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Old 06-07-2012, 02:18 AM
 
Location: The Southern Apps of North Carolina
552 posts, read 1,033,989 times
Reputation: 480
Default Curious: High speed Internet and Cable vs. Satellite

My employer is moving me to SW Montana, I don't know exactly where yet, but within an hour of Bozeman. I have a son who is disabled, and his entire social world is in his X-box Live, Internet, and Cable TV. I am an online college student, and my studies require high speed Internet for video exams. What companies and technology do you all use out here in the rural areas? I've seen DSL mentioned in the forum, but that won't cut it, not fast enough. We need broadband or Satellite. How far out of Bozeman does Cable extend? I may want to live closer to Bozeman and commute.

Thanks!
Tracey
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:35 AM
 
297 posts, read 307,939 times
Reputation: 267
Contact Optimum and talk to a customer service rep there. They're pretty good about answering questions and can check addresses for you. I'm in Missoula but satellite internet is not as good as cable IMHO, plus it costs a fortune. Glad you're not considering DSL -- DSL through the phone company here sucks pond water! I'm very happy with Optimum. Optimum Online
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:42 AM
 
Location: West Texas
26 posts, read 32,702 times
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Last year or so I was researching Satellite internet for my in-laws that live in semi-rural Alaska. DSL is to far away, and there is no cable. It was going to cost them a bunch of $. In my research I also noted that Satellite will not work with Xbox Live ( Xbox LIVE Compatibility | Xbox LIVE Compatible ISPs | Xbox LIVE Connection - Xbox.com - Xbox.com ).

I think Cable would be your best bet.

But I'm curious why you think DSL is too slow? I have 6Mb DSL at my house, and I'm on Xbox Live, Skype, Netflix, etc, and I've never had a problem. I have a friend that is on LIVE too, and he's only got 1.5Mb. But if DSL is no good in the area, like MontanaGyrl said, then that could be a problem.

DSL is "broadband", I wonder if your confused with regular dial-up, which definitely would be way too slow. But DSL also has a limited range, it needs to be within a certain distance from a transmission junction, so finding it in a rural area is often difficult.

Another option I've seen is direct line of sight radio broadband, called fixed wireless broadband, but I don't know what sort of speeds, and distances it can travel, or if it's available in SW Montana.
Fixed Wireless Broadband - What Is Fixed Wireless Broadband Internet Access?
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Leaving Montana for good...
227 posts, read 180,078 times
Reputation: 255
DSL is much more distance sensative vs Cable. Depending on the phone wiring layout of Bozeman area, you may be limited to 1.5meg DSL speeds, anything higher requires you to generally be within 10,000 feet of the main central telephone office. Optimum is your best bet as satellite has all be fallen by the wayside and was never good in comparison to modern broadband, especially in regards to costs, speed and reliablitly.

You gotta choose, higher speed internet or live further away and be stuck with slower DSL or no broadband? As with alot of things in life, you gotta weigh your pro's and con's
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:57 PM
 
Location: The Southern Apps of North Carolina
552 posts, read 1,033,989 times
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Thanks everyone! When I think DSL, I think telephone wire transmission, and broadband for me is cable transmission. I honestly don't know why there is a difference, since both are now (in most areas) fiber optic. Perhaps something to do with the equipment used. But I digress! DSL is too iffy for me, since I have to be able to do my exams with an online proctor watching my every move.

So, I've pretty much nixed Big Timber and now I'm looking at Livingston (Yes, windy, I know), or perhaps even Bozeman. We simply have to have dependable high speed Internet. Is Optimum the major cable provider in Livingston? I see they do offer service there.

Thanks again! You'll be hearing from me again soon!

Tracey
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:01 AM
 
Location: Leaving Montana for good...
227 posts, read 180,078 times
Reputation: 255
Uh, cable companies are under just as much scrutiny as DSL if your worried about ISP's or third party companies keeping an eye on your data usage, welcome to the modern internet. DSL and cable are just two different types of technologies to provide "broadband" internet both with pluses and minuses. DSL typically provides more constant bandwith but it distance sensative and can be problematic with poor house wiring. Cable is easier to get from long distances but can suffer from bandwith issues as you are basically sharing a particular frequency "loop" with other people in your neighborhood so if a few people are really downloading hard on the line, everyone elses bandwith can suffer.

In Livingston, your gonna likely be fairly limited with broadband availability, especially DSL, Bresnan *now Optimum* may be the only choice down there but I'm not sure

And no, there is no fiber optic anywhere in the state of Montana, so you can forget that.
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
17,628 posts, read 22,043,857 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ceTr0n View Post
- snip -

And no, there is no fiber optic anywhere in the state of Montana, so you can forget that.
Excuse me. There are literally thousands of miles of fiber optics in Montana. Most major carriers of internet use fiber optics that is currently buried in Montana soil.

DSL is based on last switching station. Depending on distance from that station is what you can get from DSL for speed.

We had a dedicated T1 transmission line and it was brought in via telephone wire and fiber optic. It is as clean as it gets, reliable, and falls in line with pricing throughout the US.

So when you think DSL, you can, depending on the package you want, get the best broadband available and even reach or exceed the speeds that cable transmission can give you.
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:34 AM
 
13,110 posts, read 11,926,945 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaGyrl View Post
Contact Optimum and talk to a customer service rep there. They're pretty good about answering questions and can check addresses for you. I'm in Missoula but satellite internet is not as good as cable IMHO, plus it costs a fortune. Glad you're not considering DSL -- DSL through the phone company here sucks pond water! I'm very happy with Optimum. Optimum Online
Agreed! Though I live in western Colorado I switched to Bresnan (now Optimum) in 2008. I had DirecTV for years but the multiple package (phone, high sp. internet and cable tv) worked out great for me. When I've needed help, the customer service people in Billings have always been courteous and when they've come out for service work they've been right on time.

Just my two cents worth.
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Leaving Montana for good...
227 posts, read 180,078 times
Reputation: 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElkHunter View Post
Excuse me. There are literally thousands of miles of fiber optics in Montana. Most major carriers of internet use fiber optics that is currently buried in Montana soil.
For backbone transmissions? yes. For dedicated fiber to households? No
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
17,628 posts, read 22,043,857 times
Reputation: 10729
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ceTr0n View Post
For backbone transmissions? yes. For dedicated fiber to households? No
I don't know for sure but there are a lot of companies that offer Internet via fiber optics and they say "To the home".

Billings Fiber Optic Internet | Compare Offers in MT
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