The Joys of Rural Internet Access

Since moving back into a rural area, I’ve had to give up my precious high-speed Internet options and settle for what’s left. Downtown, I can choose between Comcast cable (boasting up to 6Mb downloads), Verizon DSL (3Mb downloads), Sovernet SDSL (1.5Mb), or a T1 line in my office building.

Out in the sticks, however, the options are fewer. I am restricted to the wonders of satellite, cellular, and dialup.

We’ve had Wildblue for satellite Internet for the last year, and it’s been pretty terrible. I decided to go with Wildblue after a client of mine had it installed, and it worked extremely well. There was very little latency, and I could run a VPN connection over it. Unfortunately, my experience with the service was not nearly as good, and it turned out to be very slow, and drops several times a day, requiring me to power cycle the modem, and often just going without service for a long time.

I tried using an EVDO card from Verizon Wireless, and also using my Nokia e61 as a cellular modem from my current provider, Unicel. Unfortunately, despite my installing a cellular repeater in my house, the signal is not strong enough to sustain a reliable Internet connection.

So, I’m biting the bullet, and ordering another telephone line. In the year 2007, the best Internet access option I have at my house is dialup. 26.4kbps.

Pathetic.

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