1089505) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751815)

You're right. Let's just run one wire, but let any Cable company that want to use it, use it.

Re:They work well too (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26752333)

That won't work.

The existing Comcast cable is already "full" from 30 megahertz all the way into the gigahertz range. If you want to add Time-Warner or Cox to consumers' choices, you will need to run a second and third cable. Just snake it in parallel to the existing Comcast line, through the existing metal pipe. Simple.

Re:They work well too (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26752257)

>>>Good idea! While we are at it, I think we should run a subway

Strawman argument (poor debating tactic). At no time did I propose running a subway that requires about 30-feet diameter pipe. What *I* proposed is running 4 or 5 cables in parallel, which only requires a pipe 3-4 inches in diameter. The pipe is already there with the Comcast cable, so all you need to do is add Time-Warner, Cox, Charter in parallel. That is a very workable solution to break th back of Comcast's monopoly.

>>>The government owns the roads, the schools...why not let them be responsible for the copper?

Because (1) the government would frak it up, the same way they let a bridge collapse in Minnesota, produce students that cannot find the U.S. on a globe, and so forth. And (2) government provides worse customer service than Comcast. Just visit the DMV sometime, or try to cancel your EZpass (the state of new jersey kept billing me for a year after I turned-in my transponder).

The answer is NOT a monopoly, whether it's comcast or government. The answer is power to the People - stop treating them like imbeciles - and give them multiple choices so THEY can decide which of 5 cable companies they want. Some might choose the cheapest. Others might choose the one with 1000 channels. The point is: WE DECIDE. We hold the power.

That's how it should be.

Re:They work well too (1)

noewun (591275) | more than 5 years ago | (#26752165)

Yes most people on the east and west coasts have multiple options:

SOME people have options. I live in Manhattan, which means either Verizon or Time Warner owns all the infrastructure underneath me. Because of this I only really have two options for broadband. One is DSL through Verizon or through another provider which leases lines from Verizon and the other is cable through Time Warner or another provider which leases from Time Warner. And, remember, this isn't just a city on the east coast, this is the biggest, most densely populated city in the country in which two corporations control all of my broadband choices and make sure that no matter which one I choose, I will pay a premium for my service.

I actually get my DSL through Earthlink, as I've been with them forever and have had the same email address since ethernet packets were made of steam and pigeons. But I also know that I'm paying ~$40.00 a month for 3.0 Mbps, and that if there were true competition I would have a lot more choice for less money. Now, if I want to ditch my email address and go straight to Verizon I could probably pay less, but I like my email address. And, since there's no competition here my only other choice would be cable, and Time Warner is many things, but a good deal for consumers isn't one of them.

So, while I may agree with you in theory, in practice I know that corporations only give their customers a break when forced to by law.

By the way, if you want fast last mile here, your only choice is FiOS through Verizon. Their installation techs are horrible (I know someone who needed six visits just to get it working), you don't get anywhere near the speeds promised and it's very expensive.

Re:They work well too (1)

Brett Glass (98525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26752043)

WISPs use a variety of radio technologies. Some are based on 802.11 standards (but not used the same way you use them within your house). Some are based on 802.16 (WiMAX). Some are unique to the manufacturer of the equipment (e.g. Motorola's "Canopy" system). Most do not use cellular technologies like 3G or 4G or LTE, but it's possible. Some mix and match, using whichever equipment works best in the area. The same goes for radio frequencies; nearly all WISPs use the unlicensed bands, but they'll use different frequencies in different situations.

Re:They work well too (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 5 years ago | (#26752161)

Conversely, I live in mid-Michigan, in a city 20 minutes from the capital and right along an interstate, and have
Cable:
--local cable company that makes Comcast's rates and service offerings look good

DSL:
--AT&T

And then there's dialup if I don't want broadband, and satellite internet if I want to pay $$$ for slower access than the DSL offers.

Granted, I think the Lansing area gets Comcast, and AT&T's UVerse is starting to appear in West and East Michigan, but still. I would think having 7 options for broadband Internet would be a big exception.

The WISP's in my area.... (2, Informative)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750419)

..are pretty good alternatives except the "burst speed" thing. Its like they never heard of CISR or simply oversell bandwidth like every other ISP.

Re:The WISP's in my area.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26751127)

My building has a deal with a WISP. Free internet in the lobby and a pair of APs on each floor above for subscribers. Off peak hours are OK and it's cheap, but generally too congested to stream video or game on. Also, If you download more than 2GB they drop your speed to 128K for the rest of the month.

Lastly, they require a periodic web based login to use the service, so even though I bridged in my LAN to their AP, computers on my LAN often failed to perform late night updates and automated functions, which was too annoying to put up with.

The way they have it set up, it's only a little better than dialup.

Re:The WISP's in my area.... (1)

Brett Glass (98525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751945)

If you have wide open Wi-Fi, it doesn't make a difference if your bandwidth is provided by a WISP, DSL, or cable. It's going to be overloaded because too many people will try to use it or people will try to overuse it and exhaust the bandwidth. The downloaders will have a field day. I would not blame the WISP for the problems you're seeing. It would be like blaming the power company when you plug too many appliances into one circuit and blow a circuit breaker in your home.

The physics in my area.... (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#26752491)

"It would be like blaming the power company when you plug too many appliances into one circuit and blow a circuit breaker in your home."

But, but, they promised me an unlimited connection.

*rubs hands together* (5, Interesting)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750463)

I look forward to the day when I can tell the incumbent cable provider (Rogers Cable) here in Canada to go fuck themselves with a chainsaw.

Them and their, "we're upping your price for the second time this year", and "you're on our do-not-market-to list, but we'll just send you all sorts of spam and upgrade offers along with the semi-annual price increase letter!", and their overall scummy existence.

Re:*rubs hands together* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26750627)

Kind of a dumb point, but you are a /.er.

At this time you should know at leasat 5 different ways to block that spam as well as how to kill the next jolly roger repair guy and then hide the body to desolve fast. Did not hans teach you a lesson on how (and how not) to handle this? Quit your carping.

Re:*rubs hands together* (1)

elevtro (1012599) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750637)

I just did this a month ago. I've been waiting for their service to get at least 2.5 Mbps, which they recently did. I was also waiting for the other cable company to update their digital channels, which they did as well. I called big brother cable and said you suck, since you bought the little service and became this big bloated crap service, I've had the worst consumer experience ever. Your service sucks and now it's time to fire you.

Since that day, I've had a smile on my face. =)

Re:*rubs hands together* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26750847)

Why not just switch to a DSL provider like Tekksavvy or Accnac? The speed may not be as good as cable, but the price will be way less and you won't be supporting either Bell or Rogers. I have been on both Bell and Rogers. I am no longer with either and much happier (and richer) for it.

Re:*rubs hands together* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26751025)

You'll be supporting Bell if you go DSL with Accnac and Teksavvy. They are a Bell DSL reseller, they lease the line from your house to the local CO.

The data is then sent to their network where they their own peering connection.

There are also cable resellers that resell Rogers
Highspeed.

The only difference in price is due to the lower profit margins that these third party ISP make over Bell and Rogers. They can only be successful with a large customer base. Remember CUIC and THT.net? Both died a painful death due to high turn-over when the DSL market opened. I knew something was going to happen with the owner of CUIC started putting up his "toys" on Craiglist. Only a couple of months later, the connection went dead for everyone.

Re:*rubs hands together* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26750865)

You can get the price increase removed. Here's how I did it for the TV price increase (I don't use Rogers horrid internet, I'm a Teksavvy customer, $40 a month for TRUE unlimited):

  - Call Rogers, tell them you need to drop to a lower service plan due to the price increase.
  - CSR will do this.
  - Explain you'll keep doing this as the price increases keep coming until eventually you have no service with Rogers whatsoever.
  - CSR will "see what they can do".
  - "Supervisor" will offer you the same service you've been getting, but will lower your rates by the amount of the increase for 1 year.
  - Repeat each price increase until they won't budge and you actually move your service down a slot, or find someone with better service (ie: TSi).

TekSavvy (3, Informative)

mrops (927562) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751001)

TekSavvy, THE best ISP I have had in a long time. Everything is upfront, they do not throttle (though those on slashdot may have heard that Bell is throttling all ISP that go over their lines, bitches). You can get their 200GB/mn or unlimited (true unlimited). Static IP addresses for 3$/mn, MLPPP. Love their tech support, one of the few companies where using "tech" is justified.

If you can't get DSL, tough luck. TekSavvy does provide WISP in certain areas.

Re:*rubs hands together* (1)

Phoenixhawk (1188721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751081)

I just did that last night (a few times), spent 4 1/2 hours on the phone with Time Warner, My service was with a 15Mbps Commcast, when Time Warner took over it was supposed to upgraded to "22Mbps" however I currently have 3 months worth of logs of speed tests ranging between 3Mbps and 6Mbps and mind you the normal package is 5Mbps.

To make matters worse, Tajji errr I mean Mr. John Smith's little head exploded anytime when I told him anything that wasn't in the same order of his queue card. Tier 1 - Tier 3 I had different names/clones of Johnny, all of which I had to call back and use a reference number because they concept of VoIP.

They also could not understand that if the problem exists using Cisco Catalyst 3750, D-link 4500, and Linksys WRT, the problem was not in the router. I was asked to perform a (tracert -d)without a address (at tier 1 & 2 I really had to explain the concept of how tracert works, before I could get the target they wanted me to hit)

Anyway long story shortened, I got promoted to tier 4 FOUR AND A HALF HOURS LATER (maybe 5 i don't know at this point) who I get the privilege of calling back today.

The story of "I'm Sorry Sir Nothing I Can Do" doesn't fly, because the second they say that, my response is yes there is, you can downgrade me to the basic 5mbps package that I am receiving, and we can start talking about you paying me retroactively for at a bare minimum at least the 3 months I have logs for proving I'm not receiving said service while you bump me to the next tier.

Yes, I really do have 3 months of logs (avg test speeds between 3 and 6, with 3 whole hits coming back 12 and 1 single hit at 21mbps) twice daily (6am est / 11pm est roughly) I would test twice against NY, TX, CA, MI, IL, GA, write my numbers down, complain to myself about it, and postpone calling them until a later date because I knew it was going to be a nightmare again.

Loosing G4/Tech TV and a pair of the kids channels only in the room with the cablebox is why I broke down and let loose the flood gates.

Re:*rubs hands together* (1)

RicktheBrick (588466) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751461)

I recently changed from Verizon to Charter for my phone, television and internet. I was quoted a price of $70 a month but when the first bill arrived it was actually $90 a month as there are about $20 a month in fees and taxes. And that is only for the first year after which it will go up at least $10. I can not believe how expensive 911 calls are. In my case it would be cheaper for me if they charged me a $100 a minute for each call as I use it about once a decade. This is insane as internet and phone services should be a public services just like police and fire. What if they divided the cost of police and fire department equally amongst all of the population? It would be a very regressive tax. I digress here but the same goes for garbage collection as I pay about $10 a bag for it but I do not want to be charged per bag as that gives people incentive to just throw their garbage out in the rural areas and their are plenty of those within a mile of me and I live in the city.

Re:*rubs hands together* (2, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751573)

Complaining about Rogers? Gee, you haven't used Telus apparently...

Re:*rubs hands together* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26752285)

You might be able to get WISP from Look Communications, depending on where in Ontario you live. They had pretty good coverage last time I looked, and my parents have been with them for a long time.

Re:*rubs hands together* (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#26752375)

I'm personally on Sasktel's wireless here (2M/256K for $60/month or 3M/640K for $300, though the latter one is their business version, which comes with an SLA). Cable and DSL are non-existent here (Tiny village of less than 100 people 15 miles from the nearest city, so anyone with basic math skills can see it's not even close to cost effective.), so there's Sasktel's wireless, 2 or 3 other wireless companies (All of which are slower, more expensive, and restricted in various ways (no servers, transfer caps, etc.), or satellite (Which really isn't even worth considering).

The system Sasktel uses is actually a neat hack of DOCSIS 2. Standard cable modem and headend equipment, just with high gain antennas (24dB dish on my end) and a transceiver assembly (I believe the system runs somewhere in the 2.5ghz band, but I'm not entirely sure).

Re:*rubs hands together* (1)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#26752509)

I love Britain. My ISP contacts me to tell me they're cutting prices. Only every couple of years, but last time was from GBP24 to GBP18 a month.

So at this rate in six years my broadband will be free. Maybe.

"This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota " (3, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750473)

Yes, the link provides a great advert for the robustness and professionalism of WISPS...

Re:"This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota " (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26751269)

I agree! It's easy to hate big companies but they do try to provide a certain standard in service. The web site exceeding it's cpu quote doesn't say much about WISPS ability to handle peak loads.

Re:"This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota " (1)

AaxelB (1034884) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751803)

The web site exceeding it's cpu quote doesn't say much about WISPS ability to handle peak loads.

Indeed, it says nothing at all. It just means this poor guy got cheap, shitty hosting with a CPU quota.

Re:"This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota " (1)

Brett Glass (98525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751857)

The Web site is a hosted blog. It doesn't belong to a WISP.

Dad has that service (3, Informative)

wiredog (43288) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750475)

From these guys [infowest.com] . It's purely line of sight [infowest.com] , of course, but most of the town is line of sight to the tower. Works very well even in heavy snow, which Cedar gets quite a bit of. An average storm in Cedar would be apocalyptic in London,England.

Re:Dad has that service (2, Interesting)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750647)

The only problem with Infowest is their incomprehensibly, um... "diverse" pricing plans.

Re:Dad has that service (2, Funny)

Entropy98 (1340659) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750945)

For an extra $2 they'll even clean the internet!
 
--
  mafia rpg [mafia-rpg.com]

Re:Dad has that service (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751349)

Incomprehensible? 3 options, with cost directly related to speed,Dad went with the 1.5Mbit. Looks pretty comprehensible to me. Especially compared to the bundles that the local cable and telcos offer where I live. Those require a good spreadsheet ot track.

I hope (1)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750491)

I hope their service has more head room than the server linked in the summary. /.'ed already.

WASPS on the other hand... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26750499)

Are passive-aggressive and don't really like choice or variety. Especially of the ethnic kind.

google cache here (3, Informative)

fatray (160258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750503)

Re:google cache here (1, Informative)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750573)

Don't link to that site - If you read the posts, it's politically oriented and just happened to have an article on Wisps, where it even stole the image being used from here:
http://www.wirelessmapping.com/National%20Map.htm [wirelessmapping.com]

To find a WISP in your area, a quick google search found this: http://www.bbwexchange.com/wisps/ [bbwexchange.com]

Re:google cache here (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750645)

Are you serious? Did you check out your link at all?

"If you would like to add your WISP to BWE's National WISP Directory, the cost is $250 per calendar year. If you want to update your listing, you'll need to make sure that you have paid the 2007 listing fee. If you have not paid for the 2007 listing, you can do so by clicking here."

They charge for listings and probably don't promote at all, and they haven't updated in 2 years!

I even searched the areas that I've live in recently. Of the 5 or 6 areas I looked at, only the largest had any listings at all. 1 was a dead link, the other sells equipment. It's not even a provider!

Re:google cache here (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750685)

Yea... I did say a "quick" google search! I noticed the site was not good (half the links don't even work anymore) so I looked at some other sites. I was only able to find *one* WISP in my area (Atlanta) and they charge $150/month for 1.5 Mb/s! That's crazy compared to DSL - I pay $40/month for 3Mb/s... Methinks the WISP thing might be a lot of fluff... Anyone actually find a decent one in their area?

Re:google cache here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26751297)

Etowahriver.net is the WISP in my building (Sandy Springs). They sell their basic 1.5Mb service for $15/mo but it's never really that fast. 200-500Kb Down and 128Kb up is typical. They're based in Alpharetta.

Re:google cache here (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751419)

I've always considered WISP to be between Cable/DSL and Satellite internet on the hierarchy of ISPs.

Basically, you're best off going down this list and choosing the first one available to you most of the time.

1. Locally provided (University, shared owned connection, etc...) Ethernet type connections
2. FiOS
3. U-Verse
4. Cable/DSL (if you have both then compare the available plans to see which is best
5. WISP
6. 3G Cell service -- But be careful of tight usage caps
7. Satellite
8. Dial Up
9. Carrier Pigeon -- Minor extinction problem left as an exercise to the reader

Basically, you'll tend to have the best price/performance ratios the higher up you are on the tree. Dial Up is pretty competitive price wise, but the terrible speed and medium latency is a real downer.

More Information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26750513)

So I got to the link provided before it was /.'ed, but all it provides is a fairly inexact map. I didn't see any links on where to go for more information. From the map it looks like I may have this option, but is there a central website where I can find potential ISPs or does anyone have any recommendations?

Good So Far (1)

deKernel (65640) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750539)

Well, I live in the middle of nowhere, and that is my only "high speed" option since I work from home. I have to say that my provider has always been reliable and steady. Last year, the dish started to fill with water, but they came out and replaced it for free.

Poorly done (3, Insightful)

iYk6 (1425255) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750543)

That map is pretty much useless. I looked at it, and there are tiny yellow spots in my state of Oregon, as well as every other state. Unfortunately, the cities are not marked, so I can't tell if those yellow spots cover my city or not. Fail.

Re:Poorly done (1)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750903)

That map is pretty much useless. I looked at it, and there are tiny yellow spots in my state of Oregon, as well as every other state. Unfortunately, the cities are not marked, so I can't tell if those yellow spots cover my city or not. Fail.

I found it usefull. No yellow in SC.
I'm going to go cry in a corner now.

Re:Poorly done (1)

Brett Glass (98525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26752183)

There's no yellow on the map in SC yet, but there are certainly WISPs in SC. I've met two of them. The map is still a work in progress; it's only about one third done yet.

Price and Speed suck (5, Informative)

Jackiesaurus (1147839) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750567)

Yeah, WISPS are great aside from the high prices and slow speed. We have a few carriers around here, installation is generally around $150, plus $60/month for a 512/512 or $100 for a 3M/3M.

My $45/month cable modem for 15M/1M starts to sound pretty good after that.

I've looked at starting my own in another area a while ago but unfortunately the high equipment prices, insanely high bandwidth prices (which you usually need to buy from your competitors), and limitations of the equipment relative to going wired means that to stay afloat you really need to charge high prices like I mentioned for a relatively slim amount of bandwidth. I've also read stories where the plot goes something like "people want broadband, WISP sets up and prospers, cable company sees success of WISP, cable company sets up broadband for half the monthly rate, WISP dies". It's scary stuff considering how much the WISP equipment costs and how long it would take to actually payoff.

All in all, I don't see how a WISP can really survive against the traditional competition. Personally I'm a big fan of municipal fiber, but that's a rant for another day.

Re:Price and Speed suck (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750633)

512kb/s is plenty for people who aren't movie watchers or gamers or P2Pers, for $60 much better than a 28k - 56k phone modem and magnificent compared to nothing at all. A person could even download their distro's CD ISOs with that kind of connection.

Re:Price and Speed suck (1)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751017)

512kb/s is plenty for people who aren't movie watchers or gamers or P2Pers

In which case satellite covers their needs pretty well. You won't get the mobility, but since these are localized areas, you don't have too much mobility in the first place.

The idea is great, but as pointed out, the only place these things work is in places where satellite already exists...with better speeds....for similar prices.

What's the incentive for this again?

Re:Price and Speed suck (2, Funny)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751657)

In which case satellite covers their needs pretty well. You won't get the mobility, but since these are localized areas, you don't have too much mobility in the first place.

Have you actually used satellite? It sucks donkey balls for anything other than web surfing and email. Interactive applications, like ssh and remote screen, are painful at best. VoIP is delayed so long you might as well use smoke signals.

Re:Price and Speed suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26750699)

Find a datacenter with line of sight and roof access to your WISP and use that datacenter's bandwitdth for a fraction of the cost. Charge your customers a low monthly rate that pays your equipment plus a markup on bandwidth used (still cents/GB) and you should have profit.

Re:Price and Speed suck (2, Interesting)

mspohr (589790) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750771)

I have used a WISP for the past few years because it was the only option. Unfortunately, my experience has been the same... high prices ($60/mo.), slow speed (512/512), bandwidth caps (5 Gig/mo), frequent outages, high latency.

Fortunately, ATT just installed a DSL substation across the street from me (I was formerly 18000 ft from central office) and now I can get their minimal package 1.5/0.5 for $15/mo.

Re:Price and Speed suck (5, Insightful)

c (8461) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750841)

> I don't see how a WISP can really survive against the traditional competition.

Well, they can't. But, then, what kind of moron is going to target a WISP at a market where they'd go against traditional competition (if you can call the local telco and cable monopolies "competition")?

I'm on a WISP and while the speeds aren't anywhere near the DSL I used to have in town, the only other option where I live is dial-up. On rural phone lines. Maxing out at about 28kbps. If you want to talk about price and speed sucking, I can tell you all about it. I did the dial-up thing for a bit after being on DSL for years, and it's almost bearable if you have a second phone line, a dedicated dial-up server/router, a wireless LAN, and you know how to batch downloads at night.

Well, fuck that. As soon as they stuck their gear on the nearest tower, I was signed up. For maybe $200 installation costs and $50/month (which is about $5 more than dial-up and a second phone line), I get well over 20x dial-up speeds and all I have to worry about is the occasional drop out due to weather and tower maintenance.

If you live anywhere close to a DSL or cable operation, a WISP is a terrible choice. Anywhere else, it's a no-brainer.

Re:Price and Speed suck (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751407)

Yeah, WISPS are great aside from the high prices and slow speed. We have a few carriers around here, installation is generally around $150, plus $60/month for a 512/512 or $100 for a 3M/3M.

Not necessarily that expensive. I'm using a WiMax provider [p1.com.my] as a backup for my sometimes-flaky ADSL connection; it's cheap enough that it's worth it in order to be sure I can get online when I need to. $30/month for 1200/500 with 20GB cap (after which the speed drops to 400kbps down for the rest of the month).

It's been more reliable than I expected, even in heavy rain (which we get frequently).

Astroturfing? (5, Informative)

lseltzer (311306) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750599)

Perhaps the post is informative and useful, but y'all should know that Brett Glass [is] a sole proprietor doing business as LARIAT, a wireless Internet service provider in Albany County, Wyoming, [brettglass.com]

Re:Astroturfing? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26751229)

It's worse than that. He's a notorious anti-NN, pro-DPI astroturfer.

If you love your "hacker tools" (ssh, p2p, etc), he's the bad guys.

We are here! We are here! We are here!..... (1)

Brett Glass (98525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26752779)

No one is "astroturfing." WISPs have gone unnoticed for far too long on the national scene, and it's time to make them known as a viable alternative to the big cable and telephone companies. WISPs are the real grass roots; mine is locally run, locally operated, and not a franchise or chain. Think of us like the Whos in "Horton Hears a Who" -- we're shouting, "We are here!"

This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750629)

That didn't take long. Slashdot strikes again.

$0.002 != 0.002c (1)

athlon02 (201713) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750657)

I know there are plenty of people who have trouble with calculus and other higher forms of math. But, it's scary to think that the difference between $0.002 and 0.002c is well understood!

No wonder the guy posted the phone call on YouTube.

Worst map ever (2, Interesting)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750763)

Which WISPs serve my coverage area? Is it even more than one?

Your Mileage May Vary (4, Informative)

lazarus (2879) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750915)

My experience has been quite the opposite of the story summary. I've been on a line-of-sight wireless connection for two and a half years now, with two different providers and two different frequencies (900 MHz and 2.4 GHz). I have found the service to be slow and unreliable, and I live on farmland (no trees, mountains, large buildings, etc. To get in the way). The most I can say about my current provider is the service sucks less than the first one. In that case it was so bad I was able to get out of a 3yr contract.

The speed (as mentioned in a previous post) is very slow - VPN access to the office is *just* do-able, but don't try to do anything else at the same time. You can play on-line games such as WoW and Eve without much trouble from a latency standpoint, but having your link go down is not fun.

I have an unlimited cellular data plan I keep as a backup and I am working with my local council to get better broadband penetration in my area.

Re:Your Mileage May Vary (1)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751627)

Just a tip. If anyone out there has established a line-of-sight wireless connection, but then finds trees, mountains, large buildings, etc. getting in the way, something has gone terribly wrong. You are either experiencing a severe earthquake, or your house is being towed.

I suggest that you gather more data by looking out the window.

Acronyms and Assumed Knowledge (3, Informative)

necro81 (917438) | more than 5 years ago | (#26750933)

I'm going to put in my grumpy old man dentures and rant on for a moment:

For f$ck's sake, if you are submitting an article with an acronym in it, expand it the first time so that everyone knows what the hell you are talking about. This goes not only for slashdot, but for articles in all technical venues. In some tight technical circles, some assumed knowledge and common language can be expected, but /. is a broad audience, and not everyone knows at first glance what a WISP is. This is specially true when used in the context of an article that is probably introducing it to people for the first time.

Kinda lame... (1)

rgviza (1303161) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751043)

I looked into Xohm, the one in my area. Verizon beat their monthly deal at 3Mbps, and has free equipment sorry to say (Xohm's is $40-90). It's funny. Since their physical infrastructure costs so much less you'd think they would try to be competitive :-/

meh

It'd be nice to be wireless but I have so much better stuff to do than to get any use out of a wireless MAN. My laptop never leaves my desk at work.

-Viz

Cellular was the answer for me (3, Informative)

Gramie2 (411713) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751057)

There is a WISP in my area, but their service guy said that he couldn't get a clear enough signal from my roof. If I put up a 40-foot tower, I *might* be able to get it (people down the road do). Aside from the tower, that would be about $300 installation and $60/month, with a maximum speed of about 3Mbps download.

Turns out that I can get on the Rogers cell phone 3G network. The bandwidth is limited (1GB/month for $30, 3GB/month for $60), but I can live with that. There was no installation fee (wireless USB stick was free with 1-year contract) either.

Re:Cellular was the answer for me (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751701)

Pity they can't get the people down the street to act as a relay, perhaps even offer them free access so a few more homes got access at normal rates.

"Nationwide coverage" (3, Informative)

Huntr (951770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751129)

That blurb in the summary about showing their "nationwide coverage" makes this seem a lot more widely available than it really is. As the image in the linked article show, 750k sq mi isn't shit, particularly when the primary areas this purports to service, those who live out in the boonies, are barely covered at all. Good to know you can get this kind of service in such remote areas as Sacramento, Ca, Dallas, Tx, Atlanta, Ga, and Chicago, Il. Further, as stated above, the submitter and article author owns a fricking ISP that provides WiFi in Wyoming. This is the worst kind of misleading advertising masquerading as news on Slashdot.

Re:"Nationwide coverage" (1)

Isarian (929683) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751445)

I used to work for a WISP in southeastern WI with coverage in areas that cable/DSL wouldn't touch across three counties. They used Motorola Canopy (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canopy_(wireless) [wikipedia.org] and had great success with it. Canopy offers different frequency radios - their 2.4 and 5.2 GHz radios were great for residential in open areas but are LOS-only. 900 MHz radios filled in the gap for that somewhat, but because of high noise floor in that frequency range they were much more prone to interference/high latency. Especially since 900 MHz phones (or as we discovered 5.8 GHz phones, which actually include a 900 MHz backup transmitter), are quite common and resulted in quite the radio ruckus at the end user's site and a lot of wasted field service time.

Re:"Nationwide coverage" (1)

Brett Glass (98525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751775)

Actually, WISPs cover more homes throughout the United States than DSL and cable combined. My WISP specializes in covering rural users who are 10 to 20 miles farther out than these services reach. And yet, we also get many customers in the city who have both of the other options; they just don't want to deal with the phone or cable company. This is proof that our service is competitive; if it weren't, these users could switch in a heartbeat. But they love us. No, WISPs don't cover every nook and cranny of the United States -- yet. But we're the only economically feasible way of reaching many of them, and we're growing to reach them. If the government abandons policies that favor the big guys and present obstacles to us, we'll get there quicker. For example, a little spectrum that wasn't overcrowded by consumer devices would be nice.... See the article for a proposal on this.

Do your research (2, Informative)

Tinfoil (109794) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751197)

Depending on the technology, there are many things to consider before jumping into bed with a WISP. I get my service from an ISP with a wireless division, though it's not their core business. From my understanding, the technology used is a mix of 900Mhz and 2.4Ghz, depending on distance & line of site. The closer and clearer the LoS, the more likely they will put up a 2.4Ghz antenna. Otherwise, it's 900Mhz. Often it requires mounting on an antenna tower, unless it's cellular based.

Problems I've had with it are mostly related to bandwidth saturation. Quite often these wireless PoPs will be piggybacking on one another to a central location, so unless it's properly provisioned, be prepared to be frustrated. Also, many times the WISP will put their tower on a pre-existing structure and depending on security situations, they may not be allowed to go on-site unless the owners of the property are also on-site. Think places like central grain storage co-ops and the like.

My connection is a pretty poor value. I pay roughly CDN$70 for a connection that is, at most, 1Mbit. The upside is that it is synchro, so while my downstream is pretty low, my upstream is better than most. Ping times are all over the place, but that is more a function of an over-subscribed service than anything else.

Cellular based technologies are available here, but the caps are dangerously low with overages being charged at a pretty obscene rate. And it doesn't work with my pre-existing router, which is a big negative for me. Rogers Wireless is I think $25 a month, but that's for only 500MB if memory serves. I can't verify this at present since the Rogers website sucks hairy arse.

Maybe if done right... (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751455)

I used to work for a dialup ISP that broke into the wireless market--fair enough, it was a rural area with no prospects at the time for DSL or cable.

Too bad it was hilly and heavily forested. Service calls got real interesting once people who had great signal in the dead of winter had all the trees on their property burst into leaf.

Besides that, they crammed all their customers onto a pair of T1s (the connection was unimpressive in performance to say the least) which brings me to another question--in an area where there aren't any wired broadband options I'd assume getting an optical backbone might not be feasible, so are these WISPs using banks of T1/T3s to get to the rest of the world?

line of sight (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751489)

Aren't WISPS line of sight? My metro area has a few offerings, none of which I can get. Yay Comcast and AT&T...

Re:line of sight (1)

Brett Glass (98525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751651)

WISPs are not always "line of sight." They use different radio technologies, some of which require a line of sight and some of which do not. Check with the provider.

Find a WISP in the U.S.? (2, Informative)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751537)

This [part-15.org] seemed useful...

My sob story (1)

Camaro (13996) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751591)

I live on a farm in a very rural area of southern Saskatchewan, Canada. A year ago I heard a wireless provider (a private company) was lighting up a tower nearby so naturally I was pretty excited about getting a high speed internet connection finally. I'd been on dialup and didn't want to go the satellite route (for all the usual reasons). I'm about eight miles from the tower and could see the flashing light on top at night. Unfortunately I learned the antenna on the tower was installed only half-way up the tower...and at that height it was behind some hills...which means no line-of-sight! To rub it in even more our phone company called to sell us DSL by mistake and swore up and down that we could get it despite being seven miles from the nearest town.

So here I am on satellite and at times wish was still on dialup. $55/month for 512k sat. It would have been $45 for 1.5Mb wireless. Our phone company (SaskTel, a government-owned company) also operates wireless towers but despite one of their cell towers being about five miles away (and fully visible to me) they haven't yet put an internet transmitter on it. There's some hope they will in the not-to-distant future though.

false dichotomy between cable and dsl (1)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751603)

While cable does have a higher performance ceiling, at the most common price point for cable there is a comparable DSL alternative that is the same speed. At least, where I live there is. The "standard" cable package is 7 Mb/s for $40/mo. The "premium" DSL package is 6 MB/s for $35/mo. So unless you're paying extra for "premium" cable, you could do about as well with DSL.

Chick magnet (1)

Zolodoco (1170019) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751673)

If the vast majority of the action shots on SpeedNet's website (http://www.speednet.com/index.html) are any indication, hot women dig it as they must also dig surfing online with their laptops on the floor.

Interesting map. (1)

PMuse (320639) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751859)

Of particular interest are eastern Idaho, western Nebraska, southern Utah, northeastern Indiana, and northern lower Michigan [wirelessmapping.com] . What are those -- the most populated areas that the major carriers are underserving?

Re:Interesting map. (1)

miniskunk (1116621) | more than 5 years ago | (#26752189)

Rural areas can often be best served cheaper by wireless than wired so it makes sense such areas would have service. In fact my area, which is rural, has wireless though missing from the map.

/.'ed (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 5 years ago | (#26751917)

But my favorite part is down near the bottom of the text where it says.

Using static .html documents instead of painful .php scripts will practically eliminate CPU usage.

Looking at the coverage in Texas... (1)

TheHawke (237817) | more than 5 years ago | (#26752011)

Is rather massive in comparison to the rest of the Union, with the exception of Georgia.

This tells me how much the state has let the telecoms allow the state's infrastructure to rot.

Thats the one thing they can do (1)

anexkahn (935249) | more than 5 years ago | (#26752099)

I would say being able to differentiate between penny's and dollars is probably the thing they do best :)

I am a WISP POP; and it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26752463)

Provides a much needed service to my nieghbours. I have a 50 foot free standing tower from my Ham Nerd days that I use for terrestrial TV. I located a small line of sight company a few miles away and we have slowly build a install base. I now have 2 omni, and 2 yagi antenna on the tower. We can sustain 6 megs down and 1 meg up; using off the shelf enterprise wireless kit. 900 and 2.4 MHZ.

My hardware is not too difficult to maintain but the initial buy in for the end user scares a few off. Additionally; once infected one customer can start to eat up a large amount of bandwidth. (Bandwidth is shaped coming back from the cloud, but uncontrolled from the client back to the POP)

All in all; it beats the pants off of dialup and can match most cable installs.

I love my WISP connection!!! (1)

char70ger (1234672) | more than 5 years ago | (#26752527)

I live in rural Texas just south of Houston. I have had my WISP service for a year and a half now. Before that my only option was an aircard. We home school our kids and I have a 10 machine network. This WISP service has been far more than adequate for my needs. I get a real 3 meg down and a full 1 meg up. The price is 45.95/month. On most weekends my 4 boys and I, that makes 5 people, play medal of honor on line and never have an issue with speed and there is no lag or issue associated with our connection. It works in any weather and I have never experienced an outage. Following hurricane IKE we were with out power for 18 hours, one of the lucky ones, and when the power came back on the internet was still working. We were in the eye wall of IKE for the duration of the storm as well. I am only 22 miles from Galveston. I am sold on my WISP service.

Or roll your own for a few bucks (2, Insightful)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 5 years ago | (#26752531)

Long-range wifi with consumer stuff can work.
I built one for giggles (USB wifi key on old sat dish) and picked up my home signal from miles away... Wife promptly banned me from surfing web during family picnic :(

Many sites with 'how tos', for example here:
See here, for ex: http://www.engadget.com/2005/11/15/how-to-build-a-wifi-biquad-dish-antenna/ [engadget.com]

People have claimed for than 125 mi LOS with bigger stuff.

All you need is a friend in line of sight with broadband. (OK, a big 'if' in hilly country, but you can always hide a passve repeater in a tree on top of a hill. Again, see instructions on web)

New Brunswick's plan is based on WISP coverage (1)

Taeolas (523275) | more than 5 years ago | (#26752541)

Recently the New Brunswick provincial government signed a deal with XPlornet for province wide High Speed (well mid speed) internet access by 2010. Most of it is going to be provided with Wireless towers (@45$CAD/month) with the rest provided by Satellite (@49$CAD/Month). My parents use them (back when they were Aernet), and are generally satisfied with the service. It's faster than dialup but still somewhat sluggish, and they rarely have connection problems. Were Rogers or Aliant to decide to finally head out their way, they'd switch in a heart beat, but for now the WISP satisfies their 'net needs.
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