Rural Wireless over LTE

Internet options in Martin County are pretty slim.  Within city limits you can get mostly decent coax high speed internet, or not-so-high-speed DSL.  The coax internet used to be great, but since the company that provides that service got bought out – service has gone to crap – still better than DSL but not by much.  Just barely outside of city limits the options dwindle even more.  DSL reaches a bit further than coax, but the copper for that service has been in the ground for 40 years or more and is extremely unreliable – let along high bandwidth.

Recently, especially within the past few months with so many people going to remote work and remote schooling we’ve had a lot of calls about getting quality internet to homes out in the more rural areas of the county.

DSL service, if it’s even available at the home, is not able to provide enough bandwidth to run work applications like RDP over a VPN or even Citrix.  The only other options in these areas that don’t have DSL available are satellite or a cellular hotspot, both of which have data limits enforced.  Satellite internet service has such a high latency that any kind of work applications can’t function properly.  Some streaming services like Netflix or YouTube can operate with packet retransmissions and by buffering content to deliver it on a crappy connection, but it’s very difficult for a VPN to remain stable on such a high latency connection.  School apps aren’t built to be able to deliver content with high latency networks either unfortunately.  Hotspots have even been deployed to students this year to help with remote learning, and they work great for single user applications, but the wireless range is not that great, not to mention the miniscule data limits.  Heck we even use Verizon MiFi’s at work for remote users, but the unlimited data packages we have aren’t readily and affordably available to consumers.

Point being, there’s a middle ground between a full fledged Cradlepoint and a MiFi hotspot that does the job very well…

One of my clients was struggling with the quality of his DSL service and decided to do a little research into other options.  He came across SimNet Wireless and I suggested he try it for a month and see how stable the connection is.  Boy was it a big difference.  He went from a sometimes up sometimes down ~6/1mbps to a much more stable ~30/5mbps with SimNet’s outdoor antenna/modem.  Their service runs on either the AT&T or T-Mobile USA network and is unlimited…with NO throttling.  Yes, you read that right, no throttling.  That means it’ll keep ticking along at that decent 30mbps all month long.  The connection was stable enough we could establish an IPSec2 VPN from his main office down town to his house and run VoIP phones connected to his server at the office.

Since then, I’ve recommended the service to several other families in the area where no ISP service is available and all have been extremely happy.

Check out the pics of a couple of the installs at a private residence and a church in the outskirts of the county – we’re getting close to 40mbps wired from the modem in Gold Point!

If you’re interested in LTE internet, we can certainly do an assessment to see if it might be an option in your area and help with installation of the outdoor antenna!

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