OT - Clay, looks like you might can get high speed internet by mid year -------

----------- *By mid-2020, SpaceX has a goal of having over 700 satellites in space. At that number, the company would be able to start bringing space-to-Earth internet transmissions to most of North America, according to a report from CBS News.

60 more sattelites went up yesterday

I assume “most of North America” will include the “central north arkansas trout stream boonies where you now call home.” :sunglasses:

In this article, they are speculating $80+ per month and installation cost of $100-$300 for up to one gig of speed: More on Space X internet

That sounds cool. I only have DSL right now. It’s slow and spotty. It’s through Century Link. Dealing with Century Link is maddening. Every once in a while, I’ll talk to someone (after about three pass ups) that know what’s going on.

When we moved to Norfork two years ago, I was told that I could not even have the DSL. How is that possible? The owners I bought from have Wifi right now through DSL.

“When they cancel, the next person on the waiting list will get that bandwidth and the waiting list on your trunk line is deep,” said the supervisor.

OK, that allows for one option, transfer the service from the seller of the house and take over that contract. There was one problem, the seller had a HUGE bundled deal with Century Link that included phone service at both their weekend place (the one we were buying in Norfork) and the primary residence in Columbia, Mo. It included home security, mobile phones, home land line phones and Internet for two homes.

So how do we split the services and then I assume the contract on the Nofrork residence? Two different techs tried to do it. There was all kinds of contracts passed in the mail, including documents that said the previous owner would relinquish ownership of the phone line.

For about two months, we didn’t even attempt it all. I just sent a check for a chunk of his costs and we kept everything the same. It probably wasn’t the correct thing to do, but I did not want to lose the Wifi. And, the previous owner was kind. After all, we met his asking price and did not ask for one fix. They had built the home 12 years previous and were hardly in it more than a few weekends a year. It was virtually a brand new home and had new heating and air updates just eight months old.

Finally, I got to one high level supervisor at Century Link who decided that she would just create a new account and transfer it to me. She said it was better than what we were doing at that time. I had to agree to keep the land line and the same number. I wanted that because it was the only way to have a 911 address in rural Baxter County. And the nearest cell phone tower – although close – is beyond a ridge and often doesn’t supply reliable service. We need the land line sometimes.

It was a complicated mess, not helped by the fact that the previous owners did not establish mail service (no need for it) or trash pickup. So in effect, it was off the grid. Century Link didn’t even have a correct address. We were in the city limits of Norfork, but they didn’t have the address on their grid. We have a well. No need for water, sewer or trash pickup. Both USPS and the city of Norfork only had a plot number of the sub division that was attached to their underground line. I lucked out on that phone call with the upper level supervisor when I suddenly realized that she might need a lot number of the sub division, not the actual physical address.

At that point, we had begun to get mail, after I installed a mail box and got it approved by the rural delivery person for the USPS. But it didn’t show up on the USPS grid for almost 6 months. I kept asking the local postmaster what I needed to do. She said, nothing else. We know where you are and we will deliver your mail. It just takes time for the system to update. Someone else can explain that if they can.

Now, for the punch line, North Arkansas Electric Cooperative is in the process of burying fiber optic cable in Baxter County. They tell me it’s going to take five years to get to every home in the county. They are close to me, within about 1,000 yards by the crow flight. But it is a winding 3 miles along the path they will take. There are 10 homes in that path. They haven’t committed to those 10 homes yet. We were not on the schedule as of December of 2019. The folks at the front desk of the coop told me to come in when the new year hits (now) to se the entire 2020 schedule. I need to do that, but I don’t have much hope that we are in the 2020 plan. Not enough homes for them to get excited about laying cable down our dirt road.

Thanks for the news on the big bird Internet. I hope to get the top end fiber optics from the coop, but I don’t know when.

Amazon coming w satellites too…if Musk is talking 80/mth you can bet Bezos will
come in lower. Broadband about to get competitive. :sunglasses:

I live in the Hillcrest part of Little Rock and AT&T buried fiber cable in our neighborhood about a year and a half ago. If Space X offers $80 per month for one gig internet, I am dumping the AT&T fiber. If this sattelite high speed internet comes off as advertised, I suspect the future burying of fiber optic cable might come to a screeching halt.

I did call North Arkansas Electric and asked about their progress. I saw three trucks where the trunk stopped working not far from my house (but again not headed through the woods that would be a shortcut). The nice person in charge of the NEXT instalation looked at my address and confidently said they will be to my house in 2020. She said they would send me a notice soon about the exact date. But the route to my house is plotted and on schedule to be done this year. Now there are still 11 months in the year. So that could be a ways off. She did say they are ahead of schedule and as they go, they seem to get faster. Fancy that, someone getting good at something and going faster! I asked her if it would help if I went door to door on the three houses on our ridge to get commitments (because every one out here is anxious to get the fiber opitc connection). She laughed and said no. She said most have already been to see her. They know. I added, “You know that you are going to have competition from the big birds in the sky.” She knew.

I feel your pain Clay. Joy and I built a new home and moved into it last year further out of town in West Monroe, and had a ATT hot spot for close to 6 months! I have two teenagers still at home who blow thru data. Plus I need WiFi to finish patient charts on our electronic medical record system. What a mess! It was maddening as you stated getting someone to help us with any of the carriers. My wife is a saint and such a patient lady, but even she was getting fed up with the folks at Comcast, Century Link, ATT, etc.,

ATT finally laid fiber out here right before Thanksgiving so we are good. Finally. Hand in there.

I probably should know this, but if you know, would that be enough to stream TV?

We have a lake house that doesn’t even have a phone line (we could get it, but don’t need it except to get DSL, which I haven’t wanted to do). We can’t get any TV “over the air” (mountains) but can use a hot spot and cell services to get internet. I don’t know if it is because more people in the area have started doing that, or if there has been trouble with a tower, or what, but the last few years, the cell service (for internet) has gotten a lot worse.

There are no plans by any local authority to run high speed internet to the area (there a quite a few houses in the area, is seems “isolated” which we love, but every little bit there is either a house or even a cluster of houses).

Unlike Clay we do have water, but no sewer! The only septic system I have ever been on! (Just had to replace it last year, turns out the old “system” was a 55 gallon drum buried in the yard!

I don’t have multiple teenagers simultaneously streaming movies and playing video games in the cloud so I can’t speak to that, but my one gig AT&T fiber works fine for my me and my wife. I got the high capacity line because I moved my architectural practice to an office in my home and became a one person firm. I back up every night to a cloud based storage system and have a 5 gig hard drive. It would take forever to do this over a normal internest connection. It still takes a couple of hours over the one gig connection.

If you get the high speed connection, you might look at Magic Jack. It is a totally internet based phone system so you could call out and people could call you. We got rid of our landline at home years ago and I use Magic Jack for my office landline number. It has voice mail and will automatically email me a transcript of any voice mail left, so you would get that even if you weren’t there. If you get the high speed internet and have wifi calling on your cell phones, they will work perfectly over your internet so you may not need Magic Jack if all you want to do is call out or get calls when there.

Keep in mind that this will be a sattelite internet so thunder storms and tall trees can interrupt it if and when it ever happens.


Years ago, we moved to a new subdivision (Owasso schools). We were the second of what would become a couple of hundred homes. The upgrade at that time ended at the corner outside the new subdivision. I could place a softball on a tee and hit it past the box where the cable was housed.

I was promised this and that…but knew they would wait on a boatload of those houses in the subdivision to be occupied before running cable. Finally, one day, I came home to see the truck in front of the house. Imagine my excitement to be able to stream a video from a website!

Three days later it rained and … nothing. Fortunately, the phones were down as well. I called and asked if they preferred the folks in our neighborhood bundle with another company running a special for satellite + phone + internet. A fleet of trucks hit the neighborhood before the thunder quit rumbling. The repair supervisor came to my door, fanny-deep in mud, to report the issue - the line was buried but the end was merely wrapped in a couple of those plastic Wal-Mart/grocery carry-out bags because the line would be extended again as soon as another couple of dozen houses were occupied. The rain was so intense the runoff stripped the bags off of the line. He said they weren’t authorized to permanently fix it, but said they duct-taped the bags/line end inside a plastic milk jug this time and that it should hold.

I switched to the bundled service that night. My neighbor intermittently went without phone and internet for two years due to the rain issue.

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