The PhoneBoy Blog


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How To Get Broadband When You Can’t?

CabinWhen we look for a place to live, one of the absolute requirements is: can we get broadband. No broadband, we don’t live there. (A close second is proximity to an airport). It’s an occupational hazard of working from home.

When you live in the middle of nowhere like this guy who asked Slashdot, and you want to be connected, what do you do? Mobile phone networks are either non-existent or not data friendly. Landlines give you dialup service. Moving is an option, but some folks are too stubborn for that choice. What do you do?  Let’s run through some options:

ISDN: Believe it or not, you can still get an ISDN circuit most anyplace you can get a conventional landline. They are rare, but it is “still on the books.” In fact, I know someone who lives in Santa Clara, CA whom can’t get DSL or cable but still uses ISDN. This gives you 128kb/s if you can bond both B channels, which is nothing to sneeze at. I used this sort of connection many years ago and it was more than reasonable for light surfing. Even if your ISP doesn’t support ISDN, an analog modem on one B channel of your ISDN gets 53k quite easily.

Check The Mobile Phone Companies: Even if you  do live out in the boonies, it’s worth asking if they support 3G data services in your area. If it’s 1xRTT or EDGE, you should probably pass. If they offer EVDO or HSDPA, that’s workable.

Satellite: If you’ve got line-of-sight access to the southern sky,  broadband over satellite may be an option. The laws of physics are working against you, so highly interactive sessions are out of the question.

Roll Your Own: The prevailing opinion on Slashdot was: roll your own. Use antennas to find the Internet somewhere else and bring it down to your house. Or you could bring the Internet some place else and use wireless to bring it to your house, and possibly sell access to others in the area. This requires the most work, but in many cases has the best promise to give you what you’d want.

The question is: if you couldn’t get broadband where you lived, what would you do in order to get it?Let me know what you think by leaving a comments.


C-List #Cybersecurity Celebrity, Podcaster, #noagenda Producer, Frequenter of shiny metal tubes, Expressor of personal opinions, and of course, a coffee achiever.