[SATLUG] Shopping Question

John Pappas j at jvpappas.net
Mon Feb 23 13:03:03 CST 2009

On Sun, Feb 22, 2009 at 22:03, Bruce Dubbs <bruce.dubbs at gmail.com> wrote:

> Andrew Pickens wrote:
>> Please excuse a non-Linux question, but this is the only source of expert
>> info that I have available.
>> My daughter-in-law, in central Nevada (Round Mountain), asked the
>> following.  Since my wife is a phone company retiree, we get a special rate,
>> and I have no answer.
>> "We received a mail advertisement yesterday from the DSL provider for this
>> area. Do you think 39.95 a month for 12 months, and a 5.95 lease fee, with
>> 99.00 install is reasonable? The rate goes up 10 dollars after the first
>> year to their basic fee of 49.95. Right now we are paying 22.95 for AT&T
>> dialup. We rarely have issues with it, but it is so slow, and you can forget
>> about receiving pictures.
If they are used to Dialup, any DSL speed better than 128K would be a vast
improvement, if the increased cost is acceptable.  If you are looking at a
256K up/768K down ADSL link, and there is little/no cable competition, then
the price is reasonable (albeit maybe not fair), but if you are looking at
the 512Kb up/1+M down ADSL, the price is fair.  I am paying ~57 for RR turbo
(1M up 15M down), Although I am in town and in a competitive market.

"The lease fee is for the satellite and equipment that they have to install.
>> It is much like the Direct TV equipment that we have now. We did not buy the
>> satellite dish or the receiver, so we have to lease it. Although with Direct
>> TV, they waive the fee because we have been with them for so long."
Not sure how this applies, but Satellite will be more expensive per KB than
nearly any other medium, although the 5G cap introduced by the wireless
carriers for data plans may change that for heavy users.  Most wireless data
plans run in the 60/month range and average 256K up/512K down, depending on
signal strength and protocol.  I have gotten as high as 1.5M down on my
Sprint EVDO rev A card (cut that in half for just EVDO) and just under 1M
(~900K) down on 3G via my iPhone.  EDGE/RTT are better than dialup, but
noticeably slow in comparison (300-400K down).  I have no experience with
Satellite, but my understanding is that latency is high (128K mile round
trip), but throughput is acceptable.  Most Sat providers also have a "Fair
Use" policy (Similar to the caps that most carriers use) so be aware.

> You don't say what the speed it, but that seems kinda pricey. OTOH, I
> suspect that being in the middle of Nevada is more expensive for these types
> of things.  The question thy have to ask is is the increased speed worth the
> $30/month difference to them.  It would be to me, but everyone is different.

I agree.  I cannot function professionally without a net connection (and
barely personally) so I will pay whatever it takes to get a reasonable
link.  The 5G cap that Sprint hit me with eliminates feasibility as a
full-time connection, but works great as an on-demand on ramp to the


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