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jsm55555

join:2011-07-12
Waxahachie, TX

Rural area south of Dallas -need new ISP!

We live in a rural area south of Dallas, about 5 miles west of Waxahachie. No cable, no DSL. We had wireless (Motorola Canopy) that worked very well until Skybeam bought the company and oversubscribed the lines. Our bandwidth dropped from 5-7Mb to about 100kb, and we lost quite a bit of money from our inability to send email, etc (my wife and I both have home-based businesses). Out of desperation, we signed up last year for a T1 line from Earthlink/Covad, but it's costing us about $500/mo with taxes, and really isn't very reliable. Of course, the bandwidth is just 1.4MB, so it's not much of a solution. Our cellular coverage (AT&T) is terrible, getting worse for some strange reason - we cannot make cellphone calls in most of the rooms of the house - so that's not a good option. I've heard the horror stories about satellite, but we simply MUST find something better than what we have now - our Earthlink contract will expire in a couple of months and we don't want to renew. Does anyone have any suggestions?


burner50
Proud Union THUG
Premium
join:2002-06-05
Fort Worth, TX
kudos:1
I'm assuming you don't have cable TV?

I would try to find another wireless provider.

jsm55555

join:2011-07-12
Waxahachie, TX
Nope, we don't - we use DirecTV for television. There's only one wireless provider within range of us and that's Skybeam. I'd rather move to the city than deal with those guys again! I keep thinking that one of the cellular companies will come up with something, I'd put up a tower if that would work, maybe fix my cellphone problem and internet problem at the same time. You'd think that we were in the middle of the Sahara desert, but we're just about 40 miles from Dallas and 5 miles from "downtown" Waxahachie. I just don't know what to do...

switchman

join:1999-11-06
reply to jsm55555
Can't you get service from Time Warner?

jsm55555

join:2011-07-12
Waxahachie, TX
No, not here - we don't have cable tv of any kind


T1 Rocky

join:2002-11-15
Dallas, TX
I'm afraid that a T1 is your best option. You should be getting exactly 1.544 up and 1.544 down (there's no such thing as degradation on T1 lines like you get with dsl / cable etec.) So if your running speed tests and its less than say 1.3 Mbps call covad and raise hell. There's just nothing else out that way and satellite will be a big step down from the T1.

Sorry to hear about skybeam (I was a minority owner in Aircanopy.)

switchman

join:1999-11-06
reply to jsm55555
If you had a friend or relative that could get good service in town, you could always set up you own backhaul if they would let you.

jsm55555

join:2011-07-12
Waxahachie, TX
reply to T1 Rocky
Yeah, we're getting a consistent 1.44mb up/down with our T1 - the problem is that it goes out every time it rains, sometimes for 4 hrs or so - I think that's because covad doesn't have a gateway in the Waxahachie office, and they're microwaving the connect from DeSoto to Waxahachie. We're actually closer to Midlothian than Waxahachie, but we have a Waxahachie phone number and that's the way AT&T rolls The other problem is the cost - $500/mo for what amounts to slow DSL is just outrageous, but it's the best we can do.

I sure wish the principals in AirCanopy would consider establishing a new service - we LOVED AirCanopy, the connection was fast and reliable, and the support was excellent. All that changed when the Utah company (Skybeam) bought them out and oversubscribed their backbone. There's another wireless company in the area, but they say that we can't "see" their tower. I offered to put up a 50' tower, but they said that they "don't do that" (that is, place their antenna on top of a tower). The only other wireless company has nothing but complaints, so they're not an option.

I just checked BBB last night and Skybeam now has an "F" rating - I was hoping that they might have gotten their act together, because they've launched a big ad campaign here, saying that their service is 'fast and reliable.' Unfortunately, the complaints on BBB's website are fresh (June 2012) so they obviously aren't really working on their problems.

I just hate to renew our T1 contract for another year, if there's something better. But I'm not finding a single option out there other than T1 at about $500/mo. Bummer...

jsm55555

join:2011-07-12
Waxahachie, TX
reply to switchman
How would I go about that? I heard about a guy who put up a microwave tower in his pasture in exchange for free Internet from Earthlink, but when I contacted Earthlink they didn't know what I was talking about. I have about 5ac in the back of my house where I could put up a tower if I could actually talk to someone who was interested.


motorola870

join:2008-12-07
Arlington, TX
kudos:4
reply to switchman
Time Warner Cable does not serve Waxahachie. Charter does and they are doing work on that system to bring them up to par with offerings right now they only have analog and digital cable and H.S.I. in the city limits only. Outside of the city limits they only offer analog and digital cable. The city of Waxahachie proper has been for the most part upgraded to 860MHz to be able offer HDTV and VOD but the outskirts are still at 450MHz and cannot support internet on the cable lines in those areas.


T1 Rocky

join:2002-11-15
Dallas, TX
reply to jsm55555
Getting someone to put a tower in your yard is plain dumb luck. Usually they will contact you because you have an optimal location (your close to a neighborhood where they think that they can make $$.) And usually they pay you a lease to have the tower there. But where you are there, its flat and there's a ton of water towers and that's what most of them use rather than constructing a new tower.

I didn't know about the backhaul from Covad....I think that I would talk to someone else about getting a T1 down there. I suspect that the problem your having is how they are handling the backhaul.

You might try Logixcom.com and make sure that they knows your already with Covad. I say that because frequently these companies are reselling each other's stuff so you will want to make sure the change you do is to the network and not just to who your sending your checks to. Apryl Pauvlov is over there and she knows the networks so ask for her and she will make sure that you will indeed be hitting a different network.

greenwood903

join:2012-11-20
Wilmer, TX
reply to jsm55555
Did Y'all find a better provider?

jsm55555

join:2011-07-12
Waxahachie, TX
No, I'm afraid we haven't - I think our Earthlink/Covad service is now month-to-month, and they raised the rate slightly (the first year was a promotional price). It's now over $500/mo. Still having lots of outages during storms (or even just rain!)

There's a service in the Dallas/FtWorth area called "Clear" and it looks very good. In fact, I recommended that one of my clients give it a try when SBC screwed-up her DSL. She loves it, it's cheap and fast. Unfortunately, there are no 4GLTE towers near us - that's probably the reason for our lousy AT&T cellular service here. Hoping that Clear will put a tower down this way to serve the thousands of residents - the area is building up, lots of new construction.

The solution is, of course, for the feds to encourage new (local/small business) investment in rural broadband, as they said they would back in 2008. Unfortunately, that appears to have just been political-speak, and small businesses are struggling to wade through more and more regulation. I know two other people beside myself who could put together investment for a viable broadband business, but none of us are interested in divesting cash when the business outlook is so murky. I really don't see any hope on the horizon at least until 2016.


ilikeme
I live in a van down by the river.
Premium
join:2002-08-27
Sugar Land, TX
kudos:1
Whatever you do, do not get Clear! I tried them for a while and they were horrid!