INTERNET / TV / PHONE
The best solution for Internet access that I know of
is for several owners to
share a DSL connected WIFI Access Point (router).
Small groups, sharing a single DSL line via WIFI, provides a
low cost solution that usually works well, and gives
freedom to move about !! Line-of-sight transmission
and closeness makes good reception possible, even
with our difficult terrain and vegetation. Many owners
are minimal Internet users and/or spend little time here.
The simple Pavilion hot-spot meets that casual need.
[ If you would like to set up a WIFI Access Point
or Router, I
will be pleased to demonstrate a working example and show
how it's done.] ** see below
Beginning in the Fall of 2016:
I attempted to get fiber
optic based Internet available in
Paradise to lower cost and improve service. In
May/June of 2017 the 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
breezeway and Pool Deck area. See Bulletin Boards inside the campground for
the access code.
2. DSL - DSL Internet access is available in Paradise Valley from Windstream. This service
uses the telephone land
line, available near your power pedestal. In
2017 no more Senior / lifeline, unless
on government welfare programs. Now DSL only
is $55/month, less promo discount of $20, and less
a $100 sign-up bonus, plus about $18 in monthly
fees and taxes that are mostly related to
telephone service! Did ya' get all that ?? Net
all this mess out and for our 7 months season
it is about $47/month. May I please
repeat what a truly great company this is; NOT
The rate in 2016
was about $74. per month with the $10
discount (still) and no LifeLine applied. This
company has hit yet another all time new low,
reducing this amount by $2 to remove the phone
service, and $6 for Long Distance fees, but adding
back the $10 discount when Internet only
service. This makes a basic DSL service in our
area the most expensive Internet access via any
sort of land line or cable I have ever seen or
been told of anywhere. Expect
a monthly bill in the order of $60. to have
Internet; it does include telephone service you
might as well have since the cost without it is
about $2 less. This is with LifeLine applied!
What a really great company this
The rate in 2015
$36.00 per month for
3 meg DSL service with "Lifeline" discount. If you order ONLY DSL you will
receive a phone number and will be able to make
"800" calls and receive calls from
others on a connected phone.
A Lifeline Credit of $12.75 per month is available to those 65 and
older. An additional "promotional" $10
discount is offered currently. (Get a letter from Habersham EMC and
present to Windstream to qualify for your Lifeline
Credit.) Windstream DSL
/ phone rates are generally increased year to
year, so proceed carefully. Do
Windstream promotions do not
mention, plus fees/taxes in excess of
$20.00. (Note rates $35, 2012 to $44, 2013.)
Windstream will no longer sell modems or routers.
The rent rates are (another) a rip off. Visit Yonah Electronics in Cleveland to
purchase a compatible modem, etc at low prices. Save money,
don't rent ! You can also get a Linksys WRT54G router there, or
is still good. Visit or call the Windstream
store in Cleveland, to open your account, as many options and
discounts are NOT online!.
3. SATELLITE -
Satellite Internet is out of $$$ reach for most RVers. The necessary
equipment is bulky and heavy, every aspect of the service is
expensive, and a clear view of the southern sky is
a must. IN 2014:
Both Hughes and Wild Blue (Exede) have rolled out
lower cost service and equipment. At least one
PVC'ite is pleased with Exede, and they do seem to
be winning the consumer feedback war. Investigate
your options here carefully. A longer term
contract like cell service is normally required.
Look very carefully at data limits... understand
your Internet needs before you get involved with
Satellite limitations. In 2017 Hughes is
advertising 10 Megs of data at $55 per month.
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 Opinion of
Verizon & FMCA HERE.
TELEVISION - Paradise
Valley had a Cable Television service, but
they are out of business. To receive TV you can
select from Direct TV or DISH Satellite service.
There is little "broadcast" reception I
know of ? It is possible to share a
satellite account using multiple receivers
but you must be in a common reception area for "locals". ( I
will explain how to, in person.)
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" makes this solution tenuous at best...
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 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 Windstream 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 $25 / 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 are using it
! The poor quality
of Windstream DSL hurts voice or reception quality.
Unlike most Internet access providers
Windstream 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 ?
- We are all covered up with cell promotion. Verizon, ATT and Sprint are most
popular. Reception depends on where you are and the phone you use. Note, there
are older phones that can use an outside antenna plugged in. Active Boosters
work with all of them.
Consumer Cellular an independent, uses the ATT GSM network ,and now offers
500 600 750
1000 minutes for $20 per month. Total bill $24.50. ( Having had FL service, we
appreciate GA taxes at 15 % rather than FL 22+ %.) CC supplies a free
"SIM" card for an unlocked GSM phone you own or buy anywhere.
( Best rates we know ) Best reported reception around the park is
from Sprint in 2017...
New in 2016: Offer from netTALK
Wireless; their "Connect On" GSM network
service. $40 to $45 / month for unlimited talk
& text plus 10GB data ( Wow ! ). Use your own
GSM phone. They supply sim card. Look this up for
more details! ( Thanks! for this info, Jan)
New in 2016/17: We have had difficulty
with ATT GSM cell reception at our lot forever. We
had worked around this with a Wilson LoBand Yagi
Antenna we could plug into the phone but most
phones these days have no connector. I found a
LoBand Amplifier, cable, inside & outside
antennas for about $70. new
on eBay. I used the same general antenna
install I had used for the Wilson antenna. When I
ran the cable to the amplifier mounted at the edge
of our loft, Wow, I had 3 to 4 bars all around
inside and 2 to 3 bars close to the cabin outside!
This was a great success at a great price !
Caution, be sure to get an amplifier compatible
with your cell carrier. ATT & T-Mobile are GSM.
VERIZON & Sprint are CDMA. Don't waste
money on expensive multi-band amplifiers that cost
hundreds for just cell service. In the mountains
it is all LoBand. If you are trying to boost
Internet service too, you must determine what
service and what band is related. Latest LTE is
700MHZ. If you have long cable runs or? get in
touch.. Incidentally, an inexpensive similar CDMA
booster on eBay is about $50 !
** ( The possibility exists for all of Paradise Valley to have Cable Internet
access, like Road Runner or Xfinity. To accomplish this modifications would be required to the
in-ground cable system, and a T1 or other "pipe" brought to the front of the park.
To explore this option further a detail survey of owners is needed to determine how many have an
interest and what they could pay .)
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.