Frequently Asked Questions
Q] Who can receive HiCountryNet service?
A] HiCountryNet will be created for the sole purpose of providing high speed internet to the homeowners in Rose Canyon and surrounding areas.
Q] What sort of speeds can I expect?
A] Per the plan pricing as mentioned above this is what we are looking at for speeds
$100/month (experimental tier) – 35-100+ Mbps down / 10-15 Mbps up
We hope to be able to offer faster speeds in the future. These costs are constantly going down. Once the costs of the build out are reduced (1 year) we can start trying to find cheaper sources of bandwidth. If we pick up additional people in Hi-Country 2 that would also enable us to buy better symmetric bandwidth from our providers. I would like to see greater symmetric parity.
HiCountryNet has a goal to be able to be on the cutting edge of wireless distribution hardware, and is willing to upgrade hardware as necessary to keep the network at the forefront of being able to offer the fastest speeds. The Holy Grail being 1Gbps service to the home. Are we there yet? No – but companies like Mimosa, Ubiquiti and others are engineering great solutions on the horizon.
Wireless technology is advancing at a brisk pace. I just read an article last week about 802.11ad 60GHz WiFi.. There’s approximately 7GHz of bandwidth in that unlicensed range which could provide tens of Gbps of throughput albeit at reduced distances. The new 802.11ac and upcoming 802.11ax promise further speed increases in the longer reaching 5GHz bands.
Once we have hit the limit of current hardware we can looking at upgrading the network to the next level. These regular updates are much more difficult in large and unwieldy networks. HiCountryNet has a limited market and can be more nimble and agile with respect to hardware upgrades.
I have no problem pushing the bandwidth speeds to the extent that service amongst the 20-30 customers is not hindered. This is what the $100/month plan is for. For those who have more basic needs there is the $75/month plan. I have no intentions to artificially limit your connections. If the hardware can support 35-100 Mbps+ and our source connection can handle it then I’m all for it. There will be some trial periods as we find the best balance between speeds and congestion. I wish the monthly expense could be cheaper, but for the limited number of potential customers and the requirement to have tech support available it necessitates these price levels.
Q] Are there any data caps?
A] HiCountryNet has no intentions of implementing bandwidth caps or charging for extra usage.
Q] Why is it so expensive?
A] The cost is in large part due to the small number of homes that desire access and the maintenance of the access points. It would not be economically feasible with less than 20 customers @ $100/month or 30 customers @ mix of $75/$100. We will be doing a pre-signup on the web site very soon and you can check to see how many people have signed up. There is no obligation until we hit the required number of users. This also has the benefit that fewer users will be sharing more bandwidth which will certainly lead to better connections and bandwidth to you!
Q] What kind of support can I expect to receive?
HiCountryNet will have telephone support available and will ensure that the network is working correctly to your CPE (customer premise equipment) mounted on the roof. If the problem lies beyond the CPE and inside your internal network then you can choose to solve the issues yourself or you can hire HiCountryNet for $50/hour (minimum charge $50 for < 1 hour) to help. I will always explain the situation and what it will take to get up and running as quickly as possible there will never be any surprise charges for support.
In a perfect world everything will work as planned and service can be quite stable, but unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world and there may be some problems. The nature of the network that is being setup in hi-country 2 necessitates that it be solar powered as there are no power meters anywhere near where the access points need to be. Great effort and engineering has gone into the design of these solar powered points of presence (POP) to ensure long runtimes in the absence of sun (our winters here can really be brutal. J). Spare batteries will be kept on hand in the case of emergency, and expediency will be placed on the restoring of power in case power is lost. I just want everyone to know I will do my best to keep everything running smoothly and to please have patience when problems occur.
If you need assistance/consulting regarding your internal network design I can work with you to get a system with great WiFi coverage and excellent throughput ($50/hour)
Q] What equipment do I need?
In order to provide internet to the rest of your household you will typically need a router/wifi access point. HiCountryNet recommends Mikrotik Routers and Ubiquti UniFi access points. Please ask for more details. Your existing routers will also likely work as long as they support PPPoE on the WAN port. Many older routers really struggle to push 30,40,50Mbps via NAT so an older router can also limit your bandwidth.
Q] What are the installation costs?
The CPE (Customer Premise Equipment) and installation will cost $150. This involves mounting a radio transmitter on your roof or side of house and running at cat6 cable into the house where it will connect to your own router.
Q] Can it support Voice over IP (VoIP)
Absolutely. Voice over IP uses very little bandwidth and latency only becomes an issue on overloaded links. If there are 20-30 users in the network total the chances for overloaded links is GREATLY reduced thus ensuring great VoIP connectivity.