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The Internet Wireless Networking Technology

WISPS Mean Cable and DSL Aren't the Only Choices 256

Posted by timothy
from the ephemeral-connection dept.
Brett Glass writes "Feel like you're stuck with a no-win choice between expensive cable modem service and slow DSL for Internet? Currently using satellite, with long latencies that make it impossible to do VoIP or interactive gaming? One of America's best kept secrets, so it seems, is the wide coverage of WISPs — terrestrial (not satellite or cellular) wireless broadband Internet providers. The linked article gives an overview of WISPs and provides a handy map showing their nationwide coverage (more than 750,000 square miles of the continental US — and only about one third of the WISPs in the US are on the map so far). Most WISPs are small, independent, consumer-friendly, and tech savvy, making them a better choice than big, corporate ISPs who can't even tell a penny from a dollar."
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WISPS Mean Cable and DSL Aren't the Only Choices

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  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday February 06, 2009 @07:59AM (#26750537) Journal

    Dialup costs me just $7.
    DSL costs me just $15.
    How much is the Wireless Service Provider?

  • Poorly done (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iYk6 (1425255) on Friday February 06, 2009 @08:00AM (#26750543)

    That map is pretty much useless. I looked at it, and there are tiny yellow spots in my state of Oregon, as well as every other state. Unfortunately, the cities are not marked, so I can't tell if those yellow spots cover my city or not. Fail.

  • by Aladrin (926209) on Friday February 06, 2009 @08:15AM (#26750645)

    Are you serious? Did you check out your link at all?

    "If you would like to add your WISP to BWE's National WISP Directory, the cost is $250 per calendar year. If you want to update your listing, you'll need to make sure that you have paid the 2007 listing fee. If you have not paid for the 2007 listing, you can do so by clicking here."

    They charge for listings and probably don't promote at all, and they haven't updated in 2 years!

    I even searched the areas that I've live in recently. Of the 5 or 6 areas I looked at, only the largest had any listings at all. 1 was a dead link, the other sells equipment. It's not even a provider!

  • by c (8461) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Friday February 06, 2009 @08:43AM (#26750841)

    > I don't see how a WISP can really survive against the traditional competition.

    Well, they can't. But, then, what kind of moron is going to target a WISP at a market where they'd go against traditional competition (if you can call the local telco and cable monopolies "competition")?

    I'm on a WISP and while the speeds aren't anywhere near the DSL I used to have in town, the only other option where I live is dial-up. On rural phone lines. Maxing out at about 28kbps. If you want to talk about price and speed sucking, I can tell you all about it. I did the dial-up thing for a bit after being on DSL for years, and it's almost bearable if you have a second phone line, a dedicated dial-up server/router, a wireless LAN, and you know how to batch downloads at night.

    Well, fuck that. As soon as they stuck their gear on the nearest tower, I was signed up. For maybe $200 installation costs and $50/month (which is about $5 more than dial-up and a second phone line), I get well over 20x dial-up speeds and all I have to worry about is the occasional drop out due to weather and tower maintenance.

    If you live anywhere close to a DSL or cable operation, a WISP is a terrible choice. Anywhere else, it's a no-brainer.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday February 06, 2009 @09:00AM (#26750981) Journal

    >>>It must be nice to have such cheap internet.

    If I can get Netscape dialup for 7 dollars a month, you should be able to get it too. As for DSL, I think part of Obama's stimulus bill should include a requirement for ALL phone lines to be upgraded to DSL, if the customer requests it. So you'd simply call-up your Baby Bell, and they'd be forced to upgrade the line for DSL capability. The costs of the upgrade could be funded by the Universal Access Fee.

    Upgrading existing phone lines is the quickest-and-easiest way to provide broadband to virtually everybody.

    >>>AT&T (formerly BellSouth). If you have a land line you can get 768k/128k for $19.99/month, but you must have a land line which adds another $15+/month.

    What's wrong with that? The prices are different ($15 and $5 respectively), but it sounds similar to my setup with Verizon. Oh and yes you can stream video over a 750k line. I just finished watching Live CNN this morning, while downloading Saw 5 in the background. Plenty of speed.

    For comparison the Wireless ISP in my town costs $300 a month. Ouch.

  • by mweather (1089505) on Friday February 06, 2009 @10:04AM (#26751815)
    You're right. Let's just run one wire, but let any Cable company that want to use it, use it.
  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Friday February 06, 2009 @10:41AM (#26752531)

    Long-range wifi with consumer stuff can work.
    I built one for giggles (USB wifi key on old sat dish) and picked up my home signal from miles away... Wife promptly banned me from surfing web during family picnic :(

    Many sites with 'how tos', for example here:
    See here, for ex: http://www.engadget.com/2005/11/15/how-to-build-a-wifi-biquad-dish-antenna/ [engadget.com]

    People have claimed for than 125 mi LOS with bigger stuff.

    All you need is a friend in line of sight with broadband. (OK, a big 'if' in hilly country, but you can always hide a passve repeater in a tree on top of a hill. Again, see instructions on web)

  • by LandDolphin (1202876) on Friday February 06, 2009 @03:56PM (#26757499)
    I know a guy that lives in the woods that would faint at the thought of $20 a month.

    Amazing how different people have different standards of living.

We don't know who it was that discovered water, but we're pretty sure that it wasn't a fish. -- Marshall McLuhan

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