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Review by HeirApparent
Good "Only "high-speed" provider in area; better than nothing (or satellite)"
- Location: Loyalton,Sierra,CA
- Cost: $60 per month (12 month contract)
Bad "The definition of 'unreliable'; poor tech support/customer service; overpriced"
Overall "Unless DigitalPath is your only option, avoid it like the Plague"
|Pre Sales Information:|
Value for money:
Over a year ago, we received a pamphlet in the mail, informing us that DigitalPath was now available in our area. Exciting news, considering this was the first hint of broadband availability we'd ever had in rural Sierra Brooks. The first phone call was a disappointment, however, as they stated our street wasn't in the service area. When we called back a few weeks later to make sure, it was suddenly possible to provide service, so we happily scheduled the installation for next week.
The installer arrived on time, and began to test for sufficient signal. He got nothing at first, and complained that DP should put in more repeaters, because trying to shoot the signal down through all the trees was ridiculous. He was eventually able to find some, though, and returned to his truck for the necessary CAT5 cable to begin the installation.
I started to hear loud shouting and cursing emanating from his vehicle, and noticed some neighbors across the street were staring. It turned out he left his spools of cable in another town, where he'd performed the last installation. He would have to drive all the way there and back, which would take several hours. Not exactly professional behavior.
He eventually returned with the missing cable, and apologized for wasting my time. About another hour passes, as he drills a hole through to my room, and runs the cable from the CPE to my router. He tests the connection, which he says is fine, and leaves.
From that moment on, service has been intermittent and unreliable, to put it mildly. Outright outages, latency/packet loss spikes, and slowdowns are frequent. The "on-off-on-off" nature of the connection makes it impossible to depend on. One minute it's perfect, the next, it's either out completely, or slowed to the point of uselessness. When watching a video or playing a game, you're always paranoid about it suddenly ceasing to pass data, and find yourself checking to see if the router's traffic light is still flashing. We've had countless sessions of browsing, streaming, and gaming ruined by the multitude of connection drops/degradation.
It's a rare day indeed that the service functions properly for the entire 24 hours. It usually only works well in the middle of the night or early morning. To make matters worse, we never reach anywhere near advertised download speed (6 Mbps), even off peak hours. I'm lucky to see 2.5 in a speed test. Sometimes the upload hits advertised (1 Mb), but not often.
We made two attempts to improve service quality, neither of which helped substantially:
1) Almost a year after installation, it became possible for them to upgrade us to the 2.4GHz CPE. It required quite a number of complaints, both over the phone and via e-mail, before they agreed to send someone out. We were then no-showed on the first appointment, and had to reschedule. Even after finally swapping the antenna, the improvement was minimal.
2) Some months following that, we decided to try having the box placed at the top of our nearby pine tree, as we hoped the height would help the reception. Again, they first gave us the runaround for as long as possible, as we made numerous phone and e-mail complaints, and were predictably no-showed on the first appointment. When the teeth-pulling was mercifully over, the team of DP installer and tree climber arrived. I was amused to see that it was the same installer from the initial installation over a year prior. His professionalism had not improved, either, as he yanked the CAT5 through the wall during the rewiring, and broke it, letting out several curses. When he fixed it, it was shorter, forcing me to move my router about six inches to the right for it to reach. The tree climber, on the other hand, was impressive. He scaled the pine like a monkey, and had the antenna affixed in no time. Unfortunately, while service has probably been its best since, that's not saying much. It still dies, and slows to a crawl, multiple times a day.
Calling tech support is futile. They give us the same old "we'll do some re-channeling and keep an eye on it" story every time, and the most I've seen come out of it is that it works okay for one day, before regressing to garbage over the rest of the week. It's evident to me that DigitalPath has little idea what they're doing, and their feeble network can't handle what customers they have. I doubt they care, anyway, since they're the only game in town, and can get away with overcharging for a service that barely works.
Definitely stay away from DP if other ISPs are available. I know that many in Sierra County will jump ship the very moment an alternative hits the area. This sub-par company deserves a wake up call.
Well, service over the past few weeks might be the worst we've seen in the nearly two years since signing up. That's saying something, considering that its almost never been good. In the middle of the night, I can barely even get a simple page to load, let alone accomplish anything more demanding.
I contact tech support, and they tell me they'll reboot the relay... fantastic. What a joke. Can't believe we pay 53 bucks a month for this abhorrent excuse for broadband. I'd choose even bottom-tier DSL over this travesty if I could.
Same old story: very spotty service quality during most days, with (usually) better performance from 1:00 AM to 6:00 AM. I've at least been able to get some things done with it, at the cost of staying up late. Completely given up contacting support about the unreliability, since it's rather evident that they're powerless to accomplish anything. Even loading this page to write the update was quite sluggish.
For the folks who don't "get" the negative reviews: you WOULD "get" them if you resided in an area where the service is barely functional, and technical support/customer service can't (or won't) get anything done about it, like ourselves. Being wireless isn't an excuse, since proper WISPs provide reliable service, even if it isn't the fastest available.
Amusingly, they continue to send advertisement cards in the mail, despite not being able to handle the customers they already have, let alone more. Likely won't be much to add, unless service suddenly becomes solid for the first time (it can't get much worse). In short, this still barely qualifies as broadband, and we'll remain hopeful for a superior alternative. There's supposedly a fiber project set to roll through here around summer 2013, so that's something to be optimistic about.
Just suffered an 8-day outage, after a lightning storm messed everything up. Had to wait a week for the tech and tree climber to make it out here, and they concluded that a power surge fried the router's WAN, along with all of my computer's network cards. They were only partially correct, though; while the router indeed seems to be damaged, I reinstalled all of the NICs and got them working fine. We're back online with a new router.
One good thing came out of it, as they upgraded our antenna to the 5 GHz model. The tech said this could have, and should have been done a long time ago, despite my being told otherwise a number of times over the phone. According to him, service quality should be substantially better on this CPE, but I've experienced the usual mediocrity so far. Should that change, I'll update the review score accordingly.
Struggled through another classic DP tech support nightmare experience after having the antenna changed. The connection was dropping literally every two minutes, making it impossible to do anything, so we contacted them and were told that a "software bug" was responsible. This was to be fixed in "7-10 days."
-I wait nearly two weeks without any improvement and ask them again, only to receive the exact same response: "7-10 days."
-Waited some more, asked, their reply: "7-10 days," for the third time.
-More waiting, then an alternate story: apparently, many customers were having this issue, and they'd been working day and night on a solution. Of course, we'd have to wait some more.
-Another call, another story: "there is no software bug, and they never should have told you that," he says. "The antenna will probably need to be replaced." Time to wait another week.
-Now it doesn't need to be replaced, and they think they've fixed the issue. Does the left hand know what the right hand is doing?
It seems that time passes differently in DigitalTrash world, and 10 days is more like 40 days, because that's how long it actually took for them to sort out this fiasco. I should be even angrier than I am, but after being stuck with these guys for so long, you become accustomed to failure. Although a significant improvement resulted from all of this, we continue to deal with multiple outages every week, as always, and they're occasionally lengthy ones. The only positive is that on this new dish antenna, speeds are consistently higher, and ping consistently lower. That doesn't do a whole lot of good, however, when you're getting disconnected so often. The main issue continues to be the extraordinary unreliability. It has a knack for failing when you need it most. To rub salt in the wound, they'll soon be raising prices by ten dollars to pay for supposed network upgrades, which I suspect won't improve service here one bit. "We realize you have a choice of Internet providers," their e-mail hilariously states. Not exactly, people. Believe me, we wouldn't tolerate this nonsense for a second longer by choice.
Another stretch of mini outages prompted us to contact support. I held off on doing so for as long as I could, since it's like beating your head against a wall, but with the connection dropping 20-50 times some days according to my log, there was little choice. The first call was pointless, as the tech said it looked okay at the moment, and to phone again if the problem continued. His explanation for the issue was "must be magic!" Yes, really. On the second call, they claimed that our antenna was frequently rebooting itself for some reason, and sent the usual team over to test it the next week.
It's always funny how these people fail to communicate with each other, and predictably, the tech didn't seem to know why he was here. When told of the "rebooting" claim, his reply was basically "that doesn't tell me anything." Following some testing, he was convinced our equipment was fine, and that it could again be a software issue on their side. However, we insisted that the antenna and Cat 5 be changed anyway, and being sick to death of the tree climber's fee, decided on going back to a roof installation. Suppose they were in a hurry, since they left the mess of old cable stapled to the roof. Fortunately, there wasn't much difference in signal strength from our roof to the Antelope access point, and at least the new installation looks professional.
Service has been fairly solid since the alteration, but I have no illusions of it remaining such. Considering how much we're paying now, it'd be great if I'm incorrect for once. We were also informed that their new speed tier might be available here "in a couple of years." Well, I certainly hope we have another choice of ISP before then, or that we've moved.
member for 4.9 years, 35 visits, last login: 211 days ago
updated 211 days ago
Review by (hidden by request)
Good "unheard of business practices a company to avoid!!!!!"
- Location: Loyalton,Sierra,CA
- Cost: $60 per month
Bad "so much worse then the above comment!!!!"
Overall "A company morally obtuse!!!!!"
|Pre Sales Information:|
Value for money:
I was one of the first to get it in the Loyalton area. We had to pay for
our own repeater which they charged 1200.00 dollars for and placed on hwy.
49 just below sage road. I and one other man did all the under ground to
supply power and conduit for the antenna itself to go to the house which
was considered the Host. We never got paid or reimbursed for any of the
work or material and were instead charged install fee=92s as other=92s were
that had done nothing to help the cause. In the beginning there was five of
us but because of the absolute horrible reliability we all go DSL when it
became available. Because the DSL was slow at that time I kept the dig path
as my son and I are gamers and we needed the extra band width and we used
the DSL as a back up for the dig path which would go out for one to two
weeks quite often. I also did all my banking with the address and just got
used to using their service, you know what I mean I=92m sure. Two weeks ago
they called and gave me an option to either end my service with them or
have an antenna installed in a tree which is the worse idea any Podunk
company ever came up with but it was just in the realm of dig path as they
are the far side of insanity, psychopath owners I=92m sure as they care not
about their customers. The two service men came out as scheduled and
climbed two trees which I knew would not reach Beckworth mountain as there
is a hill in the way, I already knew this as I did extensive testing and
found this to be true six years ago. I said go for it and I was right. When
I called the service in Marysville I was told they have no record of us
buying the repeater and that I was just plain out of luck. This is fraud
plain and simple and I hope they consider court proceedings with me because
of this truthful letter as I have the canceled checks proving my position.
To argue with a psychopath is a waste of an honest persons time so I
decided to let it go and the truth is that DSL is working fine for me and
my son as we can play online simultaneously and its better for me then it
ever was with dig path as the latency is cut in half.. how bout that they
ripped me off and now I=92m doing better and not having to pay for their
mistakes anymore to a tune of sixty dollars a month for far worse then poor
service. The funny think is I was on the phone with the owners dad Big Jim,
a little man and he as bragging that they were all the way to the Oregon
boarder with there system. My immediate thought was that that will be
interesting and just how many people do you think will hate there service
at that point, as if they care; they don=92t. My only purpose for writing y=
is to warn people considering them for internet service: Don=92t, unless
they=92re the only gig in town and be sure that there is not a better servi=
out there first, it will save you many sleepless nights of outages and
excuses from tech support who, by the way are not qualified as they fired
all the really good ones a year or so ago..
(review was emailed from domain gmail.com)
lodged 254 days ago
Review by PortolaTiger
Good "So far, fastest claimed Internet Speeds in area"
- Location: Portola,Plumas,CA
- Cost: $45 per month (12 month contract)
Bad "Extremely Unreliable, Frequent Outages, Tech Support Runarounds, Bandwidth Limiting, Expensive"
Overall "Love the speed when it works but it's few and far between."
|Pre Sales Information:|
Value for money:
I purchased DigitalPath Broadband hoping for a faster connection since I watch a lot of youtube videos, netflix, xbox live, etc. and wanted a Broadband service that could handle that. Previously had AT&T DSL that I was happy with, but wanted a faster connection. Decided to switch at the end of last year to DigitalPath.
Probably one of the worst experiences of my life. It worked fine for the first month or so and it's been downhill from there. I've probably called their tech support more than 30+ times and been on hold as long as 45 minutes +. The excuses I've gotten are anywhere from "need to reset the relay", "unplug the ethernet", they're working on upgrading the equipment, the power to the relay may not be working, there's a lot of people using online right now, you must have used a torrent that caused you to be black listed for 2 hours, etc....
The support staff has been pretty friendly for the most part but it seems that it's just a horribly run company in regards to reliability and equipment. Also was told that if I used a torrent, that would cause me to be slowed down for several hours due to their limiter software and parameters. When did this happen? I rarely use torrents but this is very bothersome to me. Overall I think DigitalPath has overpromised and underdelivered. If they could provide a reliable service for the speeds advertised, I would definitely sing their praises. Unfortunately, DigitalPath is subpar in just about every aspect of an ISP that I can think of. If you can get AT&T DSL, get it or stay with them. It's not worth the stress and hassle dealing with this company. :-((
member for 3.1 years, 85 visits, last login: 320 days ago
updated 326 days ago
Review by kmmontandon
Good "Quick signup, broad coverage"
- Location: Chester,Plumas,CA
- Cost: $30 per month (month by month)
Bad "Extremely slow at all times, does not deliver promised speeds."
Overall "Avoid if there are any alternatives whatsoever."
I've had to use DigitalPath's Hot Spot month-to-month service for a while now, and it's completely and utterly failed to deliver even remotely on promised speeds. When signing up, you'll be told you will get 1500/350 download/upnload. This is, to be blunt, a lie, and one that DigitalPath refuses to answer for, beyond cut-and-paste answers from tech-support monkeys (both in emails, and on Yelp). After long experience, and after objective speed tests provided by a variety of sites, I can say that without question.
There are times when I'm testing at lower than dial-up speeds (as low as 9.0 kpbs/dl). I just spent a few weeks staying at another house, with my computer hooked into their DSL, and the difference was staggering (it was in the same neighborhood, so geography was not a factor).
Fortunately, I've only got a few weeks left before heading to DSL myself.
Also, whizzo is pretty obviously an employee of the company, in case anyone reading these reviews had any doubt. White-knighting for digitalpath in response to every criticism, while posting over-the-top technical information like a marketer ... yeah, pretty obvious.
member for 337 days, 1 visits, last login: 331 days ago
updated 337 days ago
Review by whozzit
Good "Faster than blazes (dial-up, DSL, etc)"
- Location: Westwood,Lassen,CA
- Cost: $39 per month (12 month contract)
Bad "Sometimes interrupted due to snow."
Overall "1 MB up - 2 MB down..."
|Pre Sales Information:|
Value for money:
I've been a customer since 10/2003 and haven't seen any need to go elsewhere. I had used the local telco's DSL previous to Digitalpath but was looking for something faster and more versatile and this setup has more than met my needs. My wireless laptop will log on (as a roamer) in almost any locale in the area. I am getting about 2 MB down and 1 MB up, per second, and this amounts to "no waiting." I ordered Digitalpath Wireless ISP before it was available in my town but the installation was about a one hour job when the company got started up. I have four machines with various versions of Windows that are online most of the day and night and, with normal maintenance, they all perform well. The only service outages that I've experienced since 2003 were all snow or lightening related and
they have been few and far between.
Still nothing bad to report. I've got Digitalpath all over the place, now. I added a couple of powerful wireless access points (running unprotected) so am online anywhere in the house, garage, the yard or across the street. My wireless access point is 802.11n as are the wireless adapters in all of the desktops and laptops so everything cooks right along. Winter is coming and snow can't be avoided (global cooling) so we'll see how everything goes this winter. And now it's 1MB/ps up and 3MB/ps down!
Not much new to report here. As to the effect that a fast processor and ample RAM have on the internet performance, this assumes a reliable system of broadband access. For the most part I am running 32 bit OS's and they, inherently, won't make use of more than 4 GB's of RAM. I have installed a Windows 7 64 bit system on one computer and have increased the RAM on that machine to 8 GB's as the 64 bit system can, and does, make use of the additional RAM. I am retired now but my career since 1967 had to do with electromechanical, then electronic and finally digital electronics in the US, Canada, Germany and the middle east. I can appreciate a good, solid broadband pathway to the internet, wireless or otherwise, and use mine to the fullest extent possible. This includes, of course, email, browsing, communications (telephone) and entertainment in the form of TV shows, movies, etc, and this includes other areas of interest such as "Russia Today", NFL, and other broadcasts from all around the world. I guess that the rest of this story is that if you can't attain a solid, reliable broadband connection to the internet, what you see is what you will get. I might add that I've been online since 1993 and I am not a "gamer." I have yet to play my first computer game of any variety. After a lifetime spent working in communications I just don't consider games to be a part of the mix.
This must be a case of location, location, location. I have nothing to report but improvements. With no further adjustments these three computers are now achieving 5 MB's down and in excess of 1 MB up and everything is robust and steady. There isn't much for a retired person to do in Westwood (except for maybe watching the snow come down) but at least the computers are always there. Even when the weather puts the kabosh on the sattelite receivers there's always plenty in the way of shows, movies and the NFL to watch on the computers and the VoIP (NetTalk device) always provides telephone service, incoming and outgoing, no matter the weather. I do know a bit about the aiming of the ancillery equipment associated with Digitalpath and, believe me, a tree is no place to mount a transponder (or receiver if you like). I've installed and maintained too much in the way of microwave all over this country and the middle east to not recognize the "tree" as being a very weak link.
member for 10.7 years, 899 visits, last login: 19 days ago
updated 353 days ago
Review by pprimmer
Good "Better than satellite mainly due to better ping times"
- Location: Auburn,Placer,CA
- Cost: $45 per month (12 month contract)
- Install: about 5 days
Bad "Speed ver erratic. Jitter and packet loss don't allow VoIP"
Overall "Better than satellite but would still prefer a wired link"
|Pre Sales Information:|
Value for money:
Being in a rural area our only choice to date has been dial up and satellite. We were on Direcway (now Hughes) and WildBlue for the past 10 years and we can tell you satellite is a service of last resort. With Viasat taking over Wildblue and launching a new satellite I was hoping for better packages but their bandwidth allowances (FAP) went down and their prices went up. Luckily we found DigitalPath was servicing our area. It is a line of site service so location, location, location is important. From our roof top we got a good line of sight to a tower that was 10 miles away. Installation was on time and very well done. We got their 3Mbps down/1Mps up package for $45/month. There is another tier up at 6 Mbps down but so far we are happy with the entry package. The installation was a one time $249 and a 12 month contract. The first 30 days offer a 100% money back if you are not satisfied. I've been montoring the speeds and mostly get above 3Mbps down except around the evening which I assume is a high usage period. The ping times are in the 25msec range. Bottom line I am very happy and would recommend this service to anyone with a good line of sight and within the proper distance to the tower. I've used their Tech support once and was well taken care of.
4-13-2012 - Updating my review. Speeds average the contracted download of 3Mbps but can vary quite a bit. We can be in the kilobit range for awhile and then it zooms up to at, or above, our 3Mbps contract speed. There are also quite a few brief outages where it will go away for a minute or two and come back. Sometimes I have to unplug the power source (digitalpath recommendation) and it will come back. I would still rate it well above WildBlue and their new Exede service. Not living with a bandwidth restriction is great and you can actually enjor watching Youtube videos and not fear hitting a month's download limit. Due to the varability of the link I will not try and replace my phone line with a VOIP.
9/1/2012 - Another update. Still experiencing eratic speeds as others have noted. I call Tech support which moves me to a different frequency and things are good for awhile but then back to slower speeds. I use a Testmy.net website which runs every hour for 12 times. The problem is that the speeds can be down in the 500Kps range and then shoot up to 3 and 4 Mps so the average looks good but when things are slow it's a pain. I still feel it is better than satellite but if something else came along I would probably switch.
11/28/12 - Update - Speeds are still very erratic. Digitalpath sent out a letter that they are upgrading their network with new S/W and H/W and increasing their monthly costs. The process will take awhile. I tried using OOMA as a VoIP phone service and it was just too brutal to continue. Drop outs, missed calls etc. which were due to the internet. OOMA has a line test and 1 out 10 times it comes back as good enough for VoIP but the other 9 not good. I'm stuck with OOMA for a year so I will keep it and see if the digitalpath upgrades make using it worthwhile to try again.
member for 1.8 years, 10 visits, last login: 223 days ago
updated 1 year ago
Pretty much par for the course I think your experience is pretty much standard for any fixed wireless broadband provider. I'm with another such provider up here in Auburn, and my experience is no different, and I'm paying over TWICE what you're paying for one of their "Business" plans.
The bottom line here folks is that all of these fixed wireless providers operate on incredibly small margins. I spent over an hour on the phone one evening with the owner of my provider, who's been in the ISP business for over 30 years. Most are family owned. They source their incredibly cheap equipment from eastern block countries (not from big networking equipment providers like Cisco or Motorola), and therefore get little to no support on it. They run VERY light on customer support, and they don't have a ton of bandwidth to work with on their backhaul circuits.
And the simple truth of the matter is that it's a wireless technology, subject to all kinds of interference. I sell enterprise-level wireless networks, and I can tell you from experience that someone running a microwave in a break room can bring an entire section of a corporate wireless network to a screeching halt, so you can just imagine all of the various things out there in the air that could possibly interfere with a signal trying to get to your home from a tower ten miles away, not to mention the effects of weather.
I love living in the country and wouldn't trade it for a million bucks, but one of the trade-offs is crummy Internet service. I guess those of us who can actually even GET fixed wireless in our homes should probably consider ourselves lucky.
Oh and one comment on the VoIP issue. I'm not familiar with OOMA, but I'm a Vonage customer and most of these types of services offer something called single number reach, also called Multi-ring. Basically when someone calls your home line, it also rings whatever other numbers you specify. I've got our Vonage account setup to ring both my mobile as well as my wife's mobile, that way even if our Internet's acting up, we still don't miss calls. If OOMA doesn't offer it with their basic service, they probably have a premier service that has it.
Review by ruckusronn
Overall "better than tin cans and a string"
- Location: Montague,Siskiyou,CA
- Cost: $50 per month (12 month contract)
- Install: about 20 days
I tried to get the most Mbps for the money(the need for speed).They were going to charge me roughly $65 for 6Mbps.The installer took a week to get here because he's in another county.Good kid though.After he installed the antenna thing were ok for a couple of hours but I kept losing my connection and had 70% packet loss.Needless to say my MagicJack wouldn't work so I could call tech. support.Finally got through to see if they could tweek it from their end,they tried but to no avail.Was told they'd send a tech out the following week which they did.Same kid,he ran new cable and used an older antenna.I was told that because of where I lived I would probably never be able to get 6Mbps out of their system from here.So I called and downgraded to 3Mbps.It's been about 24 hours and so far so good.I don't want to jinx it...lol I still got a few days left for my Money Back Guarantee I hope it'll work for a change.
member for 4.7 years, 49 visits, last login: 154 days ago
updated 1 year ago
Review by io chico
Good "Uncapped, good option for rural living, better than satellite."
- Location: Chico,Butte,CA
- Cost: $53 per month (12 month contract)
- Install: about 7 days
Bad "Expensive compared to what the city folks pay, but I'm happy to have service."
Overall "I gladly pay, when it's working well."
|Pre Sales Information:|
Value for money:
07/26/12, Service has been very reliable. I've had bouts of problems, where my desktop stays connected, but WiFi cuts out. Checked router settings, did factory reset, updated firmware, tweeted settings, replaced the router (twice). Same problem. Knocked the Wireless Mode down from 300 Mbps to 130 Mbps and now I only have a disconnect about once a week. A router reboot fixes it instantly. I can't say for 100% it's DP or the router.
Consistently get 5.65 Mbps down and 1.0 up. I'm a happy gal.
02/04/11, I'm sailing at 3.75Mbps now! A recap: DP could only get a signal here using the 900mhz antenna. That antenna worked very well from Oct - April. Then when the trees leafed out, we got spotty service. The last tech that came out did a preliminary check to see if we got any signal on the 2.4ghz antenna. We did. We have a 80' tall redwood tree about 35' away from the house. He suggested a tree install. Well, with everything that I've read about troubles with tree installs, I was hesitant. He said he hasn't had to go back to tree installs. We watched the redwood for a few months during storms and it barely moves even in the strongest of winds. So, we bit the bullet, paid the $100 for the install and whoa! I'm getting 3.75 Mbps! Phew! Shazam! The downside is anytime they can't fix a problem at the office and they need to send out a service tech, the tree climber needs to come out too. That will cost $50. I'm crossing my fingers.
09/16/10, I have days where I have no connection at all, on days that it works, 0.5Mb/s, that's slower than satellite. I haven't had a speedtest go over 0.6 in a month. Tech support? They try, but have no way to fix this sitting inside an office. They say they will schedule a service call, but no one calls. It's been over a month this time. It was a month last time: from 07/17-08/19 I had 3 hours of service a day. When I complain, they say they will let me out of the contract. That's their level of service? Drop the customer as oppose to fixing. Something is horribly wrong with this company.
04/27/10, Well, I've had several problems. For the past 5 days, speed tests are between 0.8Mb/s - 1.1Mb/s, 50-438ms ping. I called and they say they will do adjusts on their end. During the second call, I get put on hold, the tech comes back with a different attitude, "You're in alot of trees, huh?" Well, I'm in a canyon, but my house is up a bit high and unless more trees have grown since Sept 09, nothing new. He now seems like he's given up on trying to get this to work better. 1.1Mb/s is good, right? Streaming video is out of the question at this speed. When I told them that my speed tests are usually 2.2Mb/s -2.6Mb/s with 21-25ms ping, he dismisses it, like I'm lying. He says he'll have a service tech do something and it should improve within 24 hours.
Experience is telling me that I'm facing a battle to get them to work a bit harder at getting this to work properly.
11/30/09, after 2 months of mostly reliable service, there's not signal at all. They tried adjusting it on their end, but no luck. They sent someone out to replace the antenna. The installer couldn't get the new antenna to work any better than .3Mb/s. That's slower then satellite! He called the office and I was offered the ability to break my contract. With that, he left! This makes no sense, the old antenna in the same spot got 2.2Mb/s. After a night of facing going back to satellite, my connection is back up to 2.2Mb/s and running like a champ. Silly installer.
FYI, Wind and rain have not effected the connection.
09/03/09: I have no complaints about DigitalPath. Their employees are friendly, knowledgeable and local. The installer worked tirelessly to find a signal. I've called them 3 times to ask questions about my account and about my service, I've had a person on the line within minutes.
I've only had the service for 13 days, but so far, so great! My location couldn't find a signal on the 2.4GH antenna, so we used a 900mHz. The 900 antenna doesn't provide their higher tiered speeds, so I get 1.9Mb/s - 2.5Mb/s. This is wildly crazy speeds for someone who has never had true broadband using Hughes satellite at a max 650kbps. And I'm uncapped! And I'm paying less. I've watched a movie on Netflix's Watch Instantly. It handles Hulu, etc.
One happy camper! My hope is that winter weather doesn't effect the signal. I will report either way.
member for 9.9 years, 1418 visits, last login: 1 days ago
updated 1.3 years ago
Review by joecook1
Good "Availability of BB, Speed, Reliability"
- Location: Canyon Dam,Plumas,CA
- Cost: $36 per month (12 month contract)
- Install: about 10 days
Overall "Very satisfied"
|Pre Sales Information:|
Value for money:
DigitalPath (DP) is the first, and only, ISP to provide broadband at my location in Prattville, CA. This is a wireless, dynamic IP system. Frontier Comm made some promises that they didn't keep and have yet to install any DSL in this immediate area.
DP has just installed a new 5.4 GHz system at the top of Mt. Dyer that is within range of my location (it is good for 8 mi. without a dish). We were kept apprised of the progress by DP in Chico and when we were notified that it was operational (9/30/06), indicated our desire to sign up and get an installation. This system requires direct line-of-sight to the transceiver (as opposed to the Chico system which can use individual customer units for relay points until entry at a gateway). This area is heavily forested so we had to put the unit high up in a pine or fir tree to get a clear look at Dyer.
The DP rep made arrangements with a tree climber (my cost) and he attached the unit at the top (about 100' up) of a fir tree near the house and brought the Cat5 cable down the tree. The contract installer then routed the cable into the house and connected to my computer (Gateway GT5056 desktop). All very clean. After sorting through the channels available we got an operational system, I signed off the install and they all departed.
Initially, my first speed tests indicated about 340 kbps down/144 up. This was much better than the 24 kbps dialup that we have endured for years in this area, But, since I had signed up for the 1.5M down/384k up "Excel" service*, I was somewhat surprised and emailed the facts to the installer. I was pleasantly surprised about 6 pm the same day when a principle of DP Chico called and we went thru a tune up of my computer TCP with DRTCP. This added about 20 kbps but obviously wasn't the primary problem. He said he would do more research and get back to me.
I was out of town the next day and when I got back about 2 am, I checked to see what, if anything, had been done. Whoa! I got 2359 kbps down and 3135 kbps up! Since then I have run a dozen or so speed tests that have reports between 3018 and 1180 kbps down, apparently somewhat dependent on the time of day. The best speeds seem to be in the early morning hours.
So, the bottom line is, I am receiving the speed and service I expected and am very satisfied with the whole thing at this point. We shall see what effect, if any, winter weather, rain, snow, etc has on the signal. It is a lot more expensive than the DSL service I (finally) have in Chico (SBC, 3 Mbps @ $17.95/mo), but at this time DP is 'the only game in town' and they claim they can grow to 10 Mbps, if and when needed, so can beat Frontier DSL in that regard if it ever arrives out here.
DP's current plans for expansion in this area, other than the direct line-of-sight installs, are to put a repeater on the roof of the firehouse which will provide a signal for the residents along at least two streets without having to install in a tree as I have done. My tree install cost an additional $250 over the normal install/equipment fee of $250.
Digital Path's home page is »www.digitalpath.net
After approx. 2 1/2 mo. of service we are still very satisfied with the DigitalPath service. Has one day when the speed dropped down to 340k down (hmm...same speed as the initial problem (see above)). Next day was back to normal. Did a speed test during a moderate snow storm and got about 1M so a 33% reduction from normal. Not bad.
DP has now installed their repeater at the firehouse and additional customers have been added. So far, just good initial reports from them.
* Although I thought I had signed up for the 1.5M/384 "Excel" service, I find that the P.O. and billing reflect the 3M/1M "Express" service. Guess this explains my sometimes 2.5M down speed tests, although on average they circa 1.5M. So I have revised the stated monthly cost at the top of the review.
I am still very satisfied with DP. When my original 6 mo. prepay was up, I renewed for a 1 year prepay and got 12 mo. for the price of 10. Since I simultaneously reduced the plan to the Excel (1.5m/384) that figured out to be $400 for the year and I've revised the plan cost at the top accordingly.
Speedwise, during June there was a period of several days when the speed was in the low 700's, but returned to normal shortly thereafter. We had one outage (that I'm aware of). I called tech support in Chico and when they checked the Dyer Mt. transmitter confirmed the problem. I expected it might be days before it was back on the air, but it was up in about 5 hrs.! Here is my speed test history: »/testhistory/1404823/e64a7
It raised the question, tho, Why do customers have to call in to report a system failure? It should be a relatively simple installation to provide a continuous monitor on the transmitter that would report its condition and issue a message when malfunctions occur. I sent an email to that effect to Tech Support with a copy to Jim Higgins Jr. but received no reply. :-(
So, contrary to our friends who are connected to the Beckwourth Peak transmitter, (wxwest and Jerryfreak) the Dyer Mt. unit has generally been working well. I have a personal weather station and am uploading complete data every 10 minutes, in addition to my normal web usage and occasional streaming video. I have never had a bandwidth usage issue from DP. Of course, I _do_ split time between this station and Chico, so I'm not on here 100% of the time.
When DP is up it is still very good and satisfies my needs. I have had numerous outages, however, some of which seem to be attributable to the Dyer Mt. connection and/or upstream. I have also had numerous outages during rain events that may be attributed to my transponder in the tree having leakage problems or whatever. It always seems to come back online at some time after the rain and has had time to dry out. Since the only access to the unit is with a tree climber of dubious troubleshooting skills, I have not tried to correct this problem to date.
I have updated the monthly cost to reflect the "Compliance Fee" and "Network Switching Fee" which are now added to the standard cost. This also represents the monthly cost when we prepay 12 mo. (get 12 for the price of 10).
BTW, DP's "Excel" plan (which I have) now claims a speed of "up to" 3000 kbps down and 768 kbps up. It seems they have not removed their cap on mine since it still routinely tests at about 1500 kbps down and 380 kbps up.
Today two DP staffers were in the area to review possible additional sites for transmitters on our side of the lake. I showed them a couple that might be suitable and they are seriously considering building one up on Ohio Ridge. They now have transmitter/receiver facilities that are 100% solar powered so they can be placed nearly anywhere there is adequate exposure to the sun, year around. The one on Ohio Ridge will service possible customers on the west side of the Peninsula and the East Shore that currently don't have a shot at the top of Dyer Mt. where the primary xmitter is.
So, I mentioned to them that I was experiencing intermittent dropouts that were not weather related and I had been keeping a log of my IP changes which related to loss of lock with the xmitter or with overall network down time. The tech from Chico came in and checked their network diagnostics with my CPE and he said my signal strength was marginal at "87dB". He switched it to a channel that showed signal strength of "65dB". That is a massive increase in signal strength! Thank you very much! So we'll see if that terminates the dropouts. In addition, I did a Speed Test tonight and got 3Mb down, 1Mb up. That's about double what I have been getting and is spot on the advertised Download rate for my Excel service (and is about 33% _more_ than the advertised Upload rate).
So, I continue to be relatively happy with my DP experience. Maybe this new channel will eliminate the dropout in the rain storms also. We shall see.
We just got back on the air after being down for 3 weeks. We had to remove the DP antenna from its original tree because that tree had to be removed to make way for a new septic system. We got it reinstalled on Fri. Jan 27 and it is working well. It is one of DP's dish antennas. We have now speed tested it on consecutive days and got 3761/976 and 3550/903. We are on the 3M plan so both speeds are above the advertised "up to"'s.
Regarding the rain dropouts of the previous update, the transponder in the tree failed mid Feb. 2011 and was replaced by the new dish type. No rain dropouts have occurred since then so I think that had been solved.
member for 7.1 years, 202 visits, last login: 191 days ago
updated 1.8 years ago
Review by (hidden by request)
Good "Rural Areas only broadband it's a no brainer ... but better alternatives out there"
- Location: Yuba City,Sutter,CA
- Cost: $55 per month (12 month contract)
Bad "Not a good substitute for Cable Broadband reliability"
Overall "Wireless Broadband ... not quite up to par with Cable in Speed or Reliability"
|Pre Sales Information:|
Value for money:
We signed up for 1 year with Digitalpath.net as an alternative to Comcast
which repeatedly increased our bill each year.
Digitalpath.net is so so. If it's your only option for broadband access
then it's better than Satellite or dial up. Compared with Comcast the
reliability is worse and the speed is consistently lower.
After our year is up and honestly I wish it was tomorrow. I am going back
to Comcast which although more expensive, is much more reliable and
faster. I'd rather pay a bit more knowing that I won't be frustrated by
the daily drop outs from Digitalpath. We have been very frustrated by the
inconsistency with a lot of dropouts (which will last for a few minutes at
a time) then service will be back up ... on clear days with weather
related issues. We are in Yuba City with a clear shot to the Sutter
Buttes so this is really frustrating. Wireless broadband just isn't quite
there yet as an alternative to the reliability of cable as much as I wish
it was. This experiment is over ... or soon will be.
(review was emailed from domain digitalpath.net)
lodged 1.9 years ago