Internet service: And no waiting

Internet service: And no waiting

There are 30 comments on the Berkshire Eagle story from Apr 20, 2010, titled Internet service: And no waiting. In it, Berkshire Eagle reports that:

While the state is inching toward bringing broadband's high-speed Internet access throughout Western Massachusetts, some unserved or underserved communities in South County can't afford to wait, according to Crispin Tresp.

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Larry Chernicoff

New York, NY

#1 Apr 21, 2010
The Alford broadband committee set a goal back in 2006: to bring broadband service to as many residents of our town as possible, soon as possible. The big players (Verizon, Comcast, Time-Warner, etc.) had nothing to offer. WiSpring worked very closely with us, though. Several of our neighbors came forward to offer the use of their land (at higher elevations) to erect WiSpring towers. The project has been a tremendous success, and over 75% of Alford homes can now choose WiSpring service. It works very well. State and federal governments regularly announce broadband plans for rural areas and we will be grateful for any additional options in the future (fiber-optic access, etc.) But for now, we got what we were after: broadband now. WiSpring is a small, local company, but they did what none of the big guys could (or would) do.
WiSpring

Hudson, NY

#3 Apr 21, 2010
Donate this wrote:
When will the people who donated their property be rewarded? This crook is charging people $100 a month and doesn't lease his towers? WOW! Can I copy that business plan?
WiSpring has lease agreements with all tower and property owners. All are compensated, be they large tower companies or private land owners.
Dis-enchanted

Albany, NY

#5 Apr 21, 2010
Call me when DSL hits the Tyringham valley. A connection speed of 22900 bps is a wee bit slow, even in these modern tech times.
Ron

United States

#6 Apr 21, 2010
I am a wispring customer (and they did not ask me to say this) - it is definetly the best service around. I've lived in various locations in south county, and they are far better than DSL or satellite, and even better than cable. Also their tech support is astonishingly good, and they care - whenever there has been a problem (rarely once things got sorted out) they were right on it. Highly recommended if you're out here with no internet connection, or if you want to upgrade from the limited offerings out there. Even though, in theory, fiber optic is coming...those meetings don't ever seem to result in progress, it's been at least 3 years of spinning wheels. Wispring is available now.
joseph

Sadieville, KY

#7 Apr 21, 2010
Verizon offers a MyFi service that has been excellent; anywhere there is a Verizon cell phone signal....and it's "cheap"....less than $60/month....I've tried satellite and Verizon is far superior; not influenced by the weather
Ron

United States

#8 Apr 21, 2010
After I posted, I saw the other comments - negative commenters, not sure what you're twisted up about, but these guys are very fair business people; who and how they compensate for towers etc is their business, so long as you get service. And I would gladly donate some land or a piece of one of my rooftops so that my neighbors could benefit from a signal. Anyone who talks with the Wispring guys understands that this is a small operation that could use support - run the numbers...they are practically providing a public service, as the revenues are low. And much better service than AT&T or other DSL providers would even dream of. It's a good company with a good product and honorable caring people running it.
Man in the back

Pittsfield, MA

#11 Apr 22, 2010
joseph wrote:
Verizon offers a MyFi service that has been excellent; anywhere there is a Verizon cell phone signal....and it's "cheap"....less than $60/month....I've tried satellite and Verizon is far superior; not influenced by the weather
Verizon wireless broadband is excellent. By far the best ISP I've ever had. Worth every penny. Plus you get acces to free "hot spots" if you ever travel to "bigger" cities.

Two year contract,$60/month for 5GB of data, and a free modem after rebate.
Arthur Dellea

New York, NY

#12 Apr 24, 2010
WiSpring is an excellent service! I've been using WiSpring since they first set up their towers in the town of Alford. It's been a blessing for my computer business. Verizon refuses to run DSL in our town, and Time Warner will never run cable in our town either. WiSpring's ping times are equal to that of a T-1 line, and the overall performance is many times more responsive than satellite internet. I was a satellite internet customer for 4 1/2 years until WiSpring came along, what a difference! I know that fiber is on the way, but businesses like mine cannot wait forever for fiber to get here. When fiber gets here and WiSpring starts doing fiber installations, then I'll switch to fiber and continue to support WiSpring!
Arthur Dellea

New York, NY

#13 Apr 24, 2010
And to all of those negative commenters: First of all, cellular wireless is not reliable and doesn't cover 50% of the towns throughout Southern Berkshire County with signal. In fact, the town of Alford gets NO cellular signal unless you're one of the few lucky residents to live on mountain-tops. Second of all, the pricing for WiSpring is not any different than the pricing for satellite internet service, and in south county there IS LITTLE DSL or Cable internet coverage, in Alford there is NONE. Before WiSpring, we had 2 choices, satellite or dialup. I'll be darned before I pickup and move from my 4-generation home just to get faster internet service. But the biggest differences between WiSpring and satellite is that WiSpring is not weather dependent, and data packets on WiSpring have a mere 45ms delay, versus satellite internet has a 2000ms packet delay on average. I use Vonage telephone (2 lines) and do lots of video streaming on my WiSpring connection, can't do that on satellite. I don't know why people who don't live in south county are knocking WiSpring, after all, in places like Pittsfield you have an endless selection of internet service! Not south county, Verizon and Time Warner have left us rural towns in the dust, heck Verizon can't even provide decent land-line phone service, nevermind internet to the small towns! So for people who live in south county and only have dialup or satellite internet as options, WiSpring, in my opinion, is the ONLY viable alternative until WiredWest can get fiber into Southern Berkshire County! Don't knock WiSpring if you have no clue of the current broadband situation in south county! Ive served on a broadband committee here for a few years, and trying to get broadband service into these towns (excluding WiSpring) is like being raked over hot coals!
Arthur Dellea

New York, NY

#15 Apr 24, 2010
Maybe you could define how I'm part of the problem, or maybe not, considering you can't spell my name right. I can only assume that most of the Pittsfield responses are from those who work for dial-up providers, you know who you are, I used to work with you. But let's face it, dialup is extinct, broadband is where it's at. And wireless and fiber are the ONLY solutions, since DSL and cable providers REFUSE to provide services to rural folks. So unless you folks in Pittsfield have any intelligent solutions to the problems in south county, you simply don't have any clue. Fiber will come to south county, IF WiredWest develops a business plan, and IF they get funding, until then fiber is stuck in neutral and going nowhere. Since you folks in Pittsfield have all the answers, what do you all suggest we do until fiber arrives, to stick with barely-functioning dialup accounts? Give me a break! In all honesty BSS and others in Pittsfield, if you can't answer this simple question, then YOU are the problem.
Arthur Dellea

New York, NY

#18 Apr 25, 2010
I never blocked any petitions to open up the Masspike fiber, where did you come up with that story? Where is your proof? Well, I don't have a lot of free time to banter with under-educated teenagers on this subject any longer. And besides, doesn't your IP address trace back to a dialup provider, in Pittsfield? Big surprise. This could only mean one of two things. Either you're a disgruntled dialup provider afraid of losing your business when fiber comes to the region, or you're a dialup user who tried to sign up for WiSpring and couldn't get signal, so you're sour grapes. Instead of wasting your time flaming people on here and cutting down a company who delivers service, maybe you should think about joining your local broadband committee and donating some of your time to help the cause? But then again, it takes mature adults to make such selfless commitments like this, people who actually care about our region, our neighbors, and our customers and about bringing everyone into the 21st century. If you have such a problem with WiSpring, why not start up your own south county broadband service? If you have such a problem with me, why not have the guts to at least post with your real name? Again, your childish remarks offer no solutions to the broadband problem, so why make your remarks at all? Trying to say that I somehow stopped the signing of fiber to south county is really grasping at straws. And so what if I support WiSpring? They provide good service to me, so why wouldn't I? You don't even use the service, so how would you know the difference? Of course, if you actually read any of the articles I've written over the past 5 years in support for broadband, you would know my stance, but again, you have no clue, so you choose to flame me. The articles that I've written about the recent fiber movement simply state the obvious:[1] Municipal fiber must be protected at the state level, to prevent Verizon, Time Warner and dialup providers from blocking such a network.[2] The WiredWest group needs to get their act together and develop a good business plan, which they themselves stated they have not done yet, big mistake, they won't get funding without one.[3] The economy is still in the toilet, getting funding now without town or taxpayer investment will be difficult.[4] Without money, fiber simply will not be rolled out. These are all common sense statements that must be addressed, or we'll be wasting another 5-10 years in committee meetings to get fiber to the Berkshires. Now, all of this being said, do you support fiber or not? I certainly do. But what will you do to support the cause?
Wondering

Tyngsboro, MA

#19 Apr 25, 2010
Like health care, we are being gouged for broadband. We are years behind Asia and they practically give it away, or maybe they just charge a fair price.
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/03/the-...
SoCo WiSpring Lover

New York, NY

#21 Apr 25, 2010
Hmm, I think these naysayers must have an agenda! What would you have people whose only other option is dial up do? Until WiSpring came to my town a few years ago we had dial up. It had gotten to the point where the internet was almost unusable. WiSpring may not be perfect but it is the best option at this time. When fiber comes I will be happy to continue to purchase it through WiSpring.

Now, stop dumping on WiSpring- if it weren't for them I probably couldn't have loaded this page to write this comment right now. Oh, I know! I should wait whilst twiddling my thumbs for 5-10 years for the fiber to come rolling by!

You naysayers haven't got a clue about the situation here in South County so button up! WiSpring is #1!!!
JennyJ

United States

#22 Apr 25, 2010
WiSpring may well be a good company, and I agree with supporting local firms. but it's the technology they're using that's obsolete and only appropriate for certain areas where there are no hills and not many trees (ie. Alford or Tyringham... mostly cleared valleys). Here's what I'm hearing:

Wireless broadband in the clear works well. Thru the trees doesn't work so well. Thru rocks (ie hills) it doesn't work at all.

The issue with trees, etc is known as "multipath." It represents signals arriving from many directions into your antenna. The many directions are caused by reflections from leaves, trees, hills, etc.

I also understand that the leaves also tend to absorb the higher frequencies, esp. those edging up into microwaves.

Multipath gets worse as frequency increases.

Everyone who drives and listens to an FM radio has experienced it: You are listing to a interesting program say you stop at a light. The signal is
distorted, & garbled. That is a multipath null (where the sum of the various signal directions results in a very reduced, or null, signal
level). You inch forward a wee, the signal & interesting program is back. You moved out from the multipath "null."

Of course, the FM broadcast band is between 88 and 108mhz and broadcast FM transmitters are far more powerful (in the kilowatt and 10s of kilowatt range) then any sort of digital wireless transmitters (which are about 1/4 watt). The long-distance wireless are 700mhz and 900mhz.
WiFi (802.11) is in the 2.4Ghz band. The higher the freq., the worse the foliage affects it (absorption / reflection, plus the more
line-of-sight the signal needs to be (this is where the hills come in).

This is another problem we face here in W.MA. Many "access points" would be required to service few customers because of the hills. Each of these
access points would require a transmitter / receiver and antenna on a tower. Some folks don't like that. This is the NIMBY aspect of it all. In some ways the politics are more difficult to overcome than the engineering.

In some places, politics aside, the number of "access points" would be so high, that it would be cheaper to just run fiber optic - and certainly a better long-term investment.

Another very important point is that ANY wireless technology is doomed to becoming obsolescent fairly quickly -- the equipment is very
specialized (as to frequency and signaling methods) and any improvement in the technology would require wholesale replacement. Fiber optic, is pretty much 'future proofed': the bare fiber optic has more bandwidth capability than the *electronics* currently available to drive it. As
the technology advances, all that needs to be updated/replaced are the interface points -- the fiber (on the poles or buried in the ground)
would still be usable as is.

One should also note: it won't work well though a "shielded box". Some building walls behave like a "shielded box" (metal studs or rebar).

One other thing: wireless technology is bandwidth limited, just like DSL or satellite.
SoCo WiSpring Lover

New York, NY

#28 Apr 26, 2010
If by "troll" you mean someone who likes their WiSpring service and is willing to stand up to uninformed cyber-bullies trying to spread ridiculous misinformation about said service than, yes that is me!

Still waiting to hear what you brainiacs think the better alternative is.

Maybe you can enlighten us as to what you have to gain by attacking WiSpring and it's satisfied customers? You clearly have a vested interest in this issue or you would leave well enough alone.
Arthur Dellea

New York, NY

#29 Apr 26, 2010
Arthur is a liar wrote:
<quoted text>
You have no way of ascertaining that, you pathetic liar. My IP address, if you could see it (which you CANNOT) points to Time-Warner broadband. Try again with your lies, lies, lies, you worthless gasbag. All you're doing is proving that you're a liar and will say anything to back up your lies. Good going!
Sorry BSS, thought you were a Richmond Networks customer, thought that was your email too.(Would feel sorry for you if you were.) Anyways, since there is no Time Warner cable in my town, and Time Warner refuses to run it here, BSS, how would you propose that I get Time Warner cable? Would you be willing to run a wire from your house? I find it funny that you still cannot intelligently answer ANY of my posed questions, so who is the real gas bag here? You can't sign up for a cable service that doesn't run by your own house, common sense. And you still don't have the guts to post by your real name. Since you're so good with spouting off at the mouth, I'd think you'd be tough enough to stand behind your own identity, but maybe not. And because you aren't, you aren't worth my time or energy. When you finally grow up and get some sort of GED, then maybe that will be the day. Until then, so long!
Jason

Chelmsford, MA

#30 Apr 26, 2010
SoCo WiSpring Lover wrote:
If by "troll" you mean someone who likes their WiSpring service and is willing to stand up to uninformed cyber-bullies trying to spread ridiculous misinformation about said service than, yes that is me!
Still waiting to hear what you brainiacs think the better alternative is.
Maybe you can enlighten us as to what you have to gain by attacking WiSpring and it's satisfied customers? You clearly have a vested interest in this issue or you would leave well enough alone.
"You clearly have a vested interest in this issue or you would leave well enough alone." I should say the same for you. Take care Wispring employee!
Nick Fredsall

United States

#31 Apr 26, 2010
JennyJ wrote:
WiSpring may well be a good company, and I agree with supporting local firms. but it's the technology they're using that's obsolete and only appropriate for certain areas where there are no hills and not many trees (ie. Alford or Tyringham... mostly cleared valleys). Here's what I'm hearing:
Wireless broadband in the clear works well. Thru the trees doesn't work so well. Thru rocks (ie hills) it doesn't work at all.
The issue with trees, etc is known as "multipath." It represents signals arriving from many directions into your antenna. The many directions are caused by reflections from leaves, trees, hills, etc.
I also understand that the leaves also tend to absorb the higher frequencies, esp. those edging up into microwaves.
Multipath gets worse as frequency increases.
Everyone who drives and listens to an FM radio has experienced it: You are listing to a interesting program say you stop at a light. The signal is
distorted, & garbled. That is a multipath null (where the sum of the various signal directions results in a very reduced, or null, signal
level). You inch forward a wee, the signal & interesting program is back. You moved out from the multipath "null."
Of course, the FM broadcast band is between 88 and 108mhz and broadcast FM transmitters are far more powerful (in the kilowatt and 10s of kilowatt range) then any sort of digital wireless transmitters (which are about 1/4 watt). The long-distance wireless are 700mhz and 900mhz.
WiFi (802.11) is in the 2.4Ghz band. The higher the freq., the worse the foliage affects it (absorption / reflection, plus the more
line-of-sight the signal needs to be (this is where the hills come in).
This is another problem we face here in W.MA. Many "access points" would be required to service few customers because of the hills. Each of these
access points would require a transmitter / receiver and antenna on a tower. Some folks don't like that. This is the NIMBY aspect of it all. In some ways the politics are more difficult to overcome than the engineering.
In some places, politics aside, the number of "access points" would be so high, that it would be cheaper to just run fiber optic - and certainly a better long-term investment.
Another very important point is that ANY wireless technology is doomed to becoming obsolescent fairly quickly -- the equipment is very
specialized (as to frequency and signaling methods) and any improvement in the technology would require wholesale replacement. Fiber optic, is pretty much 'future proofed': the bare fiber optic has more bandwidth capability than the *electronics* currently available to drive it. As
the technology advances, all that needs to be updated/replaced are the interface points -- the fiber (on the poles or buried in the ground)
would still be usable as is.
One should also note: it won't work well though a "shielded box". Some building walls behave like a "shielded box" (metal studs or rebar).
One other thing: wireless technology is bandwidth limited, just like DSL or satellite.
Jenny, you just don't get it.....we dont care about the future as much as we care about right now. We need to connect to the internet right NOW. WiSpring is THE ONLY option to many of us. PERIOD. And if I'm not mistaken, I believe WiSpring has upgraded some of their equipment last year. As far as WiSpring not working through trees, come on over and I'll show you all of my neighbors trees that the signal is going through. Sounds like maybe you work for the competition.
SoCo WiSpring Lover

New York, NY

#32 Apr 26, 2010
Jason,

Yes, you are right I do have a vested interest in this issue-- I want functional internet service! Sorry, to burst your paranoid fantasy bubble but I am not a WiSpring employee and neither is Arthur Dellea or Nick Fredsall so stop grasping at straws.

You have taken the time to snipe yet again but have not offered those of us who use WiSpring a better alternative.

Arthur is losing it

Berne, NY

#33 Apr 26, 2010
Arthur Dellea wrote:
<quoted text>
Sorry BSS,.. BSS,.. BSS ..
The proper term is BS, and yes you are filling these pages with it.

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