Equipment and cabling needs vary based on location. Typically we need to install one or two little boxes inside or in a sheltered area with Ethernet cable leading to the outside to one or more smaller communication devices. Sometimes one device will be able to handle data receipt and transmission of the wireless network, other times we need a stronger data receiver coupled with an access point. In some cases, if possible, these devices might offer some redundancy. Depending on which service plan is chosen, higher speeds require modified equipment with better reception. Typical antenna sizes are quite small. In some instances, we would need slightly larger antennas. In any case, all of them are much smaller than TV Satellite dishes. All equipment will be powered from a small power supply plugged into a standard household outlet providing lower voltage Power over Ethernet (POE 24 to 48V) and do not present an electrical shock hazard. Power and data will be handled through the same cable with no need for extra power supplies in standard installations with limited cable lengths requirements. We ask the equipment to be powered all the time so we can ensure proper function, please do not power the equipment off as this will cause an outage alert for us.
Netflix recommends the following download speeds for streaming content:
3.0 Megabits per Second for SD (Standard Definition TV quality)
5.0 Megabits per Second for HD (High Definition TV quality)
Similar speeds are required by Hulu, Amazon stick and Google Chromcast
25.0 Megabits per Second for UHD/4K quality
BaldyConnect can't support UHD/4k technologically and economically at this point, and we believe the benefit to be minimal. You might want to set your streaming devices to lower resolution to avoid interruption in service.
Fiber or Ethernet wired connections are best and not sensitive to local power outages, but this is not an option for Mt Baldy in most cases. Wireless connections have made significant progress concerning reliability, performance, and economics over the past ten years and are far superior to DSL distributed internet via phone lines, especially over long distances, humid conditions and during peak usage times. BaldyConnect has extensive experience with Fixed Wireless Internet Networking. Every network is a balancing act of data availability and data usage at any given point. While some data is not very sensitive if there is a delay/buffer (higher demand vs. availability at any given point) in delivery (email, messaging, social media, web browsing, downloads), real-time applications, such as WiFi calling/VOIP, Video Conferencing and certain business applications rely on data availability on the spot. Extensive use of data-heavy applications such as video streaming (1 low-resolution Netflix steam can support about 20 or more simultaneous WiFi calls). BaldyConnect will explore options to optimize the network performance in favor of communication vs. steaming performance, especially during streaming peak times.
The main downside of Satellite is the reaction times of your data transfer (latency). The signal needs to travel back and forth to a geostationary satellite (the satellite is "fixed on the sky" rotating the same pace as the earth and always in view). Even data can travel at 120,000 miles per second, a request and answer can easily take over 1 second (1,000ms) and will deal with a relatively high amount of data loss in need of retransmitting. Applications like WiFi calling suffer a great deal from high latency and are most likely are not possible or with a high delay and bad connections. Also, Satellite data tends to be more expensive and has limitations regarding monthly total data usage and limited performance during peak times when, per definition, a vast majority of us needs the internet most. Installation and hardware requirements are typically more expensive and susceptible to elements like heavy rain and snow. Satellites work well for data that travel mostly one direction and can buffer data, we probably all know the Satellite TV lag when our neighbor watches the Super Bowl on a different receiver. The distances our data has to travel wireless is typically shorter than wired connections as we go in a straight line. If we need to relay the signal, we need to add more processing time vs. wired connections. All these are only 1/1000's of seconds but do add up. Hardware is continuously improving to help minimize processing and data traffic routing time, and when the network is not congested, we should see response times of 30ms or less instead of the 1000ms and more with Satellite connections.
Our community does not have a network that supports high data speeds over cable options (fiber/coax). Only DSL using copper phone line wires is available, and many users are experiencing the limitations of data throughput, during peak hours, long phone line and when humidity is degrading the signal. While speeds of up to 7 Mbps are offered, during peak times these speeds will drop significantly. The reason is that only so much data can pass through the lines and when many users are demanding data, not enough is available at the source. These are merely physical limitations of phone lines. Far superior and offered downhill are fiber and coax cables, not the case in Mt Baldy. As an alternative, our wireless transmission provides excellent performance in speed and responsiveness but poses other challenges, such as power requirements/up-times, data backup/redundancies, equipment cost and exposure to elements. Not having high-speed data cable distribution options on Mt Baldy, BaldyConnect relies heavily on Fixed Wireless Connections throughout the mountain and getting a quality source connected and transmitted to our customers. Luckily, technologies are improving. BaldyConnect has 15-years experience in the wireless field and will always seek better solutions to bring internet and connections to Mt Baldy seeking out weak spots in our network, including squirrels that might chip away at some equipment and some other mountain "bugs"...