INTERNET / TV / PHONE 




INTERNET - 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. 
[ Beginning in 2016 I attempted to get fiber optic based Internet from North Georgia Network (NGN) delivered to each lot using our existing in-ground TV Cable  to achieve lower cost and improve speed/reliability. Our existing infrastructure was surveyed and found useable. Fifty users were necessary to initiate service.  In May/June of 2017 the PVC Board voted this down.] 

  1. HOT SPOT - No Internet at your RV ? The Board has contracted for DSL service at campground expense, and provides WIFI access at the Pavilion 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 via WIFI.

  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 passes...

  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 tablets.  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 Sprint at "reasonable" 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


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... (Paradise 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.


TELEPHONE - No Internet service at your lot ? The Board has contracted for DSL  WIFI access at the Pavilion 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 phone service.

  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 at times. 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 ?

  3.CELLULAR -  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.  here 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.] 


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 2018]


 



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