Thursday, February 27, 2014

Redneck Broadband - Disappointing Postscript

[3pm]

I regret to report that as I leave my friends place in Tennessee, I leave them with very unstable broadband.  In my last posting, I reported that we managed to get 28Mps broadband connection the house.  That lasted only for a day, and suddenly our source Verizon WiFi hotspot failed to deliver that bandwidth.

I had no idea that cell service was so variable over time.  The same equipment that gave us a consistent 4G four bar signal on Monday, now can only get a 3G two bar signal today.  In the last forty-eight hours we've been lucky to get an intermittent 200Kbps signal.

[5pm]
We've canvassed the ridge looking for a new location for the WiFi hotspot and finally found a place that consistently delivers a 1Mbps 3G signal.  Interestingly, this a place that delivered essentially a zero signal on Monday.  The variability of signal strength at a given spot is a serious impediment to success of this project.

Since I leave tomorrow, I'm out of time.  There's not much more than I can do on this visit.  My hosts are still pleased with the results.  The bandwidth is forty-five times faster than the old 28.8Kbps of the old  system. 

We'll see how this works for the long run.  Maybe it will settle into a more consistent pattern.  However, I wonder how that will change as Spring comes and the heavily timbered forest of the area leafs out.

I've briefed my hosts on the necessity to monitor the bandwidth and move the hot spot.  I had hoped that this would be a set it and forget it installation, but fear this will be a system that will need constant baby sitting.