Without a tower to get above the trees your options are slim. The ISP was probably talking about a 900Mhz system but with alot of trees that may be a problem too. One solution would be put up a tower high enough to get a shot at the southern sky and put in a satellite or put up a tower to get a RF LOS with the ISP.
You have to have something to communicate with at the other end. If the wireless ISP can't help you as the situation is now, you're probably down to deciding if the tall trees are more valuable or the internet service. You could put up a tower that's taller than the trees or you can use a chainsaw and lower the trees.
The non line-of-sight solutions are usually 900MHz pieces of equipment that are better at shooting through trees, but if the ISP's access point is several miles away that would seem iffy. 5-10 miles with line-of-sight is doable with strong directional antennas. 5-10 miles non-line-of-sight isn't really practical at present. But with RF equipment, often times you get surprised. Sometimes to the good, sometimes to the bad.
I live in a rural area (Camas, Washington), currently using 28.8K dialup.
ISDN is available, but far too expensive for home use.
I'm too far out for DSL, Cable isn't available out here, and we have too many tall fir trees for satellite (I've heard lots of negatives with that anyway).
We live up on a mountain, with nothing between us and the surrounding areas other than the trees surrounding us.
From what I've been able to determine from online listings, the nearest Wi- Fi "hotspot" is probably 5-10 miles from here.
Wireless seems ideal, but I really don't know what options I have available.
I found one company locally that provides wireless internet service, but they seldom respond to my emails. They apparently came out to test the signal and couldn't get a good signal because of the trees. They said they had another "non line of sight" system, but I haven't heard back from them about that.
Anyway, what wireless technologies are available that might work in my situation?
Unless something has happened in the last few weeks it's still in the experimental stages. The big hurdle is that the networking won't pass through transformers. So at least one power company is tinkering with getting the packets out to the poles in different neighborhoods and then putting in a wireless access point to make the last link to the houses. "The Last Mile" as it's commonly referred to, is a stinker of a problem. Lots of solutions are in the works, nothing seems to be rising head and shoulders above the others as the solution.
BPL (broadband over power line) is evil. It clobbers HF communications. The equipment isn't much better than prototypes at this time. A substantial number of the BPL trials have been cancelled or listed as a failure for various reasons.
Methinks y'er thinking of Corridor:
turn a single power line into a microwave transmission line using the G-Line principle. Instead of trashing the HF spectrum, they use various bands between 800MHz and 10GHz. Very little radiation from the G-Line. The last 100ft is via 802.11b (Grrrr...)
big problems are that it doesn't go around corners very well, doesn't go through xformers, and is more expensive than the Amperion HF jamming abomination.
Sounds like a cheap electric company. The only reason they would do that would be because they didn't want to connect an RF bridge around all the "last mile" power transformers. They could just deliver the data directly to the customers wall outlet but are apparently using only the high voltage power lines for distribution. 802.11 from the pole (or xformer) eliminates that hassle.
Actually, it probably wasn't the utility company that was cheap. The trials I've investigated all seem to show the utility company as an innocent bystander. Their attitude seems to be that this must be a money maker from the first day, and that at best, they'll be an investor and not an active participant. They lease out the use of their power distribution infrastructure to a company that can build a communications network on top of it. The communications company can get its own financing, run its own trials, and deal with ALL the hassles. The utility company will help, but not very much. I know of at least one BPL trial that never went beyond a paper tiger because both "partners" had radically different assumptions as to the nature of the relationship.
Well, if we simply define this as a method of moving data down a power distribution infrastructure, I can think of at least 4 different approaches. Personally, I like the G-Line approach. I've build G-Lines and see the possibilities. However, like any retrofit of existing infrastructure, the topology and construction are not ideal. Changes and compromises will need to be made, which is not a trivial exercise on a massive power grid scale.
Well, ok. I've been there before. Every single communications system proposed before the FCC is justified on the basis of providing service to the poor, underserved, and politically sensitive rural areas. I'll spare you my list of such proposals, that once approved, were instantly implimented first in the denser and more profitable metropolitan areas, while being ignored in the very rural areas they were originally intended to serve. Hard to reach means expensive and that part of the equation isn't going to go away. If BPL is going to happen (I hope not), then it will be in the denser areas, and not in the hard to reach rural areas.
Incidentally, using wireless from the pole isn't anything new. LMDS (Local Multipoint Distribution Service) is designed to do exactly that. 28Ghz radios, hung on the utility pole, back fed by BPL, telco copper, coax, fiber, or another radio, has been proposed, licensed, auctioned, and generally ignored for about 10 years. Like 802.11, it's a solution to the "last 100ft" problem. It's major limitation is the expense and availability of 28GHz hardware.
The electric company that I was thinking of was getting the networking out to the different neighborhoods with an 802.11b access point mounted on the pole to finish the circuit to the house. I don't remember seeing this one with the wires generating signal. I probably was not clear when I mentioned the "Last Mile". It wasn't a reference to any particular power company or technology, it was a reference to the overall problem of getting broadband to everyone in the hard-to-reach areas all over the U.S. Lots of ideas, nothing looking real great at the moment.