Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Internet has been spotty here since Monday

Which is why I have not posted what I wanted to the last few days.

As I've mentioned before, I'm on microwave internet service. A small microwave antenna sits high on the side of my house, pointing to the top of a 7,000 foot mountain about 10 miles slant range from me.

It's March. It's windy, and it's still snowing on the mountains, and unfortunately, there was a power outage on the top of the mountain for a day or so; and some intermittent network issues since then.

Unfortunately, I've been having some major internet problems generally for a few months; ever since they "upgraded" to new radio equipment late last year (including a radio "upgrade" for me).

Finally, after a few months of refunding me for service (I have a QOS guarantee) they decided to use the opportunity of the power cut to replace the node on the mountain, which they did yesterday, and this morning; and also my radio.

Analog RF engineering geekitude ahead....

They've upgraded me from a single band radio with a horizontally oriented plate radio, to a dual band, MIMO unity capable radio, with cross oriented poles and a dish instead of a plate.

That has upgraded me from a single 28Mbit wide channel to two 56Mbit wide channels. I also went from 18db above the noise floor to 28db above the noise floor.

My contract says I should get a minimum 1.5Mbit synchronus sustained with burst up to 8Mbit.

On the old radio gear I was MAXING out at 1.4Mbit, and only averaging a couple hundred Kbit.

That's why I've been getting refunded on my service since December.

On the new gear I'm maxing out at 8Mbit with an average of around 2Mbit.

I'm a hell of a lot happier about that. Of course, now I have to start paying them again.

Oh and my latency is spectacular by the way. I'm getting under 20ms to a commercial server in Seattle, under 30ms to Dallas, and under 100ms to London.

That's rather important since my "landline" is VOIP over this internet connection. Anyone who has called me in the last few months knows that my landline was iffy. Near as I can tell now, it's pretty good.