Everyone in the US does not have good internet options!

Posted by on January 19, 2016 in Featured | 3 comments

This topic may come to a surprise to many or maybe not. I apologize to my regular readers as this is a bit off topic. We live about an hour or so outside of Chicago and about 8 miles past the last major suburb. This is not the end of the world, or well maybe it is for technology and communication companies. But for our family, it makes sense because we like the space that crowded neighborhoods cannot provide. I can ride motocross in the backyard, shoot guns and archery, the wife has plenty of space to garden and I don’t have 5 neighbors staring at me while I grill hamburgers. But for these luxuries I live in the 1990’s when it comes to internet service.

The need for better internet with faster speeds and no bandwidth limits is only getting greater each year if not faster. I have not been able to watch a Youtube video without it buffering for 10 years. If we get a new game for PS4 or Xbox One and it requires an update of 1-2gb or more this might force us to wait days before playing. Oh and all this with the console companies wanting to get rid of physical media and go only to downloading games. Using streaming TV and movie services is also extremely difficult.

Sure I’ve tried every possible solution that might exist and so has all of the other people that suffer from these same problems. But the telco, cellular and cable companies do not care about what I would call the “Reverse 1%” when it comes to internet options. There are several cellular companies that provide decent 4G LTE service in our area but to get enough bandwidth to make it usable on a monthly basis would cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

We were customers of a new service called Karma and they offered 4G LTE server with a 5Mb cap but unlimited bandwidth per month. Well that only lasted a few months before the idiots running things over there decided to change things. You can read about it here. They took what was a pretty good option that made it unusable for the people that really needed it. It was good enough that we even paid for two accounts there, one of which was a Christmas gift for our kids. The gift of sort of usable internet, it’s what every kid wants as a present in 2015. This Karma screw up and years of pain is what motivated me to write this.

There is a business opportunity here for someone and they are ignoring it. Back in the early DirecTV days they were not allowed to sell satellite TV service into areas that you could get cable in, until the laws changed. Companies like Verizon, ATT, Sprint, T-Mobile ext. could do the reverse of this. Offer a 4G LTE service with unlimited bandwidth to people in areas that have no or only terrible internet options for a reasonable rate. This does not seem like rocket science, and you don’t have to offer it en masse to others that have good options already. I don’t expect 1Gb internet for $10 a month, but would be willing to pay $150 for unlimited 4G LTE without speed limits.

Sure we could move and after this long it’s something that we are considering. But to find another area that we like that also has good internet will require some time and effort. This problem won’t go away for everyone else because not everyone can or is willing to move. So common man, let’s get this fixed. It’s 2016 and everyone should be able to binge watch their favorite show from Netflix.

bush-hates

 

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

3 Comments

  1. I know what you’re going through, Brian. We also live just outside of our small city, and for YEARS our only real option for internet was satellite. It was slow and expensive. My husband was part of a committee formed by our township for the sole purpose of finding a solution to our internet problem. They contracted with a company to conduct a detailed survey of township residents and generate a report that was subsequently submitted to several major internet providers in the area. The report outlined the residents’ strong interest in bringing in an ISP and even explicitly stated what they were willing to pay for it. However, not one provider was interested due to the lack of population density and the too-long ROI.

    After this giant letdown, my husband was even more frustrated. It was then that he told me he was just going to do it himself. And after thousands of hours of research and a lot of hard work, that is exactly what he did. Fast forward six years… vergennesbroadband.com.

    We provide wireless internet to hundreds and hundreds of families in our area, and ALL of our plans include unlimited data. We sell our product based on the speed of the connection the customer wants, with plans ranging from $39.99/mo to $119/mo. Because of the nature of wireless technology and our incredibly wooded and hilly terrain, our highest speed wireless plan maxes out at 10 mbps. We knew going into this that wireless isn’t the long term solution. Fiber is necessary to ‘future proof’ our company and keep up with ever-increasing bandwidth demand. Because of our success on the wireless side of the business, we were able to launch our first fiber optic project in 2015. We now have rural residents surfing on a steady 25 mbps symmetrical connection with unlimited data! We have plans to add another crew and increase our production rate for the 2016 building season.

    I don’t know what options may exist in your area, but I encourage you to check out wispa.org to see if there are any companies similar to ours that may be operating somewhere near you. If so, and if the opportunity is right, you may be able to entice someone to expand in your direction. If not, you may want to consider having your municipality get involved. Sometimes a bond initiative and a motivated committee is the answer when residents have had it with being left behind! I’m hopeful for you that with enough like-minded people and some research, you will be able to bring decent internet to your community!

    • Hello, thanks for the comment.

      There is a company in our area that provides this type of service, the only option other than satellite. We have been a customer for 10 years, but the problem with they continue to add customers but don’t add bandwidth. So they are very over committed on the backend and this makes for terrible performance, so bad that we were having a great experience with 5Mb on Karma before that went bad.

      I’ve also considered purchasing a good amount of bandwidth and becoming an ISP for my 15 or so neighbors. But being in a rural/residential area getting enough bandwidth with a dedicated line is too expensive or not possible.

      • I understand what you mean. Every WISP has issues during peak usage time, but if you’re always struggling to get bandwidth, then that’s a huge problem. How far away is the nearest fiber? I’m just wondering if you could potentially tap into and lease that, and then either build a tower to rebroadcast or if you have some friendly neighborhood farmer, possibly put a repeater on an existing silo? If you have 15-20 families who are all sick of this and are willing to invest a bit into a solution, you may still have some options. Sorry if this is redundant and you have already explored these types of solutions. Just trying to throw out some ideas in case you haven’t already considered them. I know how frustrating this is!

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