This is a post of my February 10, 2013 email update.

I want to give an update on the broadband situation. Charter discovered their survey a few months ago did not cover all of Scully Road and needs to be updated. They were supposed to be working on this, but I have not heard anything back. I assume this would increase the build out cost.

I have, however, found a wireless provider who will service us. Todd Gardner form Gardner Enterprises has worked up a business plan and engineering analysis to provide our neighborhood with the equivalent of cable high speed internet. His proposal is $45 per month with a $450 install fee for 30 Mbps unlimited data service. Based on his computer modeling of our area, he should be able to cover nearly every home. This is not a guarantee, but looks promising.

The one catch is that we need to put up a tower in the neighborhood. This would be a “small” 50 foot tower. The cost would probably be in the $6,000 – $9,000 range (a really rough estimate). I am already working with some neighbors on a tower location. I’m open to suggestions on ways to distribute the cost.

I’ve put together a summary table comparing the proposed wireless solution to cable and the existing Verizon wireless and new Excede high speed satellite services. The bottom line is we get cable like performance without the high build out cost:

Proposed Charter Verizon Excede
Wireless Internet Plus Home Fusion Satellite
Speed (Mbps) 30 30 5 - 12 12

Monthly Data
Download Cap (GB) unlimited 250 20 15

Total cost over $2,070 $1,596 $3,340 $3,230
3 years

Build out cost
(Total additional $9000 $135,000+ $0 $0
cost to entire

Typically, the monthly data cap is a bigger problem for wireless and satellite subscribers than speed, because of the cost of exceeding the cap. To put data usage in perspective, the 50th percentile cable broadband household in the U.S. downloaded 28 GB in April 2012. As another point of reference, streaming a DVD quality movie uses about 2 to 3 GB of data.

There have been a number of false starts and disappointments in the last 2 years so I have become cautious. I can say, however, that in 2 weeks Todd has pushed the process farther along than anyone I have talked to in 2 years. He has a serious, well thought out plan and given all indications he is ready to start when we have a tower.