Rural Internet at Its Best

Screen Shot 2013 06 29 at 1 35 14 PM

After three to four months of iffy WiMax Internet service from West Central Net, a local wireless internet provider, we are down to no Internet service most days. WCN has sent multiple service techs out here over the past few months, and even after swapping out our equipment, nothing has helped. The tech that came in on the 20th walked out the door with the internet still down, after saying that he couldn’t do anything for us. This was also after telling Kev that he didn’t even use West Central Net’s service at his home, because he had great DSL in town. Can you imagine?

Screen Shot 2013 06 29 at 1 35 06 PM

Mind you, WCN was a service that worked well for over a year, but it had recently quit being reliable. Nothing has changed on our end, and every tech and customer service person I have spoken to at WCN says nothing has changed on their end. And yet, if I reset my modem here at our house, nothing changes; if they reset the tower we immediately have service, even if it disappears within an hour or so.

But nothing has changed on their end. Right.

Screen Shot 2013 06 29 at 1 37 28 PM

So we finally broke down and are calling Wild Blue, the service we had installed when we first moved to the ranch, and the service that repeatedly let us down any time the weather was bad or we got too near our monthly limits. Kev is on the phone with them right now setting it up, and they will be here to install everything Tuesday, but I will keep paying for West Central Net. Both internet providers are saying that they will be upgrading their equipment and broadband speeds for our rural area soon. I figure that if we have both services, then we can swap back and forth as either one nears its cap or totally blows. If either service ever really does the true broadband upgrade, whatever it may cost, then we’ll cancel the other.

What a ridiculous situation, is all I have to say. I am more than willing to pay whatever it might take for fast and reliable Internet; running the ranch and running Gear Diary each depend upon me having an Internet (even if not that speedy) connection. I would beg, borrow, or steal whatever amount was necessary to get solid broadband at my home, but even if I had the money, there is no way to get it. None.

So in the meantime, I’ll pay almost $200 month for two services that are unreliable, and at times only slightly better than dialup … And as a result I’ll have working Internet, hopefully. Except when I don’t.

Screen Shot 2013 06 29 at 1 39 17 PM

As for my backup plan? The Verizon MiFi that can get a decent lower 3G signal where we live? It is 104° here today. The MiFi was outside on the deck where it could get a clear signal (not under our metal roof, because it matters). Internet service through the MiFi was working, and I was able to get a post edited this morning … And then it got too hot, and the MiFi died. I had to bring it inside, where it is now getting 1X EVDO speeds. Better than nothing, but slower than dialup. It’s how I was able to email this rant to Dan so he could publish it.

1X EVDO means that I can get email on my phones (or iPad), but pulling up a true webpage on my computer is next to impossible, and if it will (eventually) open the process is excruciatingly slow. And it will be like this until Tuesday.

Do you remember all of the misery I endured with satellite service before? (I wrote an article on it, here). It makes me want to throw up realizing that we are going back to it, even as a backup. But if it can help, and if it can save me this serious mental aggravation and frustration, then it will be worth it.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. If you are shopping on Amazon anyway, buying from our links gives Gear Diary a small commission.

About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.