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Fort Lauderdale, FL
|reply to NetFixer |
Re: Clearband (OMGFast)
said by NetFixer:
Or are you still just thinking about switching to a service that may still be vaporware (based on Channel One's reply to this thread)?
"OMGFAST! is a developmental project offering high-speed wireless broadband service in Florida's Broward and Palm Beach counties. We currently have no expansion plans and any future plans would be informed by the business results," Cablevision VP of corporate communications Kelly McAndrew said in a statement provided to FierceCable.
Madness takes its toll, please have exact change ready
actions · 2012-Aug-15 3:37 pm · (locked)
|reply to Robert c |
I've had them for almost a week now. Installation time took an entire day, close to 9 hours. The tech said the average installation time is 4-5 hours. It was done nicely and professionally though and there was no additional cost, so that is good.
The service is fast, that 50mbps is more of an average, I've seen mine top out at 65mbps down. The upload is always 3.2mbps though as that's the limit of the WiMax device.
They use MVDDS for the downlink, it's one way only though so to solve the return path (upload) issue they use a seperate WiMax antenna installed underneath the MVDDS antenna (MVDDS antenna looks like a round satellite dish, the WiMax antenna is an all in one unit, it's white and about 12" x 12" and mounts underneath the MVDDS dish on the same pole).
The WiMax is better at handling tree's and such, the MVDDS requires direct line of sight. I imagine a tree branch wouldn't harm it too much. I learned that the limiting factor on range from their tower is actually the MVDDS portion, the WiMax could go further.
Well the bandwidth is good, the 3.2mbps upload has been a constant, I've never seen it less, and the 65mbps download is sweet, every speedtest I run always shows 45-55 down, but the latency is fairly bad. Pinging to the first or 2nd hop, which is within their network but beyond my house, the latency is 40-65ms and everywhere in between, and it's not consistent either. It's 40 65 42 60 50 59 58 57 40 etc. and that's just within their network. Try pinging out to the regular internet and you'll see increased latency and erratic ping times. For the average user downloading large files, browsing the web, etc. this won't pose too much of a problem; but certain uses, like VoIP and real-time gaming (Call of Duty, Team Fortress, first person shooters, etc.) could be a problem. I have not verified this yet, but I do know VoIP prefers consistent latency, but good VoIP hardware and provider could probably compensate even for this connection. First person shooters I don't usually play on the internet so I'm not sure how well that'd work either but I imagine where latency is everything, it could make a different. My friend plays Call of Duty a lot and he has U-Verse, which also has a latency issue (it's high latency, but consistent), and he said he never noticed the difference until he played using a comcast connection, then he suddenly could tell the difference.
South Florida is an experiment for them (omgfast/clearband). They're testing the technology and making constant improvements. A different friend of mine got it 3 weeks ago and the modem they gave me last weekend was already newer/better than the one they gave him. They're learning and getting better all the time. They're probably losing money for every customer they sign up, just to have a sizeable test bed. Think about it, 50+mbps (again I'm getting up to 65mbps) for $40/month, that's insane, no contract and no installation fee either? that's just awesome, UVerse or Comcast/Xfinity can't touch that (price), but that's the point. They're luring people away from those providers in order to test their MVDDS system. I imagine after some time after all the 'kinks' have been worked out that the big owner will deploy this nationwide.
They've also had 2 outages since I"ve had the service for less than a week. One point the service cut out and about 30m later it came back but at a much lower speed. 8-9mbps down, 3.2mbps up. It turns out the MVDDS system had issues so they switched to 100% WiMax temporarily. It's good to know they can do that and that the WiMax isn't just pure upload only, in a pinch it can download as well, and WiMax is a tried and proven technology, although I'm thinking that's the cause of the high and erratic latency. MVDDS is the real speed, but also what's really being tested here in Florida. It's only going to get better. Anyways, after 4 or 5 hours on pure WiMax at the reduced download speed, the internet cut out again and this time never came back until I called them. After I rebooted all my equipment they were still down so a call to their customer care department and they had to make some change at the tower end after which I came back online. Frustrating yes, but it's all good because I have Comcast as a backup.
This leads me to my conclusion. I think the only way I could have OMGFast today would be to have a backup ISP. OMGFast's MVDDS is an awesome technology that's still being worked on, and eventually they should be rock solid, but for today if you were to use them, I'd have a backup connection. They can't suffer wire cuts like Cable or DSL/UVerse users could. My Comcast cable wire was cut and it took 4 days for Comcast to get out there and fix it. My neighbours phone line was cut (at the same time as my cable, thanks FPL) and it took AT&T 6 days to get out there and fix his line. That wouldn't happen with OMGFast. I think one "hard wired" connection and one "wireless connection" is optimal. I'm personally using OMGFast as my primary connection and I switch to Comcast (who I have on the "Economy" plan for $15/mo) whenever I need to. My boss is getting the service as a backup to his comcast (xfinity, whatever) connection. He's getting Comcast at 50-100mbps but is also concerned about line cuts (especially with the hurricane coming) and general comcast outages, so he's getting OMGFast as a backup connection.
actions · 2012-Aug-23 9:24 am · (locked)
But i don't think clearband will work for me...Being that i live in a townhouse and we're not allowed to have any antenna on the roof
plus i like to play online FPS games.
actions · 2012-Aug-24 12:02 pm · (locked)
Agreed it's not for everyone but I think the more people who do use it the better their system will be. There's nothing like going to speedtest.net and seeing 55mbps downlink, that's insane for a house.
I also like that they're small. The FBI/CIA/NSA has agreements with AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner, etc., the big big ISP's, that allow them to sniff active traffic and see who's doing what all in the name of national security. Former AT&T tech's who have left the company have mentioned "black rooms" where fibre from core routers enter an unknown, highly secured, room on direction and exit the other direction and go into their switches and other routers and such. The techs have no access or info about this room and have nicknamed it the black room. You don't have to worry about it that much on smaller ISP's as the government is right now focused on the big companies. I know they can monitor traffic further upstream, even Clearband/OMGFast has to have a transit carrier, but at least it's one-off.
When a hurricane hits and the phone and/or cable wires are cut, at least wireless will be just fine. I imagine their tower has a nice backup generator, and so if my setup is plugged into my generator, I should be online. Last hurricane that hit took out power and apparently the cable system in my development was dependent on it (like amplifiers and repeaters and such) so no power meant no cable and no internet. So no television, no internet. Cell phone towers were jammed up badly too. Took almost a week for power to be restored. Now I have a generator and I'm betting DishNetwork will work just fine for television and OMGFast will work just fine for internet.
actions · 2012-Aug-24 12:49 pm · (locked)
This post is one of the only things that comes up when I type OMGFAST review into google. So I want to weigh in as I have used the service now for two weeks.
To begin, I play first person shooters such as Team Fortress 2, COD, etc on PC. As someone else has said, there is a jitter rate for ping that goes from 6-30. You really cannot notice the jitter much when playing FPS. At least I don't.
While gaming I use teamspeak, ventrilo, and mumble. I do not notice much lag at all on voice.
Regarding the jitter rate, they are working on the network to lower that. But remember, part of the problem is that the service is over the air and not wired so there may always be a jitter.
As far as outages go, I have not had a real outage. Things have gone very slow at times, but that was during the hurricane. But, even during the hurricane I had internet service.
I have the 50 mbps plan. But, I can get anywhere from 30 all the way to 70 mbps. Downloading is crazy fast. In the time it took me to register for this site and write this, I have already completely downloaded dota 2 from the beginning. For those wondering how long the process was, it was about 10 minutes.
Understand that I am coming from a 1.5mbps DSL connection - the fastest wired connection in my area. So to those with wired connections capable of 30mbps may not be as impressed as I am. However, for only $40 a month after equipment rental fee and tax - compared to the $30 a month for a 1.5mbps connection, I am not complaining.
Mileage will vary, but I canceled my other ISP and am sticking with this company. Customer service is top notch and the installation (which was about 6 hours) was professional and very accommodating to my requests.
actions · 2012-Sep-1 3:44 pm · (locked)
What area are you in? I'm in Coral Springs and I'm considering trying OMGFAST out. I'm a new arrival and I'm hating that the only cable option in Coral Springs is Advanced Cable. From what I've seen, they suck.
actions · 2012-Sep-20 6:46 pm · (locked)