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Review by (hidden by request)

  • Location: Mattawan,Van Buren,MI
  • Cost: $69 per month (12 month contract)
Good "An ISP that actually cares."
Bad "Limited to line of sight."
Overall "Just plain works with no hassle."
Pre Sales Information:
Install process:
Connection reliability:
Tech Support:
Value for money:

We had Message Express Internet (mei.net) wireless internet installed 2 years and 3 months ago (Oct, 2010).  We signed up for 3 mbs / .50 mbs no caps service and unlimited local/long distance voip phone service.  The service is $69.95/mo for internet, and $19.95 for phone.  Along with much of the US, we live in a broadband wasteland, and were stuck with dial-up service.  Verizon abandoned our area after failing to provide DSL service. Mediacom cable was analog TV only, no internet.  Neighbors and friends with air cards or satellite complained a lot, so when mei became available, we decided to try it.  It’s a bit expensive compared to internet service in other areas, but beggars can’t be choosers when you live in broadband wasteland.  In actuality, the cost is not higher than what we paid for local phone service + long distance + dial-up internet.  Our family could not have survived much longer with dial-up.

The customer premise equipment is Alvarion 2.5 GHz Wi-Max gear and a Cisco-Linksys voip adapter.  Our base station is 4 miles away.  The installer took about 1 ½ hours to install the 8” octogonal antenna on the soffit, route an Ethernet cable to the signal injector in the basement, and explain things.  Very clean installation.  In 27 months of service, we’ve noticed only one outage, which lasted a few hours.  I believe it was due to an extended power outage at the base station.  It’s been very reliable. Snow, rain, and wind don’t seem to have any effect.  About a year ago, the phone did get a bit choppy because of latency issues, but that was quickly fixed.  I consistently get 40-55 msec pings, 2.85-3.00 mbs down and .48 mbs up, even during peak times.  Streaming video is no problem, and gaming also works well.

Customer support is great.  They’re local;  you call, and real people actually answer.  We had a slow-down issue early on, and a call to customer support had the tech out the same day.  It turned out my router went bad, not their equipment.  No charge for the truck roll.

Frontier is now the local telco.  To their credit, they’ve managed to do what Verizon couldn’t: extend DSL into our area.  DSL + phone would be somewhat cheaper, but we’re sticking with MEI.   The service just plain works, it’s consistent, reliable, and devoid of any aggravation.

(review was emailed from domain mei.net)
lodged 1.8 years ago