Suzanne Wenmoth Internet connection

Suzanne Wenmoth, who lives on Fox Tower Road near Catoctin Mountain, said Comcast estimated it would cost $5,000 to dig a trench and run broadband internet through this electrical box to her home.

Suzanne Wenmoth, who lives just west of the southern portion of Catoctin Mountain, has internet access through a HughesNet satellite dish on her roof.

The service is usable, but it has a hard data limit of 30 gigabytes per month, she said. Most months, she and her family hit that limit by the eighth or ninth day.

In the past three or four months, Wenmoth got a quote from Comcast about how much it would cost to dig a trench and run high-speed internet to her home.

The quote was $5,000.

But given that she works from home and wants to stream movies and TV shows, Wenmoth is considering it.

“My dream would be to be able to stream Netflix,” she said with a laugh.

Wenmoth’s issue — a lack of accessibility to broadband internet — is shared by others who live on Fox Tower Road and other parts of rural northern Frederick County.

Gov. Larry Hogan’s office recently announced nearly $10 million to address the problem across the state and provide “225,000 Marylanders in rural communities with reliable, affordable internet access,” according to a news release.

Kenrick Gordon, director of rural broadband in Hogan’s office, said via email that this is part of a five-year plan that identified 17 counties in need, including Frederick County. Grants will be provided to providers and jurisdictions for construction, technical service and adoption outreach. The exact amount Frederick County will receive remains to be seen.

In fiscal 2020, the state’s General Assembly approved $9.68 million for those grants, Gordon said. Any jurisdictions selected will need to provide a 50 to 70 percent match, he added.

“The office is currently working with an advisory committee comprised of state, industry and county representatives to develop a funding application that will be used to disburse the appropriated funds,” Gordon wrote. “The application will be available for counties and providers to apply for funding this fall.”

State officials will also begin conducting “pilot projects” to provide service to more homes by extending the range of current broadband infrastructure, Gordon said. Those projects will help determine the cost of improvements needed to smaller areas and will also start this fall, he added.

County officials said high-speed internet access is needed, especially in more rural, mountainous areas of the county.

Council President M.C. Keegan-Ayer said it’s an issue she’s encountered while talking to several residents, especially in areas between Wolfsville and Sabillasville, and from her time spent on the PTA Council of Frederick County.

“If you have a kid in school, and they have a project, you have to actually drive them someplace so they can do the research they need to get done,” Keegan-Ayer said. “It’s something we heard all the time when I was on the PTA council.”

County Executive Jan Gardner said county officials recently put out a request for proposal (RFP) to potential vendors to complete a feasibility study, which would help determine where broadband internet needs are, and what areas might be the most cost-effective to install internet access.

According to the RFP, the vendor would, in part, conduct a feasibility study that would determine which would be the best “routes” to provide coverage, based on current infrastructure and what technology is available now.

“Everyone depends on better connections to the internet whether it’s through their computer or their phone,” Gardner said. “The need is very real in our rural areas and ... it’s part of rural economic development in some of our smaller communities.”

Wenmoth is one resident who could use the broadband. She said she works as a midlevel manager for a health care information company based near Atlanta, and constantly downloads large medical files for data analysis.

She said she appreciates the ability to work from home and the quietness of living near the mountain — she often sees deer, foxes, bears and other animals near her house.

But given the data limit, she often wakes up at 4 a.m. on days she works. The reason why, she said, is because files downloaded between 2 and 8 a.m. don’t count toward the monthly limit.

Her internet won’t work in bad weather, she said. Oftentimes, she has to head to a friend’s house in Thurmont for internet access.

“I would love nothing better than the ability to have broadband,” Wenmoth said. “Working at home is a treat, and I realize that. ... But I could do a lot more in a lot less time.”

Follow Steve Bohnel on Twitter: @Steve_Bohnel.

Steve Bohnel is the county government reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at sbohnel@newspost.com. He graduated from Temple University, with a journalism degree in May 2017, and is a die-hard Everton F.C. fan.

(52) comments

amrein29

Good luck in getting Comcast to install in rural area, I got quite for $25,000, yes $25,000. A few years ago and then this year I was told $15,000. Mind you I live on the Carroll/Frederick county line which runs down the middle of Buffalo Rd. There is Comcast provided to Carroll county across the street but not to Frederick county side. So figure that one out. Oh the $15,000 is the cost but it’s no available at this time. Every time I’ve called them it takes several people and then they’ll send someone out to check out availability. My neighbor which we share the driveway/lane to our homes has tried as well. He works from home and needs reliable internet services. No such luck. Any suggestions on how to get Comcast to carry services on both sides of Buffalo Rd?

gary4books

Not from County Government. They are onvincd that they can not do anything with or to Comcast. Perhaps the State can do something, but do not hold your breath. Just wait for 5G and see if it can cover your area. Again - do NOT hold your breath.

mrnatural1

amrein29,

See if any of your neighbors have any connection with Comcast.

Years ago, I asked a Frederick Cable Vision rep when we could expect to get cable. She literally laughed in my face and said, "Never! You aren't even on the long term plans." A month later they were running coax past our house. Why? Because a neighbor a few tenths of a mile up the road knew someone who worked at FCV.

Another option -- pay a neighbor to let you use their WiFi. Maybe split the bill.

I've heard of services where one person with Internet access can install an outside antenna and others with line-of-sight can use a dish to connect.

The good news in your case is that the people across the street have access, so at least you have some options

shiftless88

A timely opinion piece: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/elizabeth-warren-heres-how-we-get-broadband-internet-to-rural-america/2019/08/27/adc63c4e-c5c8-11e9-9986-1fb3e4397be4_story.html

mrnatural1

EXCELLENT Op-Ed by Warren, thanks for sharing shiftless!

Quote from the piece:

"There is both a moral and an economic imperative to enact a public option for broadband. If we stay on our current trajectory, ISPs will continue to decide which communities succeed and which ones fail. We imperil the success of future generations, threaten our competitiveness on the global stage and risk further diaspora from towns and cities that are in dire need of economic turnaround."

My father (still alive) was a FCC commissioner back in the day. He and Warren would have been a dynamic duo. They, and Bernie, see eye-to-eye.

What the ISPs have been doing is criminal.

mrnatural1

On Aug 26, 2019 @ 11:08am, MD1756 wrote the following. I'll insert my replies after "Mr. N:"



MrN: I went to the link and all it said was "The State of Maryland has developed a program which allows credits aga​i​nst the homeowner's property tax bill if the property taxes exceed a fixed percentage of the person's gross income." so I still don't know what the requirements are. I probably would have been better off calling.



Mr. N: Sorry the link did not work for you. There should have been more there -- like an application and PDF instructions. The link I supplied is straight off the card, but try this: https://dat.maryland.gov/realproperty/pages/homeowners'-property-tax-credit-program.aspx



Regarding schools and homework, again I think it is better to learn (certainly cheaper) without the use of computers or tablets, etc. at the lower grade levels. I just saw a news report this morning that all the grade school children in a new DC elementary school were getting free computers. What do children in elementary school really need with a computer to learn the basics or the "three Rs." I believe an important part of education at that age are interaction and socialization skills and a computer is a poor tool for that.





Mr. N: The subjects of homework, socializing, etc, are important but not directly related to the main questions which are, "Should Internet access be considered a basic necessity?" "Should we strive to provide Internet access for ALL Americans?" I believe the answer to both is yes. People can debate the relative benefits and merits of various uses of the Internet, but the fact is that it has become essential.





Here is a link to some data for internet access in MD: https://www.getprovider.com/maryland As you can see the problem is small and while $9 million is small compared to the state budget, I think the money is better spent elsewhere and people who have children should know to figure in costs of internet for their children since it seems like most (if not all) the school systems are going that direction, even for elementary school children.



Mr. N: Some of those numbers seem awfully high, but let's say they are accurate. That would be great, because then the expense of providing Internet service to all Marylanders will be low. When I wrote, "Yes, that's correct. Many people are live where there is a) NO option for Internet access, or b) their only option is something like HughesNet (satellite) which is expensive and severely limited in amount of data per month" I was referring to the entire country. Most of Maryland's population is clustered in and around D.C. and Baltimore, and Central MD. Large areas of the Midwest and West are sparsely populated. Many of those people do not have much money. They would benefit tremendously from having the world at their fingertips.



MrN, if you like history, I strongly recommend seeing the movie "They Shall Not Grow Old." It was quite sobering hearing the old veterans (recordings from interviews conducted during the 50s and 60s) tell about their experiences as you watched film footage that looks like it was shot today.



Mr. N: "They Shall Not Grow Old" sounds good. Can I get it for free online? Just kidding...I would like to see it.



Finally, Dick, more power to you if you like your smartphone. I wouldn't own one even if the company/carrier were to pay me $100/month (maybe I would if they paid me $1,000/month as long as I was not required to use it or even carry it. As Jim Croce once wrote "There's no one there I really wanted to talk to."



Mr. N: Jim Croce was great! The first cassette I ever had was "Time in a Bottle". I wore that out. As for smartphones, most people are clearly addicted to them. They seem to be used for mostly fluff like texting and Tweets, and Facebook which is borderline evil in some ways. As I said, I have one but rarely use it. It's in the other room and turned off as I type this. I was going to go back to a 'flip phone' but it would only save us $10/month (with Verizon). Don't get me wrong -- I'm all about reducing the nickle & dime, 'death by 1,000 cuts' charges, but even though I use my smartphone very little it does come in handy often enough that $10 month is worth it (I guess). When we travel I use it as a hot spot so then it's definitely useful.

DickD

Mr. Nat. you focus on cost of the phone and access, I focus on what it does to save me time and money. There is a difference. Have you ever used Waze? Have you ever used texting? Have you ever used Zillow? Have you ever googled anything? Have you ever used notes? Have you ever used Good Rx or your instant calculator? How about taking an instant picture and sending it to friends or family? Have you ever used gasbuddy? Have you ever used calendar that reminds you when it is time to do something? How about a flashlight, when you are out in the dark and forgot your flashlight? Yes, you can put email and facebook on them too - not that I use them, You can play music, games, utube, save photos - forgot your camera? You can even adjust hearing aids or find lost ones with it. Yup, you can even call someone! Lol



Ignorance is bliss! But this has nothing to do with this article because they are talking broadband and your cell phone is not broadband.

mrnatural1

Dick,

As you said, "ignorance is bliss". I am pretty blissful, but I am familiar with all of the smartphone apps and functions you listed. I use most of them, at least occasionally.

I have (grudgingly) sent texts before. They come in handy sometimes, but I am usually at home where I use my laptop and email.

Waze; Zillow; Google; the flashlight, camera, gasbuddy, etc, are all useful.

I have to admit, I'm not sure what you mean by, "your cell phone is not broadband". I have a 4G capable Samsung Galaxy S7. It's not the 'latest/greatest' but it works for me.

mrnatural1

Regarding my post on Aug 25, 2019 10:40pm:

I apologize for all of the large gaps. For a long time, there was no issue with gaps/spaces between paragraphs here in the FNP comment section -- they were as the appeared in the draft section. Then suddenly all gaps/spaces were removed -- and in order to insert a space we had to use HTML formatting code -- "P" and "/P". Now it's gone the other way, and inserting a single space creates a double space.

Sigh...

Have I mentioned how much more user friendly a traditional forum would be? Please FNP, pretty please? I'll bet a forum would draw more commenters, more traffic, more page views, and more subscriptions.

Cha-ching!

mrnatural1

On Aug 25, 2019 @ 10:22pm, DickD wrote:

You do know that you can get a Samsung 9+ for $840, get back a $200 debit card and just pay $35/mo. for the phone. Using their services it costs just $12/mo. for 1 gb, and $12 more for each gigabyte up to 3. After that it is cheaper to get unlimited service at $45/mo. All texting and voice is unlimited with no charge. They use Verizon for coverage, so it's very good service. It only costs me $12/mo. for service.



Hi Dick,

What is the name of your service provider that uses Verizon's system?

So the total charge for unlimited data is $35 + $45 = $80/month (plus taxes and fees)?

How is it that you are paying just $12 per month?

Just curious.

gary4books

My brothers (2) are retired from AT&T and get a "deal" on their phone services.

DickD

I can too, Gary, but the price does not match Xfinity's. And A.T. & T. owned Comcast at one time, which is why I have some of their stock too..

DickD

And A.T. & T.'s coverage was not as good as Verizon for many years, it may match it now. Bechtel put in both systems, I think, I can remember working on one of them.

DickD

I pay $46 a month, $35 for the phone, $12 for one gigabyte of data, because I don't stream anything, which uses a lot of bytes. The first three gigabytes are $12 each, up to $36. After that it is cheaper to go unlimited for $45/mo. They were offering $200 back on the $840 phone, I see now where they are advertising $250. And you can get an I phone too, not sure of the cost on the I phone. It is Verizon coverage and they beat the prices at Costco. Just go to the Xfinity office off 26, by Worman's Mill.

gary4books

My wife was on AT&T and a few months ago was off contract and we went to the Comcast office to see if her Samsung phone would transfer to Comcast. Up front and immediately they said "NO!" so she stayed with AT&T.

DickD

Xfinity.

DickD

$49.38 with taxes for one gigobyte of service, plus cost of phone.

MD1756

I for one do not consent to being taxed to pay for high speed internet in rural areas. I don't do netfllx, i don't even own a dumb cell phone much less a smart one. Already my 911 fee went up to upgrade the system for cell phone users. Instead of wathing netflix, go to the library and get some books to read.

That money would be better spent on basic governmental responsibilities (sewers, WWTPs, roads, education, etc.). If not spent on basics,I think it would be better spent to defray medical costs for catastrophic illnesses (i.e., childhood cancers, etc.) than for something that will mostly provide entertainment. Aren't speeds achieved with satellite connections good enough?

gary4books

Actually this is good for you. No government funds need be expended. But regulations should require the carriers to include rural areas with their profitable cities for 5G service. This has a long history behind it and there is no need to change now. But some will pay to get 5G restricted to cities and others will follow. Regulated utilities need to serve everyone.

mrnatural1

[thumbup][thumbup] gary!

MD1756

Gary, where do you think the government gets the money for the grants it gives to organizations. If it didn't include tax money (and in that I include "fees"), I wouldn't care.

gary4books

It does not have to be that way. It just is. The rules make the difference.

mrnatural1

MD1756,

You raise good points as usual.

Good for you for resisting the urge to buy the latest $1,200 Apple iPhone! I admit to having an older smartphone, but I almost never use it. It comes in handy as a hot spot when traveling, that's about it.

Hopefully, this isn't an either/or situation. Needless to say, everything you mentioned is important -- as is Internet access.

You raised the issue of speed. Speed is being over-sold. We have a package from Comcast that includes 6 Mbps up, and 100 Mbps download speeds. The 6 up is a bit slow sometimes -- like when uploading photos or video -- but the 100 down is WAY more than we need.

That said, there are many people who have NO Internet access at all. So the issue isn't so much that they already have access but they want it to be faster so they can play video games all day, as it is either a) they have no access at all, or b) they have access but it is ridiculously slow; intermittent/unreliable; has a crazy low cap; and/or it's expensive.

Knowing how much my wife and I rely on the Internet, I cannot in good conscience say that it's a "luxury" and that if others want it they should make more money or move to where they can get it. At this point, the Internet is really a necessity.

One quick example -- we just rec'd a card in the mail (ironically) from Gov. Hogan telling us that we may be big winners. There is a "Homeowner's Property Tax Credit (who knew?) and the way you get more info, determine eligibility, and apply for the big payday is *online* -- websites and email. They just assume everyone has Internet access. There may be some way to do it via phone and 'snail mail', but online is so much easier, faster, and more efficient. The number of ways we use the Internet is almost endless -- and very little of our use is watching videos (none is gaming). Of course, some people do watch YouTube and/or play video games all day, but there are plenty of legitimate, serious uses for the Internet -- news; online shopping; research; email; kids' homework, etc.

That does not mean that everyone needs the latest, greatest hardware and the fastest connection available. Most of the most important, basic uses of the Internet can be accomplished with a (relatively) low speed -- but still "broadband" -- connection. The faster speeds are generally needed for gaming or for multiple users.

I'm not a big fan of giving away my money either (e.g., I oppose the student loan bailout) but I'm willing to pay for at least basic Internet access for all Americans. Again, not "gold plated service" just a good basic connection with unlimited data.

MD1756

I usually agree with your positions but this time I believe we differ. One person was saying she wanted to stream netflix and was thinking of paying the $5k to get faster internet. I'm too cheap to watch too many movies in the theater (even matinees) or netflix. The last one I saw (which was the first I've seen in maybe 8 months) was "They Shall Not Grow Old" (basically a WWI documentary done in color and 3D using archival footage), and I haven't seen one since. Why isn't satellite connection an option? It can't be that expensive and I believe it is faster than data transfer over copper wires. I agree that internet connection makes thing easier but I don't believe it is required. If I didn't have the internet, I'd go to the library more often, write more letters to my politicians instead of e-mails, and call people more rather than e-mailing them. I also disagree with the reliance on the internet for homework (certainly at least for those below high school level) for a number of reasons (not the least of which is the cost). If you have a phone land line, you can have internet access, although streaming videos wouldn't be a good idea but you could get information you described. By the way, I didn't get anything from Larry saying there was a state homeowner's property tax credit. Do you have the link? This day and age, they also assume everyone has a smart phone and can scan those squares (whatever they're called) to get discounts and deals.

DickD

You do know that you can get a Samsung 9+ for $840, get back a $200 debit card and just pay $35/mo. for the phone. Using their services it costs just $12/mo. for 1 gb, and $12 more for each gigabyte up to 3. After that it is cheaper to get unlimited service at $45/mo. All texting and voice is unlimited with no charge. They use Verizon for coverage, so it's very good service. It only costs me $12/mo. for service.

mrnatural1

MD1756, for clarity (hopefully) I'm going to insert my replies in your comment. You wrote:



I usually agree with your positions but this time I believe we differ.



One person was saying she wanted to stream netflix and was thinking of paying the $5k to get faster internet.



Mr. N: Yes, that's correct. Many people are live where there is a) NO option for Internet access, or b) their only option is something like HughesNet (satellite) which is expensive and severely limited in amount of data per month.

I would not necessarily hold Ms. Wenmoth up as the poster woman for getting subsidized Internet access -- although maybe she would qualify. Maybe her income and net worth are actually fairly low and the $5,000 represents a significant share of her savings. Like any other program paid for with tax dollars and/or user fees, universal broadband access should be means tested. There is no reason why a wealthy family who chose to build a starter castle in rural area should have miles of cable run to their house at taxpayer and/or cable customer expense. The idea is to help people who cannot afford to get reasonably priced, reliable Internet access get hooked up.



I'm too cheap to watch too many movies in the theater (even matinees) or netflix. The last one I saw (which was the first I've seen in maybe 8 months) was "They Shall Not Grow Old" (basically a WWI documentary done in color and 3D using archival footage), and I haven't seen one since.



Mr. N: I've got ya beat. My wife and I haven't been to a movie theater in probably 15 years. If you're really cheap, you can always get a friend or family member to hook you up with their Netflix password. ;-) Netflix obviously knows people do that, and apparently they don't care. That aside, there is literally an entire world of videos; TV shows; movies; and educational documentaries available for free online.



Why isn't satellite connection an option? It can't be that expensive and I believe it is faster than data transfer over copper wires.



Mr. N: HughesNet is theoretically an option -- assuming a person has unobstructed line-of-sight to the satellite and an extra $130 per month to spare. "Expensive" is of course relative. A quick Google search shows that Hughes' prices vary depending upon the data cap -- 10 GB cap for $60/month up to 50 GB cap for $130 per month. Another search showed that the *average* data usage is 190 GB per month! So even the $130 plan would be very restrictive for many people. That said, for those that can afford it, it is obviously better than nothing.



I agree that internet connection makes thing easier but I don't believe it is required. If I didn't have the internet, I'd go to the library more often, write more letters to my politicians instead of e-mails, and call people more rather than e-mailing them.



Mr. N: It's certainly true that there would be some benefits to everyone cutting the cord -- no TV, no Internet. You named several. Others are people would exercise more, be healthier, have better relationships with their friends and family members, etc. Still, saying the Internet isn't required is like saying cars aren't required. After all, there are alternative modes of transportation, and there would be benefits -- less pollution, people walking and biking more, etc. However, as good as the upsides might be in both cases, the drawbacks are far worse.



I also disagree with the reliance on the internet for homework (certainly at least for those below high school level) for a number of reasons (not the least of which is the cost). If you have a phone land line, you can have internet access, although streaming videos wouldn't be a good idea but you could get information you described.



Mr. N: Having a landline does not guarantee that a person/family can get Internet access. We are too far from the Verizon building in Middletown for DSL. Many people are in that situation. We don't have kids, so I can't claim to know what is req'd for students to complete their homework assignments, but I'd be willing to guess that teachers assume that their students have Internet access. Either way, they will need to use the Internet for almost any job they might find themselves in, and in their personal life.



By the way, I didn't get anything from Larry saying there was a state homeowner's property tax credit. Do you have the link? This day and age, they also assume everyone has a smart phone and can scan those squares (whatever they're called) to get discounts and deals.



Mr. N: The link would require the use of that pesky Internet. Here's the phone #: 410-767-4433. ;-)

The link is taxcredits.sdat.maryland.gov

You have to be poor like me to get the big jackpot.








MD1756

MrN: I went to the link and all it said was "The State of Maryland has developed a program which allows credits aga​i​nst the homeowner's property tax bill if the property taxes exceed a fixed percentage of the person's gross income." so I still don't know what the requirements are. I probably would have been better off calling.



Regarding schools and homework, again I think it is better to learn (certainly cheaper) without the use of computers or tablets, etc. at the lower grade levels. I just saw a news report this morning that all the grade school children in a new DC elementary school were getting free computers. What do children in elementary school really need with a computer to learn the basics or the "three Rs." I believe an important part of education at that age are interaction and socialization skills and a computer is a poor tool for that.





Here is a link to some data for internet access in MD: https://www.getprovider.com/maryland As you can see the problem is small and while $9 million is small compared to the state budget, I think the money is better spent elsewhere and people who have children should know to figure in costs of internet for their children since it seems like most (if not all) the school systems are going that direction, even for elementary school children.



MrN, if you like history, I strongly recommend seeing the movie "They Shall Not Grow Old." It was quite sobering hearing the old veterans (recordings from interviews conducted during the 50s and 60s) tell about their experiences as you watched film footage that looks like it was shot today.



Finally, Dick, more power to you if you like your smartphone. I wouldn't own one even if the company/carrier were to pay me $100/month (maybe I would if they paid me $1,000/month as long as I was not required to use it or even carry it. As Jim Croce once wrote "There's no one there I really wanted to talk to."

DickD

Smart phones are great, MD. If you don't own one you don't know what you are missing.

DickD

Mr. Nat. you do know that DSL is Digital Subscriber Link, don't you? DSL is old twisted wire from the Verizon Central Office (CO) . It is very archaic and will not have one tenth of the broad band of cable. Even cable has some limitations, depending on the number of users, but they can take and split it to give you land line phone service, TV and internet and still be far greater than anything you can get from the CO. And I don't stream on a cell phone, but on the internet you can with no extra costs.

mrnatural1

Dick,

You seem to have misread my comments and made a few incorrect assumptions.

As a technician I'm fully aware of what "DSL" stands for, as well as it's limitations.

I was not recommending it, although it can work well in some cases. The reason it came up was because MD1756 suggested that anyone with a landline could get Internet access. In my reply to MD, I mentioned that my wife and I live too far from the Verizon building on Alt. 40 to get DSL.

The point being NOT that anyone should get it, or that it is adequate, only that it is not always an option, even for those with a landline.

That said, DSL can be relatively fast:

"What is the fastest speed that DSL connections are capable of?

There are a lot of variables to consider with answering this question.

Maximum speed depends on the DSL technology and distance. ADSL2+ might achieve 20 megabits down - if you are close to the Central Office. VDSL2+ with pair bonding has a sync rate of 120 megabit if you are within 2000 feet of the VRAD, and that might equate to a promised minimum speed of 45 megabit down and a 6 megabit up. AT&T U-Verse has offered this product already in some areas.

A more reasonable expectation for many in urban areas is 12 megabits down and 1 megabit up."

https://www.dslreports.com/faq/356




mgoose806

Perhaps if they adopt a couple of Illegal's...Taxpayer's will pay for internet service.

gary4books

Piffle.

DickD

Good idea, how many would you like?

gary4books

Good internet service for our rural areas may wait for good 5G service and its extensions. There is reason to think that a proper 5G set up would solve many of these problems, even if there are more devices to see. https://www.highspeedinternet.com/providers/5g


DickD

Most cell phone plans charge for the gigabyte usage, unless you get unlimited usage which is not cheap. Also it will never have the capability of cable, 5 G or not. And there are health care concerns with 5G.

gary4books

5G has the potential to replace or supplement cable and can be much faser than you indicate. The technology is booming.

DickD

They will need a lot of bandwidth and frequencies, Gary. Not sure there's enough to go around. And they still need to back haul it to a central point. That requires more frequencies or cable.

DickD

Supplement cable, yes. Replace, no - unless you mean some will not need the cable capacity. . Still, that might be very expensive and we don't know yet what they plan to charge.

mrnatural1

Gary,

Thanks for the link. ~4 Gbps (4,000 Mbps)?! Those are some insanely high speeds! Even if the real-world speed of 5G cellular ends up being 1/10th -- or even 1/100th -- of what's claimed it will still be plenty fast.

When traveling, my wife and I use one of our Verizon phones as a WiFi 'hot spot'. When 4G is available (most places) the connection is indistinguishable from our Comcast/Xfinity cable modem connection at home -- plenty fast enough for my wife to stream video and me to web surf on my laptop. Even 3G is usually very fast, and 2G is usable for basic tasks like email.

My point is that if we could not get cable here at home (we almost did not -- another story) I would strongly consider using a cellular connection. Not necessarily Verizon -- with them you are paying, in part, for their extensive coverage. I would look for the least expensive unlimited plan from a carrier that has good signal strength at our house.

No, it's not cheap, but neither is Comcast -- they're pushing $100/month for Internet only for their higher-speed service -- and we have friends in WV who have Hughes satellite Internet (like Ms. Wenmoth) and that is very expensive, and data is limited (during "prime time") -- as Ms. Wenmoth said.

I'd Find a cellular carrier with a reasonably priced "unlimited" data plan and get a dedicated WiFi hot spot.

I put "unlimited" in quotes because almost all carriers 'throttle' (slow) the connection speed above a certain limit -- at least they *might* do so, especially if traffic is heavy.

Google "Fi" is one option. Fi uses 3 carriers -- Sprint; T-Mobile; and US Cellular (IIRC) -- and switches between them to give the customer the best signal. They also have simple pricing -- $20 for 1 phone/device; $15 for each additional device. $10/GB data -- billed in 0.1 GB increments -- NOT rounded up to the next GB. So if you go over by 0.02 GB you only pay an additional $1, not a extra $10. We've stuck with Verizon for the coverage when traveling, but I like how Fi does business. Oh, and with 1 device, you do not pay for more than 6 GB -- so your bill cannot be more than $80 (plus taxes). You can however keep using high speed data above 6 GB at no charge. IDK if there is some ultimate data cap or not.

Something to look into.

FCPS-Principal

The cry of the Republican bird is "Let the market decide." Well as a result of that birdsong, vast swaths of America are without broadband service and with that, internet, TV and in some cases telephone service since land lines are no longer supported. Many of these people are without cell service too. If Republican birds had been in charge in the 1930s, these same people would not have electricity or running water either. Such is the condition of life when you sing the Republican birdsong.




Jay82

So after 8 years of Obama's disaster of a presidency, nothing got done so you'll start bitching about Republicans lol.

Thewheelone

If Obama's presidency was a "disaster" what do you call the current president's?


shiftless88

Jay; perhaps you need a refresher on efforts to pass net neutrality laws, the Obama efforts to put them in through executive action, the republicans efforts to block that in court, and finally the republicans removal of net neutrality regulations by the FCC. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality_in_the_United_States

User1

Why don’t we work on issues that affect ALL people? How did we ever get along without “the internet”? Make Verizon fulfill their contract to have 90% of the county/state wired for FIOS? Instead we are limited to a monopoly of Comcast. And next is to make sure that every child has a laptop so they can do their “homework”. Sure!!!

DickD

User, I asked the Mayor that question and the statement was Comcast (Xfinity) owns the cable and will not lease capacity on it. Of course, Verizon could extend FIOS, but they preferred to put all of their money into cell phone service, as they make more profit from cell phone service. FIOS is better than cable as it is glass that transmits light, not currents - hence FIbier Optic Service (FIOS)

marinick1

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

phydeaux994

For instance Jay82. Are you talking about President Obama saving us from a Depression and starting a 10 year rise of the Economy and lowering of unemployment, 8 years of which belong to Obama, and passing the ACA so millions of Americans would have healthcare that didn’t have it before, and millions more with pre-existing conditions being cared for? Compare the amount of meaningful Legislation Obama passed in his first two years with Trump’s pitiful record. Ask the American people how they feel about Obama vs Trump. BTW, how many “free” Walls have been built, how many “easy” Trade Agreements have been passed, how many Central Americans have crossed the Rio Grande since January after Trump “invited” them to come? How many ruthless Despot murderers have become his “friends” while alienating our G7 allies? Is that what you call a “successful Presidency”. Think about it Jay82.

Funshine

I am not going to get into a mud-slinging contest, but you are sorely uneducated about the effects of the ACA. There are so many hard-working Americans who are struggling with their rising premiums now, and a lot of the coverage changed in all our plans so we have more out-of-pocket costs on top of that. It won't be law for much longer, I am pretty confident.

mrnatural1

Good point about the unregulated free market, FCPS. I would have left off the reference to republicans though. Not because it isn't true, but because politicizing it isn't helpful. There are certainly some moderate dems that also support an unfettered free market, supply & demand, approach.

In any case, you are absolutely right of course. In the 1903's and later the prevailing idea was that everyone should have access to a telephone line and electrical power (the "Rural Electrification" program). We have relatives in Iowa who did not have utility power until around 1950 -- and they would not have had power until decades later without that program.

There are many homes that would not have phone and/or power lines today if it were not for people pulling together to help their fellow Americans.

Broadband Internet is the 21st century equivalent of phone and electric service. Reasonably priced access to the Internet really is a necessity. Suggesting we provide connections for everyone is not like giving away free cars and swimming pools.

gary4books

[thumbup][thumbup] - Natural.

mrnatural1

Should be "1930s" -- sure would be nice to have an 'edit' function...

DickD

I agree on the ability to edit - by the commenter only.

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