TDS vs. HughesNet.

mudlady_gwDecember 5, 2011

Is there anyone on this list who has firsthand knowledge of both these companies? I have TDS and again, today, I ended up hanging up on them. But-- first I told them they hold their customers hostages because they specialize in areas with little or no competition, and that telling me their billing service is the problem is NOT an excuse because TDS chooses to stay with that service. My current e-mail statement says I owe them $301 but I was reassured that I really owe only $149.03. Huh? My bill should be around $112! I know HughesNet has a poor reputation but if it is one iota better than TDS I am going to switch. I have heard that satellite computer service has a couple second lag while the information bounces from earth to the satellite and back. Is this true? Is it any longer than the lag in my GPS? I currently have a very slow DSL. Ping tests are fair but moving from one page to the next is very slow, and it isn't my computer's fault. I am already stuck with a dish for TV and wonder if satellite computer is any worse than my TV. So, before I have a stroke I hope I can hear from someone who knows just how awful each company is. I am still considering Verizon 4G LTE but I lack confidence because my cell phone gets only one strength bar inside and outside my house.

Thanks, Nancy

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DA_Mccoy

Nancy,

As to your 4G, before you sign anything get an on-site demonstration preferably in the evening. Or better yet a trial use. This is particularly important if you are as you described on a "fringe" area.

My "fringe" 3G network out here in rural America shows a tremendous swing in connection speed from morning to evening as network usage increases. I've gotten as high as 1.3mbps down to a low of 82kbps down. DSL nor cable are available and even on a bad time it is better than a DUN which was 5kbps here on these old rural lines.

As I recall Grandms had or maybe still has satellite Internet connection. I am certain she will see your post and share with you.

DA

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 9:05PM
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grandms

Yes, I had satellite internet for about two years. It was with Wild Blue, not Hughes Net. It was okay for what it was. Sometimes the ping was awful, but generally it wasn't all that bad. It is critical to have a good installation, since so much depends on the strength of your signal. I now have 3G, and in the past six months it has gotten slower and slower. Sometimes I notice on my phone that I am getting 1X rather than 3G; today it has been that way almost all day. This time of year the trees are bare, and with the tower about 2 miles from my house, I should be getting a much better signal, so I'm going to call the carrier and complain, not that it will do any good. Unfortunately for us folks in the boonies, there just isn't a good solution. If it weren't for the fact that I'm in the middle of a 2 year contract, I'd consider going back to satellite. Oh, what am I saying? No way.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 9:45PM
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murphy_zone7

At last a post I can respond to....I have had Wild Blue for about three years and am very pleased with it. I don't understand the "ping test thing" but my speed is much much better than dial up but still pretty slow compared to DSL. There is a "buffering lag" with video chat and I can't do it on the WB. I purchased the Virgin Mobile broadband device and use it for video chat and surfing the web on my laptop. Have not had any problems with it either. The Virgin Mobile costs $20 for 5gb or one month whichever comes first. I pay $50 a month for the WB and have never gone over any limit set. However,I do not do streaming, download large files such as movies, or any other large file stuff. Mainly email, shopping, research, facebook, google plus,download embroidery files, music, etc.
As grandsm says....there is no good solution for us out in the boonies. However, I would rather put up with the aggravation of internet access than give up the quiet and peace of country living.
I gave up on the cell phone situation and now have a land line for local calls only and use Tracfone for long distance.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 5:41AM
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mike_kaiser_gw

Is 4G reception even a option in your area? It has, thus far, deployment has been limited to metropolitan areas. Before buying a 4G device, I would make sure you can return it if you don't get 4G service. Those devices generally have a download limit as well, 5 gigabytes is not a lot of data.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 7:15AM
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DA_Mccoy

MK,

4G LTE is slowly expanding into some U.S. rural areas under Federal grants. It is now offered in my county as of December 5th, but not in my service area yet. They project within a year it will be available.

I have notified my 3G network that if service is not improved I will be leaving when the new network is available. They responded that they recently contracted to partner both cellphone and Internet with Verizon 4G LTE. We will see what happens. Competition is a wonderful thing.

DA

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 8:03AM
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grandms

If you can get the 4G LTE, go for it. But I doubt it will be available where I live for some time. Our county received a Federal grant to extend fiber optic to rural, underserved areas, but so far they have laid only 98 miles of cable. AT&T, on the other hand, is rapidly deploying their Uverse fiber optic service. So far, neither has come near where I live. :-(

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 5:49PM
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mudlady_gw

Grandms--
It is my understanding that Verizon 4G LTE is distributed via towers, like their cell phone signal. Verizon supplies Fios about 6 miles north of my house and Time Warner offers cable service, computer and phone 6 miles south. I have heard that neither they, nor any other provider is about to service the sparsely populated farmland in between Verizon and Time Warner. I guess the government thinks TDS and satellite service is good enough for us. I sold a very nice in-town colonial home in order to move to the country. At that time I had 4 Siberian huskies and although having four dogs in my former town was legal, my neighbors were unhappy that I had put up chain link fence to keep them from wandering. I was planning to retire at 62 so I sold the house and used the money, after paying off the mortgage, to buy 5 country acres. I fenced in an acre with 6 foot chain link for the dogs and built a double-wide for my retirement home. I am down to one dog now and have sadly learned that manufactured homes deteriorate quickly and farm land is still cheap. I can't afford to return to house after house on 80 by 100 lots but I really don't want to. I do love the peace and quiet out here. Nobody cares about dogs kept inside a fence, I had to sign a paper that I was about to build in an area of farms and that I would be smelling animal odors and hearing farm equipment, but I still prefer it here rather than the very small city I left.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 11:07PM
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DA_Mccoy

Bobbie,

The way I understand the federal grants for rural areas is the system will be both wired and wireless. Wired in the more densely populated areas and to the schools. Wireless to the outer reaches.

I just got an e-mail today from an account employee of my 3G network. I have been working with him in an effort to improve my service. He asked me if I had connected to the 4G LTE network as I had informed him I would being doing so as soon as I could, and would be keeping his service too during the 30 day trial period.

He wanted to know as he was on the installation list for the new service, and was wondering how the service was. I reported not yet, but hopefully soon. I laughed out loud.

DA

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 4:56PM
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grandms

Yeah, hah, hah!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 10:43PM
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