Questions about Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP)

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I've had WISP service for a couple of years, and a few days ago called
them to get a few questions about the service answered. But all I got
from them was a runaround.... the guy on the other end of the phone
line seemed very knowledgeable about their service, but couldn't or
wouldn't give me a straight answer to any of my questions.... so I
thought I'd post here. Maybe some WISP provide who doesn't have me as
a potential "loss" customer can give some answers.

First, the situation.  
My WISP offers two levels of service, up to 3 Mbps and up to 5 Mbps. I
started with 3, and after a few months upped it to 5 (which costs
twice as much). With the 5 Mbps service, I really did occasionally see
5 Mbps speeds, but usually less than 3, sometimes less than 1. So my
first questions was: When I'm only getting 1 Mbps on my 5 Mbps
service, what are the people who are on 3 Mbps getting?  

After much assurances that the speed decrease was only temporary and
I'd soon see faster service, but no answer to the question. I asked
him another question: How do they control that I never get more than
5, and how those other users never get more than 3? He wouldn't answer
that either. I was trying to determine if when multiple users all
loaded the system so that my average speed was only 1 Mbps.... was
everyone else (who are paying only half as much) also getting 1 Mbps?  

Because I couldn't get an answer, I decided to switch back to 3 Mbps
service and save $50/month. So far that's what I'm on (less than a
month so far) and speed still runs somewhere between 1 and 3 Mbps,
depending on day of the week and time of day, so I figure the system
is still heavily overloaded.

So, anyone know how this works in overloaded WISPs? Any comments or
links to information are appreciated.  

Re: Questions about Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP)


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I don't know.
Before my WISP was bought out, the service techs always told me there wasn't enough bandwidth for anyone, no matter what plan they were on, so no good to upgrade.

Now since they were bought out I've been told with this new equip I can get higher speeds. There have been three service calls scheduled and they haven't been able to make one yet.

Now my internet isn't even working. I had to activate a smart phone to get internet, until it's fixed, or upgraded.

By the end of this month I'll either have it working, or have a new WISP.
4g might be better than what I have now from Fuego wireless, or maybe a hotspot from Virgin mobile, that way I can take it any where.
--  
 :-)
Don't let the Zombies get you!!!!

My God is better than your god!!!!

Re: Questions about Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP)
wrote:

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I've also tried using my cell phone, tethered, to get an internet
connection with decent speed. The only downside to that is the high
cost of the cell-provided data.

Re: Questions about Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP)
Lord Bergamont wrote, on Sat, 07 Mar 2015 16:52:52 -0600:

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What you say the older guys told you is sheer bullshit.
What you say the newer guys are telling you is correct.

The speeds are dependent only on three things.
1. The WISP equipment (and aiming at you)
2. YOUR equipment (and distance from the WISP)
3. The environment

The WISP can have faster routers, more powerful radios,  
antennas aimed more directly at you, throughput throttling,  
bandwidth loading, and many other issues, all of which money
can solve with better newer faster more powerful equipment.

You can do the same thing, by investing in a more powerful
antenna, selecting the best channel, aiming at the primary
lobe of the WISP antenna, eliminating items in the Fresnel  
zone, etc.

You have to deal with the noise of the environment, and  
where LOS obstructions are a fact of life.



Re: Questions about Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP)
Charlie Hoffpauir wrote, on Sat, 07 Mar 2015 15:47:48 -0600:

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I am on a WISP who does not throttle, and each of us gets
a different speed up and down (even though it's supposed to  
be symmetric).  

Everything depends on what the rooftop radio "sees".  

For example, here is what my rooftop radio sees right now:
 
http://i61.tinypic.com/vr62av.jpg

Notice my noise level is pretty high at -86dBm (that's very  
high, but there's a reason for that). My neighbors are in
the 90's range, which means they have a better signal to  
noise ratio.

On the other hand, notice my signal strength is fantastic,  
at -51dBm (which is pretty good even though the WISP antenna
is miles away). This is probably the biggest determinant,  
and the closer this gets to noice, the worse you'll get.

Also notice my signal quality isn't all that great at 83%.
You may also notice my channel is at 11 but we'd have to  
look at the noise at that level (which can be gotten by
a noise spectrograph in the tools menu at upper right).

There are a LOT more things to look at (tons more), but,  
these are starters.


Re: Questions about Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP)
On Sat, 07 Mar 2015 15:47:48 -0600, Charlie Hoffpauir wrote:

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The place you can ask this is the WISP forums.
Here's just one.
https://community.ubnt.com/t5/custom/page/page-id/Forums

Re: Questions about Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP)
On Sat, 07 Mar 2015 21:03:44 -0600, Sunshine

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OK, I appreciate the comments, however, I don't think my system is
like either the forum Sunshine recommends (Ubiquiti) or what Adair is
referring to. The hardware that my WISP uses is Motorola, and from
pictures on their web site, I think it's Canopy. I have no idea what
frequency they are on, but I can't see any way to get charts like
Sunshine has, not any way to directly access what my radio or antenna
are getting. There's no way to install a separate antenna, either...
it's just all in that plastic device. FWIW, it looks like all the
hardware is in one square antenna-like plastic container mounted on my
OTA antenna mast. Cat5 cable runs down from that to a box mounted near
the ground which appears to be nothing but a lightning protection.
Power over ethernet box connects just before the cat 5 goes to my
router. I say square, but it's mounted diamond-like, corners up and
down. My local (personal) WiFi is on channel 11, and neighbors on 4,
6, and, 9.... Nothing like a WiFi signal being broadcast by the WISP.
(All the neighbors are also on the WISP). My cell phone WiFi analyzer
doesn't see any WiFi signals that could be coming from anywhere other
than the neighbors I mentioned.  

Re: Questions about Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP)

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wonder where you are located -
we have a local WISP using Canopy - western burbs of Chicago -
with the base stations up on the local water towers around town.




Re: Questions about Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP)
On Sun, 8 Mar 2015 22:50:59 -0500, "ps56k"

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My location is in a wooded area, about 50 miles south of Houston, TX.
But the WISP has a pretty large service area south of Houston. They
used to have a map, but apparently it's not displaying now, but they
list a lot of small towns, all more-or-less south of Houston. Here's a
link to their web site: http://www.skynetwisp.com/coverage.html
They have multiple transmission towers near the small towns, the one
I'm on is about 1/4 mile south of me, but as I said, it's very wooded.

FWIW, one technician who checked my equipment at the house said there
we 93 users on the AP that I was on.... but the technician on the
phone said that was wrong... he wouldn't say how many, but continued
to deny the 93 number. (Maybe because there are more?)

I Googled Canopy and read a bit about it on Wikipedia, and they
mentioned that customers could query the status of their subscriber
module by viewing URL 169.254.1.1/main.cgi .... I tried that but got
the webpage not available message. I'm not even sure that the system
that my WISP is using is Canopy, since the Wiki article mentioned that
Motorola had sold the Canopy business in 2011, and the devices on my
system clearly have the Motorola "M" on them.


Re: Questions about Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP)
On Mon, 09 Mar 2015 15:40:53 -0500, Charlie Hoffpauir wrote:

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We have about 20 on an access point.

Dunno if 93 is a lot or not, because everything depends on the  
equipment and backhaul...

That's something you an ask the forums.


Re: Questions about Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP)

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do you have just the small Canopy "pencil box" sized unit mounted ?
http://www.wirelessnetworkproducts.com/ProductImages/canopy2400SM.jpg

OR -
the dish AND the Canopy "pencil box" at the focal point as per your WISP faq  
?
http://www.skynetwisp.com/images/graphic_faqs_01.jpg





Re: Questions about Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP)
On Mon, 9 Mar 2015 22:46:32 -0500, "ps56k"

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Neither. I'll try to get a photo of the box and post it somewhere.
Perhaps I don't have Canopy at all.... that comment was based only on
what I read on the WISP's web site.

Re: Questions about Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP)
On Wed, 11 Mar 2015 09:43:52 -0500, Charlie Hoffpauir

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Here's the photo:  

 
http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2hhgm0y&s=8#.VQBYio54qM5

Af far as I can tell, there's nothing but trees between this box and
the tower. Most of the houses are single story, and the land is very
flat.

Re: Questions about Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP)
On Wed, 11 Mar 2015 10:03:25 -0500, Charlie Hoffpauir wrote:

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Doesn't look like ubiquiti so I'm out of the running... :)


Re: Questions about Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP)
On Wed, 11 Mar 2015 09:43:52 -0500, Charlie Hoffpauir wrote:

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You can easily post a picture to tinypic.com which doesn't require  
any registration.

I'm only familiar with Ubuquiti equipment though.


Re: Questions about Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP)
On Sun, 08 Mar 2015 19:54:45 -0500, Charlie Hoffpauir wrote:

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You have to log into the radio. Out here, all of us can log into our
radios since we bought them ourselves and installed them ourselves.

From that radio, we can get all the metrics (and far more than what
I showed you), all of which will affect your latency & throughput.

We simply pay the WISP for our signal and for him to maintain his
equipment on the top of the mountains nearby.

So, if you don't have access to this information, you're tremendously
hamstrung in what you can do. It's like trying to time a car without
a timing light. There's not much you can do except twist the  
radio & antenna back and forth (which I don't recommend you do)
like we used to do with TV antennas.


Re: Questions about Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP)
On Sun, 08 Mar 2015 19:54:45 -0500, Charlie Hoffpauir wrote:

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I'm only familiar with Ubuqiti equipment, but, from your description,
that's likely a low gain radio & antenna as a high-gain one would be bigger
than you're intimating, and very often has a separate antenna (usually
a dish but it could be a sector antenna).

Low gain is just fine, if you don't need gain (you have better spread  
with the low-gain antenna so the WISP doesn't have to aim directly
at you, for example), but, if you need decibels, then you need higher
gain equipment.  

However, you don't know WHAT you need (since speed is a function of
a whole bunch of factors); you're really missing a LOT of decision
making data like the type I showed you (and lots more).

There's no way you can debug without this information, so, you're
pretty much stuck on what the WISP tells you.


Re: Questions about Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP)
On Sun, 08 Mar 2015 19:54:45 -0500, Charlie Hoffpauir wrote:

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You definitely don't want to be on the same channel as the WISP,  
and, if you're lucky, the WISP is on either 5GHz or 900MHz or  
some other non-2.5GHz frequency.

My WISP is on both 5GHz and 2.5GHz so I plan on buying a 5GHz
antenna and radio (Ubiquiti Rocket M5) which will DOUBLE my speeds
just by that one purchase (remember, my WISP doesn't throttle).

So, for me, the EQIPMENT is everything.  
I started with a Bullet HP M2 and I got about 2Mbps symmetric.
I used to have a Nanobridge M2 - and I got about 4Mbps symmetric.
Then I replaced it with a Rocket M2- and I got 10Mbps instantly.
I expect around 20Mbps or so with the Rocket M5.

If throttling isn't a factor, then you buy the BEST equipment you
can afford (they're cheap nowadays, about $250 for the antenna  
and radio and J-mast) and your speeds are directly related to that.

Of course, you need to AIM at the WISP (which is one of the metrics
you need to check, since out here, radios spin in 100mph wind gusts).

And, as always, you need to be on the least noisy channel.

If I get a chance, I'll post a noise spectrograph of all the radio
interference, which is more than just WiFI since it includes microwaves
and baby monitors and whatever is on the spectrum whatsoever).


Re: Questions about Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP)


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All the equipment is provided free, by my WISP. There is no way for me to access data of how it's working.

They usually do something to the WAP, at the tower to get it working, after they check data on my radio.

The antenna and radio are separate. They supposedly ordered and received some new equipment to install, but keep calling to reschedule while I'm waiting at my house for them to get here.  

It's an unlimited data plan. Over the years I've slacked off on how much I use it. They shouldn't have any complaints about how much I use.

I would like to be able to watch Hulu and pay per view without it starting and stopping, time after time, until I give up trying. Netflix and Acorn tv usually always work good. PBS usually has problems.  

If I get Fuego wireless 4g the max is 3 meg and it's unlimited, with no purchase of equipment and no install charge.

I have Rhino communications now. They have service in Chicago area and down into Texas where I am. They cover much of central USA.

We don't have to worry much about trees blocking signal around here.

--  
 :-)
Don't let the Zombies get you!!!!

My God is better than your god!!!!

Re: Questions about Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP)
On Mon, 09 Mar 2015 12:32:13 -0500, Lord Bergamont wrote:

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Yeah. I know. That's how *most* WISPs work.
That severely limits the information you will have to debug.

Hint: Your equipment isn't free. You probably paid $400 or so for an  
installation (or you pay a monthly rental fee of some sort).

I paid about $250 for my equipment (although I've bought 3 radios,  
and I plan on buying another, so, in essence, I've paid a lot more,  
but, I know that I double my speeds by a one-time investment in  
a radio & antenna (I re-use the Ethernet cable).

Most (but not all) WISPs here, in the Silicon Valley, let us *own*  
& *install* & *setup* our own equipment. So we have total control.


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Yeah. I know. They could simply be throttling you. It could be an
aiming issue. They can log into your radio and change your power  
output. They can change the channel you're on or that they're on.
They can re-align their antenna. They can switch you to a different
(less loaded access point), etc. (They can do scores of things.)

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Just remember, the more powerful your equipment, the better signal
strength you have (over noise), which gives you better throughput
(all else being equal). If you need a decibel, you're always better
off with an antenna decibel over a transmitter decibel (because it
works both ways); so, get the best *antenna* you can get.

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Yeah. That's how most out here are. The only ones out here that
limit the data are the satellite providers, which is understandable
and they're not WISP anyway. Nobody else limits data out here.

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It's not you, but, collectively, the "rush-hour" traffic that they  
need to plan for. That happens sporadically during the day, but  
one time would be when everyone comes home for the evening.  

Try to see what your speeds are at 3am. Mine double at 3am from
what they are at 3pm (remember, I'm not throttled, so, I share
bandwidth with all my neighbors, the bastards!). :)

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It's all about throughput. Go to speedtest.comcast.net or  
speedtest.net, and report back what your throughput is.

Here's a screenshot of mine run just now to compare it to.
http://i58.tinypic.com/2lxfn61.jpg

(My WISP speeds will be slow because it's the middle of the day,  
but they are 20ms, 17.56Mbps down, and 16.26Mbps up).

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I don't use them so I can't advise you there, but, sometimes it's
on your side, and sometimes it's their servers that are clogged up.

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I can't imagine using cellular as my AP and I have a cellular
repeater from the telco in my window (because I complained I wasn't
getting the 4G/LTE speeds - so they sent a repeater for free).

Even with the repeater, I wouldn't use cellular since it has
to go through the phone. I don't know much about it, but, that
seems limiting to me. Jeff Liebermann would know more.

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Out here, they're all one-man shops. Small companies. Only useful
in the mountains, as the Silicon Valley has cable everywhere in  
the flats.

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Yeah. You're lucky. We have mountains so, we can see for 20 miles
in all directions, so, the trees only hamper us when they're close.

Good luck.
Post your speedtest results.


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