dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
2439
share rss forum feed


SarahVT

@rr.com

[availability] Home / Business Site 23,000' from CO in Central VT - Options?

Hello Everyone,

I am seriously considering a 200+ acre property in Central VT for my home and business. My spouse and I are technical consultants who work remotely and therefore require a solid internet connection capable of handling video streaming, VoIP, and intense uploading / downloading. We may also build a small educational / conference facility on the site which would support video conferencing. Whatever the type of access, we plan on a business / enterprise service level agreement.

So here's the problem: An Engineer from Fairpoint did a site survey for us and says the legal access point to the property on the Southern boundary is 23,000' away from the CO. The Northern boundary of the property is bordered by a small subdivision (20 homes or less) which has DSL. The Engineer believes we may be able to run a line up to the home / utility site from the subdivision but it does not qualify for DSL access "the long way around" (on the Southern side) due to the distance from the CO. The max DSL speed Fairpoint offers is 15/1 according to their website, which would be our minimum acceptable speed. Considering the distance from the CO, I'm concerned we wont get anywhere near that even if we run the line up from the subdivision.

Comcast's website says no service is available at the site, but I will set up a site survey soon. From what I can see on the VT Broadband maps (which are admittedly pretty old now), the nearest group of Comcast subscribers is about 4 miles away. There was an article a while ago that said Comcast wanted to charge a guy $20,000 to go just over 2,500' to his house. If Comcast were to quote me anything like that we're talking $180,000 to get serviced. I have a deep budget, but perhaps not that deep. At that price I'd have to lease bandwidth at wholesale and and become a mini-ISP to my neighbors, which I'm not sure I want to do (tech support: been there, done that).

What I really want is full or fractional DS3 or similar, considering our bandwidth and service level requirements. Bonded T-1 isn't good enough. Fairpoint apparently offer dedicated internet access over Ethernet (E-DIA) according to their website, but I have not been able to work my way up to someone senior enough to tell me if they will (or even can) service this site with E-DIA. Heck, I would take any sort of comparable technology as long as the bandwidth is high enough and the service level is at least business class. We are prepared for significant capital investment in establishing access at the site and ongoing access fees.

From a technical perspective, I believe there are poles along the main road to the site, and certainly poles up through the subdivision, so the line could be run out from the CO along the poles as opposed to trenching. From the point at which the line hits the property boundary (or the access easement) to the demarc - I want it trenched.

My questions:

1. Keeping in mind the challenging distance from the CO, what are my likely options (besides running an non-exclusive DSL line of questionable bandwidth up from the neighboring subdivision)?

2. Who should I talk to? The Engineer at Fairpoint has been nice and helpful enough, but I know I'm not working on the right level. I need someone higher up to know I am SERIOUS about laying a dedicated line out to the site and am prepared to pay for it.

4. Will a broker be an asset in this situation? Would they merely connect me to the LEC (Fairpoint) because they're the only provider in town, or would they connect me to the Tier 1 or Tier 2 provider and bypass Fairpoint for something like a DS3?

5. In the worst case scenario, would fixed terrestrial wireless be an option from a roof-top site situated at 2,200' elevation over forested land? Are there any providers in range of Stockbridge VT?

Thanks in advance for ANY help you can provide -- I'm new to this whole telecoms thing and I'm muddling my way through to try and make a quality connection happen on our prospective site. I know this is going to be a problem with any site we choose, so learning as much as I can is half the battle.

Sarah

mocycler
Premium
join:2001-01-22
kudos:1
Your problem is indicative of why Verizon sold their small New England markets to Fairpoint: Because they just don't want to deal with the engineering hassles and low return on investment.

As you may know DSL can at times be an unstable connection. This might not be such a big deal if all you do is swipe credit cards and do business-related internet use. But for video conferencing, large file transfers...oh my.

Your best and probably only option is a T1, possibly two T1s. They would give you the stability and service level you require. Mind you, it would not be cheap. There are certain amenities that are not easy to come by in remote areas. This is part of what you accept as a tradeoff for fresh air and wide open spaces.

As for offsetting the costs by becoming an ISP, beyond the tech support issues you mention there is also billing & collections, and your state regulators will probably also have a list of requirements, licensing, etc., you need to meet. Let's face it: If it were that easy, Fairpoint would have already done it. Heck, if it were that easy, Verizon would not have dumped you on Fairpoint!

A good place to start would be by simply contacting the Fairpoint business/enterprise sales office. Tell them what you want to do and see what they offer. You might be pleasantly surprised. Researching this stuff on the web by yourself is ok, but at some point you need to deal with a provider.

Honestly, if having a high-grade connection is that big of a deal to you, then I suggest buying property where you know for sure you can get it. The last thing you would want is to buy this place based on promises Fairpoint made only to find out that it isn't going to work out.


SarahVT

@rr.com
Hello mocycler,

Thank you for your candor. As we move through this process of finding and researching parcels of land it is becoming clear that we may have to take the approach you mentioned: select an area where we know the service we need is available and buy land there. Obviously, the problem there is that we are less likely to find the size and characteristics of the land we are looking for - highly wooded, high elevation land of 200+ acres inherently = remote = bad access.

I am concerned about T1 / bonded T1 - it is no where near the bandwidth we require. We are used to having stable connections at 20Mbps and use every single bit of it. Am I underestimating the bandwidth capability of a bonded T1? I keep seeing 3Mbps, which is a is the 2013 equivalent of dial-up in our line of work. That said, Ive never had a dedicated bonded T1 before so maybe I'm missing some critical factor that would make T1 a viable option for us?

Points about becoming an ISP dually noted. If we're going to drop a fat connection to our property, it seems equitable to share it with our 3-5 remote and under-served neighbors who can't afford to drop a line like we can. That said, the administration side is not appealing and the words "licensing and regulations" give me shivers.

I'll take your advice and call the business/enterprise sales team at Fairpoint and see what happens.

Thanks again,
Sarah


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·G4 Communications
·Fairpoint Commun..
·Hollis Hosting
As mentioned getting broadband in rural areas can be a problem, let alone extremely high speed service.

Each T1 is symmetric 1.5Mbs down and up so each bonded T1 adds 1.5 Mbps. Higher speed business class services is of course an option but will be very expensive.

DSL is distance limited at 23kft you are at the outer limits of ADSL2+ coverage range and will probably end up with sub Mbps speed.

Is there a CLEC, competitive local exchange carrier, servicing your area? If so they may be easier to work with then the incumbent.

As mentioned WISP is an option but the speed you require is pretty high.

Is there a way to reduce the speed demand? Are you running servers, if so would hosting the servers help to deduce demand to rural property?

/tom


SarahVT

@rr.com
The speed demand could probably be reduced simply by having a connection which is more stable. For instance, many of our file transfers occur over night when our current circuit is quiet and speeds are higher. If we have a better quality of service with constant speed, file transfers may take longer in general but could occur at any time of the day as long as they do not negatively impact VoIP and conferencing. Its something to think about for sure.

How would I find out if I have a CLEC in the area? I checked Broadband VT and its telling me the only broadband provider is Fairpoint. Less than 5 miles away we have Comcast but they do not officially serve the area. I'm going to contact them anyway and see if they are able / willing to work with me to run cable to the site.

So far I've talked to one broker who has been very helpful with T1 info, so that is looking more positive. The price for the speed of a quad-bonded T1 is extortionate, but what can you do? It may be off-set if our build-out cost is low. Problem is, I wont find out until after we've made the order! Never thought buying land and getting broadband would be like playing roulette.

Thanks for all the help so far


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·G4 Communications
·Fairpoint Commun..
·Hollis Hosting

1 edit
said by SarahVT :

How would I find out if I have a CLEC in the area? I checked Broadband VT and its telling me the only broadband provider is Fairpoint.

One of the reasons T1 is so expensive is because it is a commercial service and comes with Service Level Agreement. While slow it should be very reliable.

I assume BroadbandVT is the Federal/state mapping project like »www.iwantbroadbandnh.org/ It should have the most accurate data available.

May be worth a try to contact the state public utility commission to see if they have any additional info. Another possibility is the local Chamber of Commerce and local government of the town you intent to build. May get a pleasant surprise but I would not get your hopes up too much.

Bottom line - broadband in the boonies is a problem.

/tom


SarahVT

@rr.com
Yes, you're right about Broadband VT being the federal/state mapping project. I will give the resources you recommended a shot - can't hurt to try

Thanks!


hawk82

join:2001-04-26
centralmaine
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to SarahVT
23k feet is just too far for any dsl on older copper (trust me on this, I install DSL service regularly), unless there is a DSL-enabled SLIC/RT near where you are going to be living. Only FP would be able to tell you whether you are in range of one. T-1s at that range are also pushing it (since they are commonly pushed out as HDSL or SDSL circuits).

They'd sell you fiber circuit but I would guess it would cost a fortune for the build out and take a long time. The cell carriers do this to backhaul traffic from their remote cell sites, as they can afford the fiber buildout costs and sign multi-year contracts. Comcast might also sell you a dedicated circuit, but you'd have to talk with them.

I would look into a WISP if possible. See if any are around. It would be cheaper to put up a radio tower than a fiber optic line. Plus you might be able to work out a deal with the WISP to allow them to service other potential customers nearby by using your tower.

mocycler
Premium
join:2001-01-22
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to SarahVT
said by SarahVT :

I am concerned about T1 / bonded T1 - it is no where near the bandwidth we require. We are used to having stable connections at 20Mbps and use every single bit of it. Am I underestimating the bandwidth capability of a bonded T1? I keep seeing 3Mbps, which is a is the 2013 equivalent of dial-up in our line of work. That said, Ive never had a dedicated bonded T1 before so maybe I'm missing some critical factor that would make T1 a viable option for us?

The big advantage to T1 is the stability (always the same speed) and symmetry (same speed both directions). They have been around since the 1970's and are still very popular for videoconferencing, so for at least that part of your application I don't see why T1 would not be acceptable.

If you are used to 20 mb connections, I'm going to assume it was high grade DSL/cable (which are never as fast as they claim and have latency issues) or a fiber optic circuit (which costs big $$).

What you are missing is that you are thinking about this only in terms of bandwidth/speed and there many other considerations that a T1 would satisfy. T1 is expensive for you because they charge by the mile...and the distance is measured from your provider's access point, which is not necessarily the nearest telephone central office. Unlike DSL, there really is no distance limit to T1 as long as you're willing to pay.

In the end, you either take what is available or move somewhere that has more options, right? The decision may be made for you. Since you have the budget, it would be worthwhile to hire a consultant who can evaluate your exact situation and come up with a solution, or if the case may be, tell you there is no solution in the area you are looking. At least you'll have an informed answer.

neosomatic

join:2011-05-23
Pittsfield, VT
reply to SarahVT
I have been thought this before in Central Vermont.

Moved from NJ about three years ago and was very used to FIOS. My wife and I both work from home and our jobs require a decent connection.

The phone wiring to the house we purchased in Vermont was in really bad shape. We ended up with constant static and a dsl line that would not stay connected.

After 10+ service calls it became clear the only solution was to sell the house or try ordering a T-1 that would force Fairpoint to replace the wiring on the poles leading to the house.

We ended up signing a contract for a T-1 for 1 year at about $500 a month. We did get some quotes on a 10 Meg ethernet connection from Fairpoint at the time. I believe the quote was about 2k a month.

Once the T-1 was installed our DSL started working great and we recently were able to upgrade to 15/1.

However the entire thing took 6+ months to get the T-1 installed. It was painful working from home during those times. We have since canceled the T-1 and now use the DSL line as our primary connection.

We have also a 4G Verizon antenna on the roof for failover. Whats funny is the 4G connection gets about 15 down/5 up most of the time. However usage would be very pricey as your primary connection.

If we had it to do again there is no way I would ever pick a property not covered by Comcast and DSL. ( or any two different providers)

We did reach out to Comcast during the entire ordeal - however there is now Cable provider at all in our town. There is not a lot of motivation for them to extend lines to these areas where 5 or 6 people would be connect per mile.

Not sure where you are looking in central Vermont but they have a "grass roots" fiber company in the area - »www.ecfiber.net/

There is also a "home" based Verizon service - »www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/home···/main.do