Providing the fastest fixed wireless internet in Western Nevada County

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Motorola Canopy 900 Mhz Subscriber Module (SM)

Panel Antenna

These are examples of the equipment which would be mounted at a customers home or business to receive SmarterBroadband's High Speed Internet Service


SMARTERBROADBAND'S FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ'S)

To use our FAQ page either click on a specific question or, just scroll down the page to read them all.

What is 'Fixed Wireless'?
How does it work?
What is a 'Radio Mapping Survey' and an 'On Site Test'?
What is 'Bursting'?
Why should I use Wireless?
How much does it Cost?
What about Uploads?
Is this like Satellite Service?
What's bad about Fixed Wireless Service?
What equipment is required?
What is included in the Installation?
How can I connect more than one computer?
Does weather or trees affect my connection?
Where does the antenna go?
What does the antenna look like?
Is this service secure?
What is a Public IP address and why would I need one?
Is it safe?
What do I need to get service?

What is 'Fixed Wireless'?

Fixed Wireless Internet access is exactly what it says:

  • Wireless - SmarterBroadband is providing high speed solutions for Internet access via advanced wireless radio technology, NO PHONE LINE IS NEEDED! NO CELL PHONE IS NEEDED! There is no need to worry about slow downloads, busy signals or disconnections anymore - with wireless Internet your computer is always on the Internet.
  • Fixed - SmarterBroadband installs a radio receiver know as a Subscriber Module (SM) or Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) at your home or business (see examples on the left). This is not a mobile system like a cell phone, it is a fixed receiver wired into your premises.

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How Does It Work?

We install a small wireless modem which is known as a Subscriber Module (SM) at our customer's location. This is placed somewhere outside near the top of the building, generally mounted to the eave of the roof or the chimney. This unit communicates with our access point, which connects the client to the Internet through our high-speed backbone. We run CAT5 cable from the SM outside your house to your computer. If the customer has a network card, no additional equipment is required.

Please see the pictures on the left showing a typical SMs and CPEs.

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What is a 'Radio Mapping Survey' and an 'On Site Test'?

If you are interested in receiving service from SmarterBroadband. The first thing we do is to check your location in our mapping software to see if you have a line-of-sight to one of our towers. If it looks like you may be able to receive our signal, we will arrange with you to carry out an On Site Test, which is a physical signal check. This means we will come to your location with a Subscriber Module (SM), this will be connected to a laptop computer, we will raise the SM to the same height as it would be if installed at your location and see if we can get an acceptable signal. If we can, you're good to go. We generally arrange the On Site Test and Installation for one visit so if the Test is OK we continue and Install there and then. No re-booking and having to wait for your High Speed Internet. There would be a separate charge if you want a separate survey without installation.

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What is 'Bursting'?

Whatever plan you choose you will enjoy the up to speeds that plans provides. However in addition, with some plans, we provide additional Burst Speeds. This means, sometimes, you will get higher speeds than your plan speed. This is known as your burst allocation. After your Burst allocation has been met, your speed will be shifted down to your chosen service plan rate.

So why, you ask, would you choose a faster plan? The faster plans are designed for people:

  • who want to work with larger files (data files, photographs, music files, video files etc.), or
  • who want to use Audio and/or Video streaming i.e. Netflix or Pandora, or
  • who want to use VoIP telephone service (Voice Over IP), or
  • who want to use online meeting software, or
  • who are gamers.

The faster the plan, the larger the Burst allocation, and the longer it will take to shift down to your service plan data rate.

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Why should I use Wireless?

You should use SmarterBroadband’s fixed wireless solution if you want or need a FAST High Speed Internet. With SmarterBroadband you don’t have to settle for slow dial-up internet connections and a second phone line, poor Satellite Internet Service, Slow DSL lines or expensive slow T1 lines which can cost you $400 to $1,000 a month. SmarterBroadband’s service bypasses the phone system by making a direct, dedicated wireless link to our high-speed network. In fact, for our wireless service you don't need to have a phone line at all.

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How much does it cost?

We offer a number of service options to choose from, these cover both Residential, SoHo (Small Office Home Office) and Business. Prices start at only $49 a month!! Please see our PRICING page.

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What about uploads?

The SmarterBroadband wireless service has many service options for upload speeds. This means that customers who need to upload photos, transfer files, send audio or video can select the right speed for your needs. Our SOHO class services run at higher upload speeds so for Home Office customers, uploads will transfer much faster. For Business customers we offer Symmetrical service (upload and download are the same speed).

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Is this like Satellite service?

NO! Satellite service suffers from several inherent technical problems that are not an issue for our wireless service:

  • With Satellite service, you have to bounce your signal out of the atmosphere to an orbiting satellite and then back to a central location. These huge hops add hundreds of milliseconds of latency that ruin interactive applications and even make some Web sites look slow. Our wireless signal travels from a few hundred feet to a few miles to our nearest access point location. These short distances allow for low latency and high throughput in both directions.
  • Slow upload speeds.
  • Speed throttling. Many Satellite providers have a policy known as FAP (Fair Use Policy); under this policy they will throttle your downloads to Dial-Up speeds if you download more than a certain amount in a short period of time.
  • VoIP Phones do not work with Satellite.
  • VPN does not work with Satellite.
  • Games work very poorly with Satellite if at all.

But don't take our word for it, take a look at our Satellite Users Comments from DSL Reports page, and see what current owners of broadband Satellite say. (What they say is that Satellite broadband is better than dial-up, but if you have any other alternatives, go with them.)

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 What's bad about fixed wireless service?

The disadvantage of our wireless service is that it requires line-of-sight between the customers premises and our access point (line-of-sight service plans). In some circumstances we can offer near line-of-sight (our rural service plans), near line-of-sight means there may be some trees between you and our Access Point, but not rocks, buildings, hills or mountains. If you do not have good near line-of-sight to one of our access points then there is a very low probability that you will be able to get service. The shorter the distance between the client and an access point, the less direct line-of-sight is needed. The only way to be sure if you will get a signal is to have us come to your location and perform a site survey to check the signal strength. Unfortunately, if we can't get a signal then we can't provide SmarterBroadband wireless service at this time. However, we are continually growing our network and adding additional access point locations, so service may become available in the future.

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What Equipment is Required?

The equipment provided by SmarterBroadband includes:

  • Radio Modem (sends wireless signal)
  • Antenna (often in the same outdoor weather proof box as the radio, mounted outdoors for long range).
  • Mounting Hardware.
  • CAT5 cable (connects radio to your computer).
  • Power Supply.

Note: Included CAT5 cable is up to 100 feet.

All that is required from you is a computer with an Ethernet card and if you want to connect more than one computer or have Wi-Fi in your house a Wireless Router.

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What is included in the Installation?

External mounting of the Radio and Antenna using a standard mounting bracket. If another method of mounting is required to receive signal, like a eve mount and pole, this will be at extra cost.

Running CAT5 cable from the equipment to one location in the premises. Up to 100 feet of CAT5 is included in the installation price. Cabling will be run on the exterior of the building, stapled to the walls. Access to the inside will be via a hole drilled through the wall. Internal wiring distance is up to 10 feet from the point of entry, the cable will be stapled if required (along skirting boards when possible).

Any additional work will be charged at our standard rate of $65 per hour.

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How can I connect more than one computer?

To do this you will need a Switch or Router. You can provide your own or SmarterBroadband can provide a router under our HRSA (Home Router Service Agreement). Our HRSA costs $5.95 a month and provides support for a single router. This includes telephone support to keep you up and running and help you attach new wireless devices like iPads etc. Under a HRSA we provide a FREE router and will replace the router if it fails.

Any additional wiring will be charged at our standard rate of $60 per hour.

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Does weather or trees affect my connection?

Generally the advanced equipment we use is not affected by precipitation.

The Rural equipment signal can penetrate a certain number of trees, how many and how dense the trees are will effect to signal. A site survey is necessary to determine whether you will be able to receive signal. When shooting though trees the signal is more vulnerable to service fluctuations due to violent storms and/or very wet weather.

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Where does the antenna go?

The higher the better. Typically we install the antenna at roof peaks or on TV antenna towers. The elevation, immediate surrounding trees, and distance from our access point will determine how high we have to mount the antenna. The antenna requires a line-of-sight or near line-of-sight to one of our tower sites.

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What does the antenna look like?

There are many different types of antennas, and each is selected for the best performance. There are integrated panels, yagis, dishs and reflector dishes.

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Is this service secure?

The service is protected by authentication, proprietary signal processing techniques, and directional antennas which makes it very difficult for anyone to gain unauthorized access. While no communications network is absolutely secure, the difficulty required to exploit data sent over the SmarterBroadband network is at least as high as that for wired and satellite telecommunications networks. If security is a major concern, we can work with you to setup a VPN connection which is accepted as the securest method of connecting over the internet. Remember, there is nothing secure about being on the internet. We make every effort to secure our network and meet our customer's needs.

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What is a static public IP Address and why would I need one?

A static public IP Address is an address that can be seen and accessed from the internet, and if required, may be provided to you for the duration of your term with SmarterBroadband (sometimes at additional cost). If you want to run a web or FTP server then you will need a static address. Some other applications can benefit from a static IP Address. For example if you plan to use an IP camera, for security or livestock monitoring, (we will be able to supply these in the future) you will need a static IP address to be able to access this remotely.
If you just plan to send email and browse the internet you do not need a static IP address.

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Is it safe?

Absolutely. The SmarterBroadband's transceiver generally emits less power than a cellular telephone, and the antenna will be installed above ground level. The equipment used has been certified by the FCC, the recommended safety distance from the front of the antenna is 3 feet.

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What do I need to get service?

Just give us a call. The professional installation crew will provide everything you need.

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Rev. 08/12/2005