Review by jfortune06
Good "Best available option in my area"
- Location: Terrell,Kaufman,TX
- Cost Contract price not specified.
Bad "Service is spotty, speeds slow at peak times, tech dispatch very slow"
Overall "It's better than Satellite or cellular on a price per speed ratio."
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
I live just outside of town where my only options are...
Satellite - which never lives up to it's advertised speed, is expensive and caps downloads.
DSL - which I am too far way from the C.O. to get any usable speed.
Cellular - I can get 4G surprisingly from Verizon but they cap bandwidth and make you sell your firstborn to get more available cap.
Skybeam - Not the fastest option, or the most reliable, but the best combination of speed, price, reliability available to me.
Here's the deal. I am a realist. Skybeam is filling a void in internet service for those of us in rural areas who are semi-heavy internet users. Their profits are not going to be as high as in a denser populated area where cable and local phone companies are available with better speeds and service. They have to pay pretty steep prices to get the fiber transmission lines to these remote towers so their profit margin isn't going to be huge. That being said, I have some advice on how they can help their customers...
Pricing structure - If you are going to offer higher priced connections, you need to be able to supply the bandwidth. If you can't supply 5Mb, don't offer it to suckers who expect to get that kind of bandwidth. I think an even better option would be to offer customers the option to pay a little more to get a guaranteed minimum bandwidth of something like 3, 5, 10, etc bandwidth. Just charge whatever you would need to in order to pay for the required backbone connection to make this happen. You can use QOS settings in your APs to make it work. I, for one, would be willing to pay $100 a month if I could get 5MB 24/7 with no slow-downs.
Installation - Please help those of us who are technically savvy to get the best possible connection by giving us access to our radio's signal aiming software. We don't need full access to change settings you don't want us to change, only access to see the signal and noise levels to help us better aim the dish to get the best possible connection. This would save your field techs SOOOO much time. I know that my dish moves slightly during high winds. Sometimes trees change during the seasons and affect the signal path. If I could just SEE what the heck is going on, I could fix it myself when I have time rather than waiting 2 weeks for one of your techs to come to my house and move my dish 2 degrees to the right. I watched the tech the last time to see how it works and it's really not that complicated. I actually did the dish adjustments while he watched the screen to make things go faster. He showed me how it all works.
Tech Support - Hold times, obviously, are an issue. This means you need more staff. The other issue, is you need more knowledgeable staff. I am in the tech support business myself and I know that much time can be saved if the techs can quickly diagnose an issue. You would need less staff if the staff you have are faster. A tech can better diagnose an issue if they have a full understanding of how everything works rather than relying on a script that wastes the clients time checking things that don't need to be checked. I had to explain the Ethernet OSI model to almost every tech I spoke to when diagnosing a physical connection issue. It was quite simple. I was getting a link up / down connection issue which is either link layer or physical layer, not network, transport, application, etc. Rebooting my PC won't help. They had no idea that the link light should remain on no matter what the connection status from dish to tower was. A tech visited twice on this issue and just replaced the POE injector which did not fix anything. I ended up fixing myself by re-crimping both ends of the cable from dish to the POE injector inside my house. The original crimps were HORRIBLE.
I hope someone from Skybeam reads this and takes some of my advise. I really want this thing to work. I understand the uphill battle rural internet service can be but there's no reason to shoot yourself in the foot too.
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