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Thread: High Speed Internet FINALLY coming to my area!

  1. #1

    Default High Speed Internet FINALLY coming to my area!

    Hey all! I haven't posted in awhile; been super busy. I just wanted to share some excellent news!

    I live in a very rural area of Alaska (can't even get here without getting on a bush plane) and we have had to rely satellite internet for a connection...very slow ping times due to latency caused by the speed of light.

    Our Alaskan communications company has finally installed their microwave system in our area and it's currently being tested. Within the month or so, we will finally get high-speed internet access! I'm so excited!

    I enjoy playing MMORPG's, and I haven't been able to because of high latency (2000+ms sometimes). In the next 4-6 weeks or so, I'll be able to again!

    YAY!

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schneaky View Post
    Hey all! I haven't posted in awhile; been super busy. I just wanted to share some excellent news!

    I live in a very rural area of Alaska (can't even get here without getting on a bush plane) and we have had to rely satellite internet for a connection...very slow ping times due to latency caused by the speed of light.

    Our Alaskan communications company has finally installed their microwave system in our area and it's currently being tested. Within the month or so, we will finally get high-speed internet access! I'm so excited!

    I enjoy playing MMORPG's, and I haven't been able to because of high latency (2000+ms sometimes). In the next 4-6 weeks or so, I'll be able to again!

    YAY!
    Microwave system, so glorified cell phone system? Which is just glorified walkie-talkies. :P

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire2box View Post
    Microwave system, so glorified cell phone system? Which is just glorified walkie-talkies. :P
    Microwave is actually a reasonable choice for backbone links. That's what MCI (which stands for Microwave Communications, Inc) used when they were founded as competition to AT&T before the divestiture. It was cheaper and easier to put up microwave towers every 50 miles (exact distance depends on the height of the towers, any obstructions, and the curvature of the earth, but I'm too lazy to look up the formula right now) or so than string up more copper. In fact, there's a company creating a network between New York and Chicago (for the stock market and futures exchanges) that's doing exactly that, because they can offer lower latency on a more direct great-circle route with microwaves than the fiber networks that usually follow railroad rights of way. You do suffer from signal attenuation due to weather, but that's worse than satellite.

    In any event, the latency provided by glorified walkie-talkies is probably better than satellite.

    Yes, I'm a nerd. Why do you ask?

    And to the OP - Alaska's a neat place. Every time I've visited I get the urge to move there, but I don't think I'd handle the darkness in the winter very well.
    Last edited by LittleAcorn; 28-Nov-2012 at 21:33. Reason: typo

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleAcorn View Post
    Microwave is actually a reasonable choice for backbone links. That's what MCI (which stands for Microwave Communications, Inc) used when they were founded as competition to AT&T before the divestiture. It was cheaper and easier to put up microwave towers every 50 miles (exact distance depends on the height of the towers, any obstructions, and the curvature of the earth, but I'm too lazy to look up the formula right now) or so than string up more copper. In fact, there's a company creating a network between New York and Chicago (for the stock market and futures exchanges) that's doing exactly that, because they can offer lower latency on a more direct great-circle route with microwaves than the fiber networks that usually follow railroad rights of way. You do suffer from signal attenuation due to weather, but that's worse than satellite.

    In any event, the latency provided by glorified walkie-talkies is probably better than satellite.

    Yes, I'm a nerd. Why do you ask?

    And to the OP - Alaska's a neat place. Every time I've visited I get the urge to move there, but I don't think I'd handle the darkness in the winter very well.
    Okay, thanks for the explanation.

  5. #5

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    Yes, it is a very nice place. The darkness really doesn't affect me too much, but I live on the west coast about 500 miles north of Anchorage, and the wind/ice gets pretty rough during the fall and spring. Right now, things are cooling off, which means less storms.

    I'm a nerd, but I don't know specific details about much. All I know is that with this loop that LittleAcorn mentioned (Anchorage - Bethel - Unalakleet - Nome - Kotzebue - Barrow - Fairbanks - Anchorage), our speeds will be comparable to those with cable modems (Comcast, Time Warner, etc.), meaning little to no latency, meaning I can play games/stream movies/download files a whole lot faster without a bandwidth limit, as can the school, which will open up a lot of educational opportunities for our students. It's a huge step forward for rural Alaskans who do not have the benefit of high-speed connections....some of our villages still do not have running water.

    One of our villages is only accessible by helicopter because the island it's on (right next to Russia) is not big enough to land a plane on. They can create an ice runway in the winter, however.

    Fun facts

  6. #6

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwidl View Post
    Well, we finally got fibre-optic cable high-speed in my city...
    Very nice...which city, if you don't mind me asking.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schneaky View Post
    Very nice...which city, if you don't mind me asking.
    If he says Kanas City/Google Fiber i'm going to kill him.


    Damn google.


    (Seriously, wifi there is insanely faster then my wired connection and would rank better then like 98% of the rest of the US.)

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwidl View Post
    Well, we finally got fibre-optic cable high-speed in my city...
    It's just a shame the actual cable comming to New Zealand is outdated. So the fibre-optic is sort of like hooking a fire hose to your garden tap.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire2box View Post
    Okay, thanks for the explanation.
    I'm glad someone found that post useful. I was mostly just geeking out. I mean, how often do you get to use divestiture, attenuation, and curvature of the earth in the same post? The only way I'd improve it is to mention something about the fresnel zone (which is the area between the transmitter and receiver that has to be free of obstructions, and depends on the wavelength of the signal).



    Quote Originally Posted by Schneaky View Post
    Yes, it is a very nice place. The darkness really doesn't affect me too much, but I live on the west coast about 500 miles north of Anchorage, and the wind/ice gets pretty rough during the fall and spring. Right now, things are cooling off, which means less storms.

    I'm a nerd, but I don't know specific details about much. All I know is that with this loop that LittleAcorn mentioned (Anchorage - Bethel - Unalakleet - Nome - Kotzebue - Barrow - Fairbanks - Anchorage), our speeds will be comparable to those with cable modems (Comcast, Time Warner, etc.), meaning little to no latency, meaning I can play games/stream movies/download files a whole lot faster without a bandwidth limit, as can the school, which will open up a lot of educational opportunities for our students. It's a huge step forward for rural Alaskans who do not have the benefit of high-speed connections....some of our villages still do not have running water.

    One of our villages is only accessible by helicopter because the island it's on (right next to Russia) is not big enough to land a plane on. They can create an ice runway in the winter, however.

    Fun facts
    I've probably gone fishing not too far from you a couple times. We had to take a helicopter to the lodge when fishing one time in BC, but float planes seemed more common in Alaska. Float planes are pretty fun.

    I wouldn't have immediately thought of the educational opportunities provided by the internet, but that could be huge. There's a lot of exciting stuff happening with online education (coursera, udacity, and Kahn Academy come to mind), and that could make a big difference in an isolated area.



    Quote Originally Posted by Fire2box View Post
    If he says Kanas City/Google Fiber i'm going to kill him.
    I think he's in New Zealand. The biggest problem there is limited connectivity to the rest of the world, as this comic illustrates:

    I tried to watch Game of Thrones in New Zealand and this is what happened - The Oatmeal

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