[SASAG] Microwave ISP Feedback?

Steve Stroh steve.stroh at gmail.com
Wed Mar 11 11:07:12 PDT 2015


You're correct - microwave CAN be reliable... how reliable... it DOES depend.

When I knew personally of their operations several years ago, AccelNet
did most things right.

There's a quick solution - ask them for contact info for some of their
reference customers. If they decline to provide any, if it were me, I
wouldn't go with them.

Then, ask them for the specifics of how they're going to connect YOU.

Use of 5 GHz license-exempt spectrum (shared amongst many, many users)
band isn't automatically a disqualifier - it depends on their network
(how close is the tower) and the quality of the equipment they use.

Use of 3.65 GHz spectrum is licensed-light; interference isn't
supposed to happen, but it can given that there can be new entrants in
an area that accidentally cause interference.

Use of a licensed link like 6 GHz spectrum is point-to-point
exclusive, but that will be more expensive and take longer as there
are license requirements, path studies, and the equipment is usually
more expensive.

You might also ping Frontier - they've deployed (formerly Verizon)
FIOS and if you're in a FIOS service area, they offer a business tier.
In my experience, Verizon did a good job with the FIOS architecture
and Frontier has invested in expanding and maintaining the FIOS plant.

Wave Broadband is another alternative to Comcast in the greater
Seattle area. From what (little) I've heard, they're a competent
operation and unlike Comcast, reasonable, even friendly to deal with.

All that said... Comcast Business Broadband DOES seem to be a
completely different operation from Comcast consumer. Everyone I've
talked to that has Comcast Business Broadband (including two techie
buddies who have it at home) don't seem to have any complaints -
including getting competent tech support.


Steve Stroh

On Wed, Mar 11, 2015 at 10:27 AM, Nick Webb <nickw at redwireservices.com> wrote:
> All,
> We have moved offices and are trying to get a reliable internet connection
> in place. The new location doesn't have a ton of options for our small
> business budget (~$300-400/mo). Basically our options include various
> offerings from Comcast (including ones with an SLA), T1, and microwave from
> AccelNet (accelnet.net) or some combination thereof. Comcast does have fiber
> in the area, but that's 3 months out and is outside our budget (to do the
> buildout, they want a >= 20x20mbps for 3 years commitment).
> Given the SLA and cost effectiveness of AccelNet, I'm very tempted to pursue
> that option, however we have zero experience with it and are unsure what to
> expect. Basically the only information I can find comes from WISPs
> themselves who of course say it's the best thing ever, even better than
> fiber. That seems technically true in some cases, but it seems that
> reliability can be an issue depending on the specific equipment the WISP
> uses, distance, weather, etc. I also know that carriers have used/are using
> microwave for some major connections, which tells me it *can* be reliable.
> The connection would come with a 99.99-99.999% SLA, but it's a problem if
> it's down even a couple of minutes once or twice a week during business
> hours, which would still meet that SLA. I'm OK with planned maintenance
> after hours and maybe one or two small blips here and there during business
> hours, but it can't be a daily/weekly occurrence.
> We are a really small shop, we have just 3 folks now, probably 4-5 in the
> next 3-6 months. While speed is nice, I'm more interested in reliability as
> we depend on VoIP and various VPN connections, etc., that can be a hassle
> (though not impossible) over the standard "best effort" Business Cable
> connection. I think we are more tolerant of failure than larger shops, but
> less so than most businesses our size.
> Any advice welcome, especially specific experience with microwave and
> accelnet.net.
> Thanks,
> Nick
> --
> Nick Webb
> Principal Systems Engineer
> Red Wire Services, LLC
> T: 206.829.8621 x11 / F: 206.826.1223
> 15215 52ND Ave S STE 205
> Tukwila, WA 98188-2354
> http://www.redwireservices.com
> http://linkedin.com/in/NickWebb
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stevestroh at gmail.com

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