Sunday, January 20, 2008

Satellite Internet Service?

Oh dear.

Of course, I've known about this for while....but it didn't dissuade me, not even for a moment. I couldn't wait to get out of the city. I recognized that there would be changes - big ones, but some (one in particular) I kept pushing to the back of my mind. Every time it tried to make it's way to the forefront of my mind and nag me a bit, I'd just suppress it with a shake of my head. I kept telling myself that we'd figure it out when the time came and, hey, just how bad could it be?

Well, the time has come. In five days we will be losing our cable Internet connection (usually lightning quick) and moving over to satellite Internet.

Normally, I'm pretty good with change...even change that brings with it a bit of a challenge. In this case, however, this may just be the straw that tests my flexible, little back. My anxiousness stems from the fact that I am hearing only awful things about this type of Internet service. Clearly, I am a personality oxymoron: country girl who likes her technology. Can the two exist peacefully (and successfully) together?

Here are, for example, a few of the things that concern me about Satellite Internet:

1. Much slower - Basically, an exchange of information follows the following route: Access request to a website must travel to a satellite, come back to earth to find the server with the content, deliver the content back up to the satellite, and, finally, return it all the way back to the requesting computer (in this case, mine) - total distance: 88,0000 miles. Um, yeah...that may take a while.
2. Temperamental in weather - I've read that in stormy or snowy weather, it flat-out ceases to function. True story: my realtor recently had to climb onto his roof to sweep the snow off his dish with a broom so he could receive an email of mine.
3. Costly to install, costly to maintain - I've read $150 to $200 for installation. And then, a minimum of $60/mo for the service.
4. Huge ugly dish required on top of your house - No further comment really necessary here. :-(
5. Quota limit on usage, aka FAP (Fair Access Policy) that slows service to a crawl or ceases service entirely if a household's quota has been exceeded through downloads - You're kidding! Really? I might get shut down for doing too much of what I do a lot of?
6. Need for a clear view of the southern sky. If you’ve got big trees surrounding your house, you’re in trouble. - We're in trouble. We have no clear view of the southern sky because of all those big trees surrounding our property.

So, there it is. An actual "moving-from-a-high-speed-plugged-in-world-to-a much-slower-way-of-life" anecdote that I described in my original blog description a couple months back. "Suck it up", I say to myself. "You're going to be waaaay too busy being a chicken-mom, painting the goat house, growing a garden, learning how to can, making lovely soap, and just plain being a Farm Girl to spend time blogging on your laptop anyway." Riiiiiight. (Note to self: I hear that many libraries offer wireless service...I need to confirm this.)

Do any of you happen to have satellite service who are willing to shed some light (or possibly soothe my worried brow) on what else I can expect?


  1. Hi there,

    I hate to say it, but I believe you are correct that the trees around your property will stop the satellite from working properly. My daughter is further out in the sticks than I am and she has to use a tv antenna. No cable, no satellite. Just recently she saw a truck come down her road and leave a brochure on her door. DSL!!! She could get DSL!!! She called and she is once again 'plugged in.' DSL doesn't help with the TV, but hey! How much longer can it take?

    I suspect DSL will be in your future too. It will take a couple of years. In my daughter's case it was three, but it will get there eventually. :-)


  2. We have a bunch of friends that travel and they talk about their "air Cards" I guess they make their laptops workable anywhere. Also my iPhone gets emails for me all over the place. Even when we run out of gas in the middle of the Everglades!

    We do have satellite TV and living in Florida where it rains real hard everyday of the summer we only very rarely lose the picture! It might not be as bad as you have heard!

    Hope this helps!

  3. We have a dish for internet, and it works pretty well. We have a lot of trees surrounding our house, too, but they put the dish up on the ground against some weeds. The internet does somtimes give out in snow storms, but (in our case) only really bad ones. We have Dish Network.
    Anyway, good luck with your dish! Ours works (obviously, since I'm on the internet) :-)

  4. This is my husbands biggest worry about moving to the country. He loves his cable internet!

  5. Are you really going to far away that you can't get DSL? Wow. By the way, I added you to my blog list on my site. Thanks for letting us watch your adventure! And yes, you will be busy with your critters and get used to the internet situation.

  6. I still have dial up and no cable or satelite tv at all!! ;) But, my husbands workplace had internet service through a satelite and had nothing but problems. (A business needs it's internet!) Constant disconnets with no apparent reason and unannounced price hikes. They switched to cable internet.

  7. Hey Farmgirl,
    My hubbie thought it was a crack up and my sister (who has the dreams too) wondered if you really are a distant relative.

  8. The goatfather is a retired software engineer. DSL was IMPORTANT to him. Of course we can't get it, so we have Hughes. They put the dish on an outbuilding so it isn't 'ugly' and ran the cable to the house. We have trees but they still managed to position it for the satellite. Yes, it is expensive and it does get 'iffy' in weather, but it isn't really terrible and it sure beats dial-up! Hughes has more satellites than competitors so is the best option for satellite service. The neighbors have Dish Network and have LOTS of trouble.

  9. You can do it! Maybe it will allow you to find your local favorite coffee spot in town to do your daily blog and that will lead to getting to know some of the folks in town... Although I know it isn't the same as sitting on your couch in your sweats blogging your heart out!!

  10. Hi Danni: Hmm. We went through this. No cable in the boonies, huh? We ended up going with cable for our internet but drew the line and use the antenna (!!) for tv because we usually use Netflix and rent tv shows through it. Anyway, we ended up getting cable for our phone too ($15 month including long distance). We did not have the DSL option back then 3.5 years ago but we have it now. I guess what I am saying is this is an area that is changing quickly. Whatever you get, make sure you don't go for a long commitment to it (like renting a disc).

  11. We don't have a satellite connection so we won't have any insight for you. I am sure that you can go to the library in your spare time. Ya right spare time you sound like you are going to be very busy.. Well good luck try and keep in touch..

    Big Sloppy Kisses
    Gus and Louie

  12. We had the same worries before we moved out here, but luckily we got DSL! I have to correct Mellimaus, we do have Satellite for TV, but our internet is DSL.
    Good luck! You will figure it all out I am sure.

  13. Here in rural Maine, most people use satellite either for T.V. or internet or both. We've had good luck: it's all about placement of the dish in terms of your trees. Ours is perched near the roof of our house and works great, unless there's a substantial storm. That's okay with us, since I'd much rather watch the storm.

  14. I love your blog! thanks for coming by mine. i would like to add you to my list, if that is ok?
    I did the move from the city as well!
    good luck with the cable! oh, and your dog is so cute. is that your pig? i want to get a pig! cute!

  15. Dear fay, judy, abby, christy, michele, FarmMom, sugarcreekstuff, marigold, in-between, el, gus & louie, gudl, and kathryn & ari: Thank you for all the great comments - I *love* this blogging thing!! I really appreciate all the personal experiences, tips, and advice you have provided. I'll keep you posted on what the final outcome is...

    I'm again pushing this to the back of my mind, as I have more pressing things to attend to: we've run out of moving boxes!! :-)

  16. Hi farmer julie: thanks for adding me to your list! i saw how you've done the same thing that we're in the process of doing...another kindred spirit!! :-) yes, roxy my pup thinks she's pretty dern cute, too. The pig (Luke) is not mine, he lives a the farm sanctuary that my son and i volunteer at (Lighthouse Farm Animal Sanctuary) - he's a real sweetie pie!

  17. I had satellite internet at one time. When I was working a job off the farm and didn't have time for internet playing. Went with dial up to save money. Now I am needing satellite terribly. It takes forever to upload all those pictures on my blog. My husband suggested I come up with a way to make the blog pay for the satellite installation. Yeah,right!(no DSl here or cable) Sure miss the the satellite internet and we had very little outage on it but the monthly price went up a lot.That was about 5 years ago.Good luck with the move and the satellite.

  18. and her Mom said,
    We have satellite in Vermont and I love it. I've had no problems with it at all and the speeds are great. It's as good as anything out there. I've never been offline with satellite.

  19. We live way out in the country, but have two services: Satellite for our TV (and yes, when it snows, we have to go up to the rooftop and sweep it off to get TV service! (Been there, done that!)hehe

    Our computers are ran off of BroadBand which goes from our special modem through our local telephone company. We had to purchase the modem ($75-100), but we own it forever. We can run up to 10 computers and laptops off of that one modem. The service costs us about $50.00 a month. And best of all, e-mail and internet are high speed!

    Maybe you can get something like this in our new home?

    Good luck!!

  20. Oh! And I forgot to mention, we decided NOT to get Satellite for our computers because it was way too cost prohibitive for us. The BroadBand is very affordable, runs through the phone line, through Quest, doesn't take away any pone service/calls, and is super fast with downloads/uploads.

    Several of our rural neighbors have HughesNet and Linksys and when we first moved out here, we could tap into their systems using our Intel Centrino capable laptops. Kind of felt like stealing, but I hated not being 'connected! hehe

    Unfortunately, we didn't like the Satellite connection because we kept getting knocked off and the downlaods were wretchedly slow.


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