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How important is/was broadband access to your homestead/lifestyle decision?  RSS feed

 
                        
Posts: 19
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I can live without power from the electric company, without water from the water company, without almost all the amenities that society offers, but one of the principal criteria guiding my decisions with respect to land purchase is access to broadband. I feel the need for speed. 52k modems would be a living hell. But that's just me, how about you?
 
pollinator
Posts: 10109
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Not even slightly important to our decision. It wasn't available at the time. We like it now, though!
 
Posts: 16
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I can and do make electricity. I have water. I have trees for heat. I can't make a phone call or connect to the internet without that outside provider. Therefore, broadband is important, but I have only 3G and only because I'm on a ridge top with line of sight to the tower. Friends 2 miles away and lower have nothing but dial up. With so much graphical content it would be difficult to go back to slowdems.
 
Posts: 165
Location: Slovakia
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When we first came out to my wife's family's ancestral village our biggest concern was how we would get internet access. We were looking into 3G modems, putting an antenna on top of a hill, etc. Then I opened my laptop, and found out there was highspeed* wifi-service... in a village of 160 people! Because of our "day-jobs", having fast internet is pretty make-or-break for us.


* highspeed = 2MBps, so kind of like DSL service in most places 5 years ago. In the cities here, in the apartment blocks, people have fiberoptic connections with crazy speeds. But DSL speed works pretty well for us...
 
Posts: 159
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I have my fingers crossed that by the time I make the physical move and want to use the computer at the farm, the wireless access touted by the state is actually available in the area. The closest neighbor has had to use satellite internet for several years. It is very slow, only a limited amount of bandwidth available and doled out in monthly allotments, and terribly expensive to boot.
 
Posts: 155
Location: Cornwall UK
7
bike books dog forest garden solar tiny house
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At the moment a decent internet speed would be very high on my priorities when looking for a piece of land. As has be said before, I can deal with all other amenities but I can't create my own internet.
As time goes on I think the internet may become less important but at the moment it allows me to earn a remote living. In the future I want to foster a more local business.

aman
 
Posts: 33
Location: Tokyo
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There's the option of Cantennas or bi-quad wi-fi antennas. Some people have been able to get reception with bi-quad strapped to an small old satellite dish and get 7-8 miles of reception.

example: http://www.engadget.com/2005/11/15/how-to-build-a-wifi-biquad-dish-antenna/
 
Posts: 192
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from the looks of things at my warehouse, wildblue is getting ready to launch their 12mb service soon. we just got many pallets of the dishes in, but I guess we have to use up the old ones first. I work for a company that handles wildblue home service orders in the inland northwest, and I get to some remote areas of Idaho!
 
gardener
Posts: 7471
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Wasn't part of the decision at all. For me the net is currently only available at coffee shops and at the library. My phone does it but expensive. I'm going to bide my time and see what prices do. Not terribly important to me but I can attract tenants more easily if connected.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1467
Location: Vancouver Island
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Not important. I am not sure of the internets stability. Freedom of speech on this medium could vanish quite quick. Some of the resources we are used to could go very quickly if some of the laws that are in the works get passed. The deal with these laws is that they are drafted by big business to kill small time stuff. Big ag is already trying to make backyard gardens for food illegal. What do they think of sites like this? The word "terrorist" (some government computer is now paying attention to this thread ) gets thrown around very easily against anyone who does not roll over and accept what big money tells them to.

Pictures are nice, but text is still king for useful information. I could go back to dial up on private systems like what I was used to before internet. I could give that up too. The internet is a different kind of grid. The connection can be made in more than one way. The internet grid we have now is much like the power grid, we subscribe to a large company and pay to consume a product. Unlike the power grid, it doesn't have to be that way... I can see as many as 7 wireless APs from my small city house. what if instead of all being passworded and connected to a big wire, they were connected to each other, relaying information to nodes I can't see. If I can see 7 APs, then I am within signal reach of at least 7 clients (probably double that). what if all of them ran in ad hoc mode and talked to each other. If the internet was built like this, it would be hard to regulate. If there were enough people who only hooked up to each other with this kind of net, it would be worth while for big internet business to hook into these networks and act as gateways over longer distances just to widen their customer base. Internet could be free... and free too.

On the other hand... In too many ways modern man has become like suckling pigs all lined up on a sow. TV, radio and now internet have distanced us from our next door neighbour. I think local community is very important and these long distance communication toys detract from it. I think the right kind of sun spot or an atomic explosion (or other disaster) that took out much of our electronics, while devastating to our current way of life, could be a good thing. Forcing us to meet people face to face we live beside.

Just my thoughts.
 
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I agree with it can make or break living somewhere - high speed internet is an absolute must!
 
            
Posts: 12
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I expect the short future to continue making leaps in internet speeds. Not to mention with the development of new phones functioning as mini-computers, those USB devices which plug in for internet everywhere might increase in popularity. The main benefit of computers for me is the information > most of which is stored on hundreds of PDFs and takes some searching through. However, it will be hard to move away from the speed of instant answers through google
 
Posts: 143
Location: Oakland, CA
11
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Unfortunately, as I save to get property and for some period after I will depend on telecommuting in order to make homesteading a reality, unless some miracle happens. (batts eyelashes) As I daydream and look at properties, it is my top concern and it's frustrating how little information the listings record, broadband access being one of them.

Anyway, if anybody needs it, here's a way to search whether the area you're interested in has it. National Broadband Map
 
Len Ovens
pollinator
Posts: 1467
Location: Vancouver Island
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Suki Leith wrote:Unfortunately, as I save to get property and for some period after I will depend on telecommuting in order to make homesteading a reality, unless some miracle happens. (batts eyelashes) As I daydream and look at properties, it is my top concern and it's frustrating how little information the listings record, broadband access being one of them.

Anyway, if anybody needs it, here's a way to search whether the area you're interested in has it. National Broadband Map



Sounds like a business opportunity. Buy an ISP account you can then legally resell service. Learning computer servicing, networking, etc. may be a salable skill anyway, worth learning. Right along side welding and mechanics. Start with an older (free) computer (P3 or better, though there are still lots of things you can do with an old dx100 and no GUI), add some ram (256M ram is about min.) and learn to bring it back to life. Learn to network it with you other computer (maybe its old too but so what?). Take your free computer and make a server out of it. arbour domains will for the same price as registering a domain (13.95 a year) do name service. Point it at whatever IP your BB service is (you server replaces you router BTW) and learn to set up mail and web (http and https) pages. With most BB services your IP will change from time to time, but that is ok. I was able to get a satic IP for an extra $5.

Great learning opportunity.
 
Posts: 32
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for me descent internet is important. i love to learn and to have the ability to research whatever i want, when ever i want.
 
Kitty Leith
Posts: 143
Location: Oakland, CA
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Good idea Len, but it would be too horrible if I screwed up!

I already have a telecommuting job...which will already take too much time away from homesteading. I'm just in the planning phases now...will still be a couple years before I can make a move.
 
Posts: 75
Location: Arizona low desert
2
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I've worked online since 1997 but focused on creating residual income streams for a few years before getting our land. I now use a cell phone for internet access, with tethering for the computer. Limited on bandwidth and slow but it works well enough
 
Kitty Leith
Posts: 143
Location: Oakland, CA
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That's good to know! So I just have to walk the site with my phone, asking someone on the other end, "Can you hear me now?" ha ha ha!
 
Kathy Burns-Millyard
Posts: 75
Location: Arizona low desert
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That's exactly what we did LOL! It's spotty and the west end of the property doesn't get signal, but the east end is close enough to work most of the time
 
Kitty Leith
Posts: 143
Location: Oakland, CA
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So I'm guessing that's what determined where you'd build?
That's a new technology-driven site design technique!
 
Kathy Burns-Millyard
Posts: 75
Location: Arizona low desert
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A little yes. We started out camping then got a camper, and mainly chose this spot due to brush cover. The spot we expect to build in eventually is more towards the middle of the property. We plan to get signal booster or satellite maybe sometime in the future.
 
Posts: 4
Location: Bagdad, Ky
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In 2009 my wife and I moved into our dream home we built in the mountains in Northeast Tennessee and the only choice for internet was satellite. There were two main companies at that time - WildBlue and Hughsnet. I chose WildBlue's 1.5 mb service which was the mid-level package. I was sooooo disappointed. I could only get the 1.5 around 4 A.M.. After work in the evening it was little better than dial-up. Horrible, horrible service! It took assistance from the state of Tennessee to get me out of my contract.

A couple months ago we moved into a new country home in Kentucky. DSL is not available even 12 miles from the state capital! In fact, we don't have a land line because of the expense of running the wire across the neighbor's field. So the only options for internet is Dish Network (Hughsnet) or Verizon wireless. I choose Dish Network because the download amount has a higher limit than cellular. I have the mid-level service - up to 10 mb download. Of course I've never seen 10 mb at anytime of the day but normally I see 3-6 mb on average. I wish it were better but I can live with that for now. Improvements are being made all the time.

We don't live a strict perma culture lifestyle - we're still new to this. Internet has become an invaluable tool for learning a country lifestyle and had it not been for internet I wouldn't have found this site. So for that reason I'm keeping it.

If you ever wonder why your options for internet are limited check out this Bill Moyer video: http://billmoyers.com/segment/susan-crawford-on-why-u-s-internet-access-is-slow-costly-and-unfair/

 
Posts: 108
Location: South New Mexico Mountains
3
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My income is about 90% from online work (writing, websites, etc.) and I work from home. Having that internet connection at home means I can be here all day and attend to any emergencies that might pop up on the homestead. It's extremely handy for me.
 
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