Martins Store Broadband over Powerline Update February 27, 2009

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Nelson County, Virginia
The latest email blast from IBEC Friday afternoon.

From: “IBEC Customer Service”
Date: February 27, 2009 5:07:43 PM EST
To: “info”
Subject: Martins Store Broadband over Powerline Update February 27, 2009

Martins Store Substation BPL Update

February 27, 2009

Great News! The long awaited connection to the Martins Store Substation head end is now active. The circuit was released to IBEC this morning and we now have access. You may recall that it was due two weeks ago, but one of the T-1 lines that comprise the circuit was not working. The problem was identified as a bad card and Verizon put in an order for a replacement only to find that the replacement was also bad.

Now that the circuit is operational, all three injection points are “hot” and Internet traffic is flowing down the powerlines. As with the areas served by Woods Mill injection point and with the Afton injection point, the IBEC engineers will start activating and configuring the BPL backbone equipment that hangs along the powerlines served by the Martins Store substation injection point. Each unit will be tested and brought online.

Along with the engineers in the IBEC Network Operations Center, the Davis H. Elliott crews will be working along the lines, to help resolve any local problems that appear with the BPL network activations. IBEC would have been aware of and resolved these problems when they first hung the BPL equipment if the T-1 lines were operational at that time. Now that the BPL network is passing Internet data, the engineers and linemen are addressing any locations where the BPL signal is blocked or less than optimal.

IBEC is bringing subscribers online as each section of the network is tested. Last week we described the BPL sections of the Martins Store substation area.

The injection point at the Martins Store substation feeds three BPL circuits:
· Afton 1 – runs north along Route 151 to Greenfield Road
· Woods Mill 1 – runs along Route 6 to Route 29 and then to points south
· Nellysford 1

As we reported this injection point now has an Internet connection and the activation process will begin. IBEC will contact you when they are ready to activate you BPL modem. IBEC also has more BPL equipment to hang in some sections of this area.

The injection point on Rockfish River Road is divided into two BPL circuits:
· Woods Mill 3 – furthest away from the substation and
· Woods Mill 2 – closer to the substation and Route 29.

Crews focused on this area last week and found a number of noise sources that needed to be corrected as well as some equipment that needed to be replaced. Work will continue next week with an additional crew. IBEC also has an additional engineer in the field to help mitigate any issues that might arise. We have had some good reports from people whose service has been activated and hope that others will send comments to service@ibec.net.

The two Afton injection point BPL circuits begin at Tanbark Drive. Last week, we erred in noting that it ran along Route 29. Here is a better description:
· Afton 3 section is located furthest from the substation, running north along Route 151 and to points east and west.
· Afton 2 section runs south along Route 151 and to points east and west and serves down to Greenfield Road.

The Afton section did not have as many noise issues as the Woods Mill section, but the crews and engineers worked on those that were present as well as any blocking issues. Next week, the crews must finish hanging customer access units in the Afton 3 section. We also have has some good feedback from those online in this area and hope to hear more as we unblock that area and activate new subscribers.

With the addition of another crew and the troubleshooter, next week should be productive and open great sections of the BPL network for online access. If you are contacted by IBEC by telephone, please get back in touch with us, so that we can activate your modem and ensure that you have an optimized configuration.
Thanks again for your patience,
IBEC Customer Service

51 COMMENTS

  1. The notes comments, “We have had some good reports from people whose service has been activated and hope that others will send comments to service@ibec.net.”

    Is there a public forum or blog on which these comments can be seen by others?

  2. Greg, not that we have been able to tell thus far. And again, we have not received a single online comment one on Sunday that does express a positive experience with 270kbps browsing, from anyone using the service. Though we do have emails of complications occurring with its implementation over in the Faber area. You would think in this day and time as easy as it is to put a blog page up (literally in 30 seconds) they would have a forum where folks could post their experiences. Or maybe there’s a reason why they don’t????

    Changing gears just a bit, we know of another person, this one near you, that just went to the nTelos mobile broadband. She told us Friday that her service is working beautifully. She’s about a mile from you on the right before you top the hill. They are canceling Wildblue and sending back their BPL modem.

    Another went to it last week who lives just off of 151 on the left before you make the turn toward you guys, same good results. Here’s what she said in another thread:

    Amy W. says: February 27th, 2009 at 4:34 pm
    We got our nTelos card today, and it’s lightening fast compared to WildBlue. They weren’t sure we’d get service down here (we’re in the ski barn/spruce creek area) but we are, and it’s been a huge improvement. I would highly recommend it … give John a call and tell him I sent you 🙂 BPL modem is getting returned on Monday! Thanks to all for the info posted here – I wouldn’t have known about the nTelos option if it wasn’t for you guys!

    -T-

  3. IBEC service is great! Our service was up and running Friday night. The customer service department helped with the initial setup and 1,2,3 dial-up became part of the past.

    We installed a wireless router onto the service Saturday with no problem.

    Congratulations to IBEC for working diligently to provide us with a great alternative for internet connectivity.

    Shelby Ralston
    Afton (Rt 151 – two and half miles north of Martins substation)

  4. Well, good to hear some news. We will check out the nTelos alternative, of course. Thanks for continuing to bird dog this pesky little bugger.

  5. Since I am not the most computer literate, is that supposed to be 270Kbps instead of Mbps? Maybe I am not doing as good as I thought at 700 kbps. Thanks.

  6. Air cards…

    Has anyone else experienced the alltel air card as inconsistent? My speeds fluxuate CONSTANTLY from as low as 150kbps to 900kbps. When you are 900, it will drop and then speed back up while you are downloading…I am not as impressed anymore. However, there really isn’t any other alternative right now.

    I do hope that IBEC gets it all up and working and does away with the 256kbps offering and does like a 1mb, 3mb, and 5mb deal in the future. That would be nice.

  7. I now have my BPL up and running. It doesn’t seem to be symmetrical. I am consistently running 350-400kbps download and around 120-150kbps on upload. Latency is excellent, however. If the service stays up and working, it might not be all that bad.

  8. That is great news to hear Rev Thompson. We had a report from another yesterday near Bland Wade Road area that just activated BPL and said it was doing pretty well for them. We have not received a call from them yet for activation here, so we don’t know what we will encounter down this way.

  9. Sorry for so many posts. 🙂 Just want to make sure I am being fair and accurate. Now that I have continued using and testing the BPL connection, the upload speeds are just about the same as the download speeds. So far so good.

  10. Rev Thompson, did you call them to activate or did they call you? We still have no activation here less than a mile from Martin’s Store?

  11. Tommy,

    What kind of latency or ping rates are you getting? This is exciting news indeed. I have had pretty good luck with my alltel cell phone tethering but am not a huge fan of the latency rates (300+ms minimum). Hopefully they’ll get us Faber people hooked up soon. As the powerline goes, I’m about a mile, mile and a half north of the Faber post office.

  12. Just got off the phone with IBEC and though we’re right in between Shelby and Martins Store, the customer service rep said we still need a CAU (sp?) hung on our pole. He says he’s not sure when crews will get to my area.

  13. Hi guys,
    I called them and found that somehow my mac address wasn’t published correctly. So we changed that and then i was connected (I did have to move to a different outlet though…you can’t have much noise on the outlet…my rating now is about 9/12).

    I am consistently gettng about 130-160ms ping. 200-400kbps download and about 200-260kbps upload.

    I am bummed today. I am sitting at a place here n Nellysford and the owners have DSL. I am running 3Mbps here! Why can’t we get this? It is through Verizon based on what speedtest.net tells me…

  14. NCL,
    They called me last Wed. and told me that I should be able to surf. I got home that evening and found that I couldn’t actually. I called back the next day and found that they had the wrong MAC address for me. I had them change it and then called back the next day and had someone do a connection test and voila, I was working.

    However, the outlet I had it in wasn’t the outlet where I wanted the modem permanently. When I moved it to my preferred location, the signal was not good enough. So I had to move it somewhere else (which wasn’t a big deal).

    Then, when I plugged it in to my cradlepoint router, it would not work. Neither would it work with my Linksys router. They tried and tried on their end…nothing. Finally they gave me a static IP and now it works fine.

    All this is to say that it is a REAL PAIN to get it working the way you need it to, so MAKE SURE you have PLENTY OF TIME TO BE ON THE PHONE AND MAKE SURE YOU DO IT ALL AT ONCE. Have your router ready and make sure you have your equipment where you want it before you call. Also, make sure you have MAC addresses for all equipment (computer and router). If you need help finding that info, let me know.

  15. Rev Thompson, Thanks for the updates. Like I said you are our clergy technology correspondent! The broadband disciple! Yesterday Yvette called them to have our BPL service activated. Last October they hung the unit on the pole and made the necessary connections. We have pictures of them doing this and made posts on this site about it. The people there had no record of them ever hanging the unit, Yvette emailed them a picture. They then told her they weren’t sure it was connected. (Our own test in our network panel here shows internet connectivity through their equipment, but the pipe is not open giving us the web) I suspect incorrect addresses as you mentioned somewhere. They took our router mac address months ago last summer but, no surprise, can find record of that either. The end result was they couldn’t tell when it would be active.
    It may sound as though we are being overly harsh on the guys at IBEC, but we are simply stating the facts. They seem very unprepared to do this launch, and are very ill informed about their own network.

  16. I live on Hickory Creek Rd about 1/2 mile off of Rt. 29. I was connected on March 13 (Friday the 13th). I have since spent LOTS of time on the phone with the IBEC technical staff. They are very pleasant and I suppose helpful, except – that my rate ranges between 11 – 134 download and 13 – 110 upload. Occasionally I have diffulty accessing the Internet. Apparently the placement of the modem is a very crucial thing. I have spent lots of time trying it in various outlets around the house. (Each time it is plugged it it has to wait 10 to 30 minutes to stabilize – very time consuming)We have located a more productive outlet. I will prdobably be getting a repeater since there is no way my computer can be hooked up there. There was also a fair amount of difficulty establishing the internet connections in my computer. There are several aspects. Mark finally came through and got it so that all of that is now cleared up. I spent so much time the first 2 weeks that I am taking a break now. Actually, it is much better than the dial up (most of the time, when I can get on). I have been told that they are not sure where the interference is – that they are working on clearing it up. For the time being I’m hoping I can be patient. I was told I would not be charged until the speed was adequate (250) is my understanding. I’d be interested to know if anyone else on Hickory Creek has been connected. Also has anyone else had a similar experience and had success.?

  17. Youse guys are reinforcing my decision to ask IBEC for a refund and stay with nTelos Air Card. My BP is high enough anyway and I sure would not like to have to spend hours on the phone. On an earlier post I implied that someone may have taken lessons from IBEC. Now I am beginning to believe that the techies out there have studied and adopted Verizon’s ways of customer service!

    Question: what does it mean when Rev. Tommy says “about 130-160ms ping”?

    At this moment, Speakeasy says I have 947 kbps down and 326 up; I can’t complain about that!

  18. As I’ve confessed before, I am not a techo-wizard. How does mobile broadband work and who is the John I need to call and how do I get a hold of him? I called Ntelos about their broadband capability and they said all they had was portable broadband. They said it should work in my area (7 miles South of 151/250W intersection). I received the antenna yesterday and have not been able to get a signal great enough to match the speed of my current dial-up (46KBS). So I’m sending that modem back. I asked about the new tower in Nelson County and was told that wasn’t a portable broadband tower and it was only for cell phone service. I’m confused!

    I was interested to hear about IBEC service near Bland Wade Ln. I live on Bland Wade Ln and have not been notified about activating my system. Guess I’ll have to call IBEC tomorrow and see what’s going on.

  19. Hi C.R, Mobile broadband and 3G are fancy terms for highspeed wireless internet. Many cellular carriers realized that since they were going to the expense of building out high dollars cell towers, and the demand was there for people wanting high speed internet on their cell phone/pda (personal digital assistant) they might as well offer high speed internet to anyone wanting it within range of their towers. Mobile broadband generally involves plugging in a small USB antenna to your computer that receives the signal. Then if you are range you have service. That service usually runs anywhere from 30.00 to 60.00 per month depending on plans, carriers, etc.

    As far as the new 151 tower, I have not been told it would only be cell and not mobile broadband in any of my conversations with the two people I have spoken with at nTelos in the know. I would find it hard to believe they would be putting all of the money into a brand new site and not make it 3G (high speed internet) capable. Unfortunately I have found that many of the regular customer representatives at both nTelos and IBEC aren’t armed with the correct information to give the end users like you and me. More often than not, they have given out incorrect information.

    As for contact information for John Apesa, you can reach him direct at 540.457.2000 or you can email him at apesajo@ntelos.com – We talked about him in this post (click here) several weeks ago. He should be able to answer any questions you have on the nTelos products.

    -T-

  20. Hi Chuck,

    “Question: what does it mean when Rev. Tommy says ‘about 130-160ms ping’?”

    He is referring to the time it takes for his computer to say hello to the internet, and the internet to say hello back. Satellite internet usually takes a second or two, dial up takes about 1/3 of a second (I’ve found my cellular internet to be about the same as dial-up), and he is saying that his is around 1/10th of a second to 1/8th of a second. Comparatively cable and DSL are usually in the ballpark of 1/20th of a second, and fiber optic (like Verizon’s FiOS service) is about 1/50th of a second.

    This is a seperate measurement from throughput, which is how much data that can be sent per second. It is a combination of these two measures that show how “speedy” the internet is. This is why satellite internet services seem slow and fast at the same time — after you click a link, it takes a little while and then the new page appears quickly. The ping rate is very high (bad), but the throughput is also high (good). Comparatively dial-up is usually pretty snappy at responding to clicks, but takes forever to load the page. This is because its ping rate is fairly low, but its throughput is extremely low. In a perfect world you’d have tiny ping rates and massive throughput.

    For most situations, the ping rate isn’t all that important. There are some things where it is critical though. Online gaming and VOIP (Voice over IP — services like Vonage or Skype) in particular need very low ping rates. I hope that explains it fairly well.

  21. Tommy and C.R.,

    It is all about the lingo with cellular companies. The “Mobile broadband” that NTELOS offers is a high speed internet solution that Ntelos has decided to roll out. It is a different technology than 3g — 3g is cell phone related, whereas “Mobile Broadband” is more like a long-range WiFI setup. That is why the mobile broadband needs a line-of-sight to the afton mountain tower to work properly, while cell phones don’t need line of sight to get signal. 3G stands for “third generation” and refers to the evolution of cell phone technology. 1 Analog, 2 digital, 3 digital with data.

    So when you are talking to ntelos about mobile broadband, its an internet technology. When you talk to them about cell phone tethering, thats a *data* technology. Another important word is “tethering” which is the title for using your cell phone as a modem hooked to your computer. For some reason the sales reps at cellular companies work in terms of the buzzwords, not the underlying capabilities. They’ll sell you a data service that you can use to get on the internet, but they if you ask them about an internet service, they may or may not suggest that data service as an option. Good luck!

  22. Thanks Daniel, you have you stuff together on this! Yea, am finding with the mobile broadband offered by nTelos is very much a case by case basis. They have added sites both at Wintergreen and in Stoney Creek on Hearthstone Ridge. The 151 site still awaits activation, or at least they say it does. And thanks for the clarification on the 3G vs mobile broadband, I was incorrectly, under the assumption that mobile broadband and 3G shared the same data stream. -T-

  23. I’m on HIckory Creek just about a half mile beyond Peggy and have NOT been hooked up with IBEC yet. I emailed/called back and forth with them and at first they said there was no service in my area and then that they were working on some issues. Maybe Peggy’s mediocre service feedback is making them fix it before they hook us up?
    Does anyone know if ntelos works in Faber?!!

  24. Thanks to Daniel and Tommy for your info. I was talking to Alltel today in C-ville about a cell phone issue. They told me they are now offering mobile broadband in my area. It is $59.95/mo w/ unlimited service. They say that signal strength in my area is “good” with some areas nearby “excellent” and others about the same distance in a different direction reporting as “fair.” Download speeds are supposed to be 200 to 700 kbps with upload speeds about 100 to 200 kbps. The agent said they will have an upgrade at the end of this year that will double the download speed and another at the end of 2010 which is supposed to increase download speeds to over 1.5 MBPS and to increase upload speeds tenfold. They have a 15 day trial period. The tower closest to me looks like is may be somewhere near Batesville. This may be an option for those of thus in the northeast corner of Nelson.

    I don’t know how the Alltel plan compares to Ntelos except it is more expensive per month but I don’t know whether Ntelos plan is limited to how much data you can transfer per month.

    It was an interesting discussion. My sales rep was a former Ntelos sales rep and the data guy she had me talk to is a former Ntelos mobile broadband customer.

    I’m interested in hearing what Ntelos has to offer.

    Thanks again for the help and for hosting this great website.

  25. I sure appreciate Daniel’s and Tommy’s clarifications/explanation. (Now I can sleep easier, knowing what a ping rate is!)
    I agree that some nTelos sale staff seem to lack technical expertise, so one has to keep searching for someone in the know. The service is $39.95 a month and as Tommy pointed out some time ago, there is a special offer for the air card. when one gets through to a human being at nTelos, try to reach and/or leave a message for Joe Crouch — he is very knowledgeable and helpful.

    I think I am connecting to a tower that is about 1000 feet away on the other side of US 29, the old sawmill place. I’d bet others in Woods Mill could likewise get a very good signal– especially because I believe that there are actually three sets of nTelos towers between here (i.e., the Wayside) and the county line on US 29. Connection speed as I write this is 1000 kbps down and 327 up.)

  26. Hi Chuck, and Daniel. We received our Novetel nTelos mobile broadband card yesterday and so far so good. I have just now finished configuring it for some testing here, the Apple configs are a little more involved, but not terrible. So I have no exact speed test to post yet, but can tell you it is pretty much smoking and we have 3-4 bars here with good EVDO service. I’ll post our performance speeds later today when I get a chance to get back to it. Ironically, Hughesnet just FAPed us last night after a pretty large OS update….Telling them goodbye won’t be soon enough!

  27. Tommy: Re: Hughesnet–I have a friend who started that service recently (he lives way down near Amherst not too far from Lowesville) and says he connects very slowly. Also, his laptop works at home with Hughesnet, but today at a place with DSL it would not connect using a regular network cable — he thinks there is some setting that the satellite people made in the laptop. I could not figure it out. Anyone have any ideas? (He said the HN tech people speak only “Indian” so he does not want to call them!)

    My nTelos Air Card is a Franklin Wireless CDU-680.

    NTelos’ Joe Crouch extension is 4169, I believe, at their 877 number.

  28. I have been using Alltel Mobile for my Apple lap top for about a year now and have had great success with it ! It works great in Wood’s Mill and it sure makes being a passenger in a car on a long trip more fun ! I never leave home without it when traveling ! I do still want the BPL for my home main computer. Also when I have guests they can get work done with the BPL- so that is a plus in my eyes.

  29. Chuck,

    I have HughesNet and haven’t seen any performance issues other than the normal ones due to the satellite connection. Without knowing more about what your friend means by “connects very slowly”, I can’t help there.

    As for why his laptop can’t connect to the network using an ethernet cable and a dsl router, it may be the network settings have been set to use a fixed ip address or fixed dns server ip addresses rather than allowing them to be set dynamically via dhcp. He might find http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/networking/setup/default.mspx helpful (assuming he is using Windows).

    Tommy,

    Can you use your connections to find out if the rest of Nelson County can ever expect BPL or wireless broadband? I can’t get any meaningful response from IBEC regarding future availability in the Howardsville area of Nelson County. It is frustrating to see the roll out of BPL and wireless broadband in the Nellysford area and to hear that Nellysford even has DSL while those of us farther out from the “seats of power” in the county, have nothing.

  30. Bob, you’re right. We have been using a Linksys wireless router with our Hughesnet sat internet from the beginning about 5 years ago. Works beautifully, but as I have mentioned we deplore the FAP provision and just recently blew through it night before last doing a software upgrade on the OS. But, other than that and 22,500 mile latency, plus the very expensive rates, it does work well for what it is.

    As for the BPL deployment in other areas, I don’t know. But I do have a meeting later this month with one of the principals in IBEC to discuss the state of things, where they are, and where they are headed. I’ll be happy to specifically ask that question. While yes, technically they may be able to offer BPL to some residents/businesses in the Nellysford area, they are mainly deploying in areas outside of Nellysford/Stoney Creek/Wintergreen proper. As you mention those areas already have both cable and DSL as high speed options. And if either of those is available I could see no reason one would choose BPL. Right now they are concentrating mainly north of Route 6 along 151 toward Afton, and east toward Faber, Woods Mill and south on 29. There will be areas south of Nellysford as well that will be getting service n this deployment when completed.

  31. Okay, I haven’t had internet service through IBEC since Saturday evening now. I called today and they said there is too much noise in the area. They said they don’t know when they will send someone out here but it might be this week sometime.

    I am wondering if this is going to be a consistent problem? I really wish we had some other alternative out here! I have an alltel card right now…however, the latency is anywhere fom 313ms to 999ms! The download speeds are anywhere from 200kbps to 600kbps. I don’t think its worth the 59.99/month price plus the cost of the card (though you get a rebate if you sign a 2 YEAR CONTRACT!!!)

  32. Rev Thompson, we have been, so far, successfully using the nTelos aircard here since last Thursday. We are still in the testing phase, and jury is still out, but so far, so good. We will be combining it with a wireless router later this week. But seems like you said you tried that and it didn’t work in your setting. IBEC, or subcontracting crews, were here today poking around the pole beside our place, but never came to the door so we don’t know what’s up. We still do not have service thus far. I do have a meeting with one of the IBEC principals next week and hope to get some information then.

  33. Just got off the phone with IBEC and after 45 minutes of troubleshooting, we couldn’t get an adequate signal from various outlets in the house. The nice support guy told me Asa would be getting in touch with us Tuesday so we’ll see. Also, if we do find a suitable outlet away from our computer rooms — mind you, I am NOT willing to have a modem hanging out in my half bath, dining room, etc. — they may have to ship us a piece of hardware that would broadcast the signal through the home’s electrical lines. I tell you, nTelos just seems much more user-friendly at the moment, given our geographic location. The wireless router’s on the way so we’lll make a final determination once we get to test it out. It’d sure be nice to upload the April issue from home this time …

  34. There are several postings, which noted electrical outlet reception problems. In older homes the polarity of the electric wires may be reversed. Also the ground wire may not be attached in some homes. Polarity and ground do not in most cases effect operation; however, since this signal rides along the current, polarity and ground may be important to reception.
    If IBEC feels that this may be important, one can easily check both polarity and ground with an inexpensive outlet box tester sold at the hardware store. Just a thought…see what IBEC says.

  35. Got a call from James at IBEC this morning to try one more outlet in the den and he says that one should work. He is sending over a repeater so as soon as we get that, we can begin testing the connection. BPL vs. nTelos … talk about March Madness!

  36. Tommy,
    Actually the router worked great for me. I would recommend the cradlepoint MBR1000. You can get it at best buy for 249.99. It is a little pricey, but it is a very nice router. You can also get it online…www.cradlepoint.com.

    I am using it right now with my blackberry curve. My BPL stopped working Saturday and is still down, so it is nice that i can just plug my bberry into the router for emergency use.

    The only issue I had was when I tried to use a particular alltel aircard which was not supported. I called tech support, which was a great experieince, and they told me the card would be supported when the next firmware update was released in four months. However, there was another alltel card cradlepoint did support, so I exchanged cards. My lack of satisfaction was due to the speeds of the alltel card and not due to the effectiveness of the cradlepoint router.

    I looked at the cradlepoint site and it shows that the Franklin CDU-680 is supported (http://www.cradlepoint.com/support/mbr1000). You may have to update the firmware when you buy the router, but that is fairly easy update.

    I hope this helps! 🙂

  37. Thanks Rev Thompson. We grabbed a Netgear 3G router over at Amazon. 121.95. But you are correct. You have to make sure it’s compatible with the aircard you are using. Though the provider you are using may not be listed, it’s essential you make sure the specific model of aircard is. IN our case Noveltel 737.

    We did get back on the BPL net yesterday in the afternoon, but it was slower than dialup at the time and we just couldn’t work so we had to go back to sat briefly until we configured the 3G router.

    We are now operating on it with the latest results of 822kbps down and 224 up.
    Speedtest.net results

  38. Ah, I’m jealous. 🙁 I am using my blackberry right now and my speeds are 200-300kbps down and 70-90kbps up.

  39. anyone tried Verizon’s mobile broadband in 22938 zipcode? Just curious. Same price as Alltel with a 5GB per month threshold. Their map shows us in “extended broadband network.”

  40. okay, my testing is over. You won’t believe this. I went and picked up an air card from Verizon this evening…in Waynesboro, i was getting 1100kbps. When I turned of VA 6 and onto US-29 (toward Cville) and then back onto VA 6 E (in Faber), my speed was a whopping 1900kbps. I went 1 mile down the road to turn on my road, and it was down to 1100kbps. But then, when i got in my house, 100-300kbps. BOOO BOOO BOOO . haha. … I guess I really do have to hope IBEC gets it together.

    At least they let you turn the card in for no charge during the first 3 days.

  41. One more thing about this air card business. If you want to go this route, look on ebay for a card. The alltel UM175 card ranges from 39.99 to 89.99 on ebay. If you buy it there, NO CONTRACT! If you buy it out right from alltel, 219.00. (Contract is 100.00 with 100.00 rebate).

  42. Just to let you all know, I had VW aircard last spring/summer.

    I gave it up – switching my data contract for voice – when I signed up for BPL in August (how naive I was)

    However, I would have given it up anyway because we in Nelson were – at that time at least – not in what was one of VW’s true broadband areas so everytime there was an update to the card I would have to drive over the mountain to W’boro to reconfigure it or I couldnt use it.

    That was before the merger w/ Alltel but I doubt this had changed yet b/c I still can’t update my VW phone from Afton.

    VW’s data service (which was tantamount to wireless dial-up) was still faster than regular dialup and still better than Alltel’s data card service (which I had from October-December 2007), for reasons which I wont go into. And I wouldn’t even consider nTelos or satellite for a host of other reasons.

    With all the topographical considerations we have out here, I’ll go with grounded any day.

  43. With my BPL connection being out for so long and IBEC having no idea what the problem is nor when it will be fixed, I am finally sending my modem back. I have tested everything I could and have decided that alltel air card with high gain antenna and router will be the best option for me (I will have 400-700kbps pretty consistently…with the antenna, I may even get around 1Mbps). I was able to get the air card on ebay, so no contract. I will let you all know how that works for me once I have it connected for a little while. Good luck as you continue to look for viable broadband options. 🙂
    Tommy

  44. Rev Thompson, thanks for keeping us in the loop. My meeting with one of the IBEC owners was rescheduled until next Mon or Tuesday here in Nelson, but he is emailing with me often and I am passing along all of these concerns to him, I have conveyed to him that this is a serious/ critical issue on trust among customers out here. I’ll keep everyone posted when I know anything more. Again, thanks for being our Technology Disciple!

  45. Hello everyone,
    Lynn, a PR spokesperson for IBEC phoned me yesterday and paid me a visit today, and I must say, I am impressed with IBEC’s desire to restore their reputation in Nelson county.

    I hope my comments about my situation has not led others to make decisions that might be too hasty. I could be classified as a “techy.” I have expectations of internet and technical support that may not be realistic in this area. All that is too say, if you are in need of a free phone line and have only experienced dial up internet, IBEC will be wonderful for you whenever they finally get all the bugs worked out. As I have reported elsewhere, IBEC offers the best ping rate around (which means VOIP may end up being an option down the road) and when my service was up and running, I was consistently recording 300-450kbps download and 200-300 up.

    By the way, after using alltel a few days, I have noticed that the tower out here is overloaded. There are certain times when the service is fast, but there are other times when it is really slow (around 200kbps) due to so many customers using the only couple of towers in Nelson County.

    I hope this helps! 🙂

  46. Glad to hear they contacted you Rev Thompson. I passed your concerns on to one of their owners earlier this week, so this means they are following up. Very good news! A member of the Elliot Contracting crews stopped here at the office yesterday as well to investigate what kind of noise was on the line preventing service working here. They discovered a repair from a year or two ago left an abundance of noise on the lines. They needed to kill the power, but since we are in deadline right now that wasn’t an option. But they are trying to remedy these bugs. I agree with you. Once we got to the right person (albeit 8 months later) some things have started happening.

  47. Lynn (the IBEC person) spent a good part of Wed afternoon here at the house working with me on getting a reasonable reception. It felt so good having a real person here trying to figure out what is going on. It seems to me that IBEC is making quite an effort and I appreciate Lynn. The situation right now is that it might be that my computer has/(hopefully had) too many cookies, spies etc. that it made the internet connection unable to function properly. So now I am in the process of cleaning up. Haven’t gotten very far. I wonder if anyone else experiences such interference in their computer as to interfere. What about with the other means that are being used? is this ever a concern?

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