Internet service in the boonies

So we bought a lake house that, apparently, is on the edge of civilization. It’s in Marshall Township, Ohio, a subsidiary of Hillsboro, OH. There is a phone pole literally 30 feet from our house, but I have no idea who owns it.

We would really like to be able to work out of the home, but we cannot find anyone who will provide internet service. We’ve called Time Warner and they say that the area is not serviceable. I’ve called AT&T, Frontier and Earthlink. All say that the area is serviced by TW. Even the TW rep says that we should be eligible for phone, cable, and internet at my address.

I went into TW store today to discuss it since I’ve been getting the run around, and the guy looked up my address and said that nobody around me is getting TW service, so the chances of me getting them to run cable to my street, which is the last street on the block, is very remote.

So what do people who live in the boonies do for internet service? My husband says that the satellite companies can provide it, but when I go to their websites, they make no mention of that. My immediate neighbor uses Dish TV and then a hotspot on his phone, but that isn’t going to be adequate for me if I want to connect to my work because I’m only getting 2 bars with Verizon. (My neighbor has AT&T.)

Short of switching to AT&T and using a wireless phone, does anyone know of a way to get reliable internet?

Satellite internet is probably your best bet. Usually all it needs is a power source, a place to mount a dish, and a clear path to the sky (potentially in a particular direction, e.g. south if the satellites orbit the equator). But a warning, some providers still require a dial-up in conjunction with the satellite so it might not work for you.

Satellite phones are an option if you aren’t in range of a cell tower.

What type of internet access do you need? Typical browsing usage or are you connecting to client sessions and having web conferences?

See if anyone in your area offers Line of Sight or Fixed Wireless service. That’s internet where they install an antenna on your house so there’s a signal straight from their tower to your antenna.

I know people who live in rural areas who use it. They get pretty good service and work at home. However, they subscribe to the business class service so that their packets get priority. When they were on the regular level, their throughput would drop when the neighborhood kids got out of school.

I’ve heard good things about satellite as long as you don’t need high bandwidth or low latency. I’m not sure you could have web conferences on satellite internet.

Satellite sucks. At least in the California foothills of the Sierra. Speeds are not great, but the real kicker is the 10GB bandwidth cap per month. Additional gigs are $10/ea.
That’s with dish.

I’d use it for connecting to my email at work and occasional WebEX meetings. I’d also like to be able to stream movies and tv since I subscribe to TimeWarner at home and we supposedly can stream to any device anywhere with TWC2go.

Thanks for your help.

Like the OP I also live on the edge of civilization. Well actually about 8 miles south of the interstate in Eastern Missouri and we’re not served by anything other than the phone company. I have 1.5 meg DSL now and would like to go faster but it’s unavailable. I still get letters offering faster speeds, but when I call they say no.

I had satellite Internet through Starband back in 2004 and it was decent but the compression software required on the PC was wonky and I sometimes had to restart the PC several times to get it going. I’m considering going back to satellite.

If you have any bars with Verizon you should inquire about getting one of their paid internet hotspot plans. I used to have their service way out in a farm house and they had me buy a big antenna to boost the signal reception and a usb modem. It worked well and I do most of my work online.

I live on a street with both cable and FiOS service, but my house is very old and set back some distance from the road. Neither Comcast nor Verizon seems willing to hook me up. Both of them sent their techs out to look at the place, then gave me a vague maybe and never followed up.

I suppose it’s not worth it to them to do any kind of unusual installation, just to get one new customer.

You’re probably going to have to give up on streaming. We use excede satellite out here in the middle of nowhere, and have a 10gb plan for $60 month. Speed is OK for streaming, but that data cap kills it. You can get higher data plans, but they’re very expensive. We also get 2 bars on Verizon, and that works for a mobile Hotspot, but again, data cap.

My husband says that the satellite companies can provide it, but when I go to their websites, they make no mention of that.

If you do a simple search for “satellite internet service” you’ll find plenty of options. As mentioned, they’re pricey and have data caps. Good luck!

We are on Hughes Net (satellight). All the drawbacks have been covered. Better off moving the lake to town. :smiley:

When I lived in the country, I used an air card with my computer (laptop). Way too slow for streaming.

I will work on that. I called HughesNet, Dish and DirecTV. All offer internet plans that have the data caps mentioned above, plus way exceed what I’m willing to spend for a weekend place. Thanks for your input. I guess no streaming for me.

We use our cell phones. We use T Mobile. We are able to tether our phone to the computer and get 4g speed. I think we get 10 gigs a month. However, I have unlimited non-tethered on my cell phone (my wife had the tetheringon hers) and I use it to do things life watch Netflix. I have a Samsung Note so midday of the time I watch the movies on that, but I purchased a devices that let’s me connect the Note to my tv.

We also had a "remote’ lake cabin and I really wanted high-speed internet access for my job (I’m here weekdays and teach computer science classes). The old owners said there’s no cable, the neighbor said the same thing, and they both had satellite dishes.

I looked up the local internet/cable provider and called, and they said yes that’s their service area, and it was really not a problem to get connected. In fact, they had a green metal junction box in the front yard that apparently no one had noticed! Do you see any of these service boxes in your area? If so you should be good to go.

I’d call TW again (not my provider), and insist that they service you; they may have a franchise agreement with your city that might force them into it regardless of what they wish. You might let them know how many other houses on your road that could potentially be customers. Since we moved in, three other neighbors switched to cable/internet.

In our state universal broadband access is becoming a big political issue. You can’t have modern business and can’t attract high-tech high-paying jobs (like yours) if the community can’t support broadband. See if you can use your elected representatives as some leverage.

On the other hand I have relatives living on farms who use a line-of-sight high speed connection (their target is on a neighbor’s silo three miles away!), like mentioned earlier. See if your local Radio Shack or Best Buy (yeah, I know) can point you to who might provide services like that.

I know these are all long shots, but good luck! I would go crazy without either cable or internet.

Who is your landline phone company, and can you get phone service from them? If so, DSL might be your best bet for internet. The cell phone companies (at least AT&T and Verizon) can sell you an adapter to connect your cell phones to the landline, too.

I live in an area where the nearest phone lines are a mile away. We’ve only had electricity in this neighborhood for 10 years. I get my internet via a little microwave dish on the side of my house. Not the same as satellite, this comes from a provider in a town about 12 miles away. But I don’t know what the heck you need to Google to find a list of providers in the area. I’ve noticed some houses that have signs in their yards advertising different wireless ISPs. You might try watching out for something like that or asking around the neighborhood. Good luck!

Rural, 20 miles away from the middle of nowhere at my house on a lake down here, but the local telephone company, Farmers Telephone Coop, has provided me with internet/cable/phone service for the past 10 years. 20mb/sec down, 3mb up currently on copper, but they are switching to an all fiber network soon, and say they will offer gigabit speeds.

Some weekender neighbors have Dish or DirectTV, and I still have service when rain comes around, they don’t.

Check for a local phone company.

Any chance your vacation house in in line of site of your other house? Chances are small, but for completeness, if so you may be able to connect via WiFi with 2 highly directional antennas. Not ideal either as if the home station goes out and you are at the lake house you can’t simply reset it.

I’ll check around with my other neighbors when I go down this weekend. I sure wish I could figure out who owns the telephone pole right outside my house!