INTERNET / TV / PHONE
The best PVC solution for Internet access
today that I know of for most owners is to
share a DSL connected WIFI. Several close lots sharing a single DSL line, provides a
low cost solution that makes good reception
possible with line-of-sight WIFI transmission even
with our difficult terrain. Many are minimal Internet users and/or spend little time here.
Our Pavilion hot-spot meets the need for
occasional use. ( Feb 2019 - Windstream is
having financial issues. Read FORBES
See Congressman comments here.
[ In 2016 I began an effort to get fiber
optic based Internet from North
Georgia Network (NGN) available to each lot using
our existing, in-ground, TV Cable to achieve lower cost and
speed/reliability. See more detail here.
Our existing cable infrastructure was technically surveyed and found useable. Fifty users were
necessary to initiate service.
May/June of 2017 the PVC Board of Directors voted
against doing this.]
1. HOT SPOT -
No Internet at your RV ?
The Board has contracted for DSL service at campground
expense, and provides WIFI access at the
breezeway and Pool Deck area. See Bulletin Boards inside the campground for
the access code. Over "smart" cell
limits? Use Pavilion WIFI to stretch data limits
2. DSL - DSL Internet access is available in Paradise Valley from Windstream
(here-in-after "Wind"). This service
uses the telephone land
line, available near your power pedestal.
Wind has closed their Cleveland Office but retains
a service facility close to PVC. In 2018 Wind is
promoting the use of two twisted pair (not one)
and the rental of modem-router for $10 each month.
For the first time Internet only service does not
include a "dial tone" and the taxes
related to "phone use". It is
reasonable/possible to use your own equipment
rather than renting at high cost although you must
carefully communicate with Wind. Internet speeds
are quoted at a variety of speeds? (Recent
speed test: 2.55 meg down, 0.36 meg up. Quoted at:
4.0 meg down, 0.786 meg up) Look for
"sales" and special sign ups. NOTE: Even
these slow speeds can keep your cell data use down
!! NOTE: Wind has been able to source the
SAGE rental modems from a wonderful (not) EU
company that does NOT sell to the public; only
OEMs or providers like Wind. These are not
available to individuals on the open market. Wind
is attempting to force the very high profit modem
rental. Get requirements for another modem
carefully... and save big bucks!
3. SATELLITE -
Satellite Internet is currently used on several
PVC lots! A clear view of the southern sky is
a must. Both Hughes and Wild Blue (Exede) have rolled out
lower cost service and equipment. Investigate
your options carefully. A 2 year contract is normally required.
Look very carefully at data limits. Data use has
increased and there are no limits for
middle-of-night data with some plans. Monthly
costs are approaching DSL. Plan changes are
frequently made that improve costs/usage. Review
this option periodically if you think it may be
for you. They are more competitive as time
4. CELLULAR -
Some in Paradise Valley use the Internet
services offered by their cellular provider (air
card, MIFI) or simply use advanced cell phones and
Cellular providers do
continue to increase the bandwidth capability of
their services and cell phone capability improves,
but our remote and thinly populated (by urban
standards) service area is the last in the
network to receive the latest of such
capability. Our difficult terrain and distance
hurts reception. The providers use of the 700 to 900mhz
bands helps our terrain / distance reception
situation. Several folks here report good
combined phone / Internet service from Verizon and
cost. The "hardware" varies.
Many in-park locations do not receive cellular
service well. Like
Satellite your data usage is critical and
excessive use can be expensive. Antennas and
signal boosters are the only way for reception in
many areas of the park. If you travel a lot this
may be your best on-lot option. Read mid-2017 Opinion
about Verizon & FMCA HERE.
See the NEW SPRINT
TELEVISION - For
TV pick DirecTV or DISH Satellite service.
There is no "broadcast" reception I
know of ? It is possible to share a
satellite account. You can obtain TV programs from your Internet /
computer setup and with "smart" TVs too.
This may satisfy your TV needs? Solutions
like this are really an application of Internet, computer, television and/or special
"game boxes". Our "Slow
DSL" and Sat data limits makes this solution tenuous at best...
Valley did have a Cable Television service in the
past.) If you would like to share a single
satellite service with a neighbor I will be glad
to explain how to do this.
No Internet service at your lot ?
The Board has contracted for DSL WIFI access at the
breezeway and Pool Deck area. See Bulletin Boards in the campground for the
access code. Plug-in
your VoIP device to your WIFI connected laptop computer
and talk, talk, talk away... FREE.
1. LAND LINE - Windstream
exclusively provides wired phone service over
regular phone lines at your lot. See DSL above. Many combine DSL with regular
2. IP or VoIP -
The combination of Wind DSL and a VoIP [ Voice
over Internet Protocol]
device (like MagicJack) generally provides the lowest
cost service for your computer and telephone use.
If you share your DSL costs, you can easily
achieve total costs below $20 / mo. Wow!
The addition of a MagicJack 2 or Plus, to your DSL /
computer setup makes phone service close to
"free". MagicJack 2, will operate
without a computer active on your DSL service if
you connect via a Router.
More companies are entering the IP Phone
market, where Internet infrastructure rather
than older telephone infrastructure is used.
MagicJack is best known in this market, but look around before you
choose an IP phone device. Start-ups in IP
technology abound. WalMart is
now offering VoIP. Business is using it
! The poor quality
of Wind DSL hurts voice or reception quality
Unlike many Internet providers Wind does not prioritize VoIP packets and
has lots of built in latency (delay).
I am reminded that Google provides IP voice
(phone) capability via a Gmail Email account. This is
free in the USA and requires a computer mike + speakers,
like Skipe. Outside USA calls are extra. You have
Gmail ? Did I mention FREE ?
- Verizon, ATT and Sprint are most
popular. Reception depends on where you are in PVC
and your phone. Active Boosters
work with all of them. Best reported reception
seems to be from Sprint ...
We have poor ATT GSM cell reception at our lot. We
use a Wilson LoBand outside Yagi
Antenna with an amplifier/inside antenna. (about $70.
on eBay) When I
ran the cable to the amplifier mounted at the edge
of our loft, Wow, I had 3 to 4 bars inside and 3 bars
outside! Works great !! Caution; get an amplifier compatible
with your cell carrier. ATT & T-Mobile are GSM.
VERIZON & Sprint are CDMA. Don't waste
money on multi-band amplifiers that cost
hundreds for cell service. In the mountains
it is LoBand; 850mhz. If you are trying to boost
Internet service too, you must determine what
service and what band is related. Latest LTE is
700MHZ. Incidentally, a similar CDMA
booster on eBay is about $50 ! [
Consumer Cellular an independent, uses the ATT GSM network ,and now offers
Unlimited minutes for $20 per month; 250
minutes for $15. Unlimited text and 250meg data is
$5 and 1 gig is $10. CC supplies a free
"SIM" card for an unlocked GSM phone you own or buy anywhere.]
SPRINT STORY: Bob Fedderwitz, Lot133, has been
kind enough to share his experience with Sprint
that provides for his, Cell Phone, Internet and Television at very reasonable cost. Bob begins by
reminding us that the nearest Sprint Tower is
close; behind the Cottage Winery on #129. He explains that his "unlimited"
service is a multiple phones plan (up to 5) and
that fewer phones increase individual cost, but
that it is easy to group friends, who are
permitted to pay individually. Three runs
about $40/mo each; five on special, $20... Wow!
To strengthen the "Tower's Data Signal" Bob
uses Sprint's free "The Magic Box", a
signal booster. Each phone is limited to
50 gig of data/mo; that includes the data used when setup as a
WIFI source. Bob connects an HDMI cable
between his smart phone and his TV, and enjoys streaming of Netflix, DirecTV, etc.
directly to his TV. To use an Amazon Fire Stick or FireTV the
phone-in-WIFI-mode is used. Bob
reports great care in placing "The Magic
Box", reading itís "meter"
carefully for a best signal strength location, and
is getting a 60mbps data rate. It provides good coverage over all of his lot too!
While he has never exceeded the 50 gig limit, he
points out that his wife's Sprint phone has
another 50gigs available to use ! (That's a lot
of data !)
Bob closed pointing to Windstreamís current sale for
$36/mo plus $6 for modem, for 12mbps down. They
offer a $100 credit to sign up. Something you
might consider, he suggests. Thanks so much Bob !
AN OWNER'S STORY: In order to provide service for two lots, this owner has DSL
WIFI service on one lot which is received by both, then added phone the same way using
portable electronic phones. This provided these services at half the individual cost!
I invite comments from owners sharing other
solutions, bargains, or unique ways you have devised to
gain access to the Internet, receive TV or
simply, talk on the phone. [major rewrite April