How to get high speed internet in rural Kansas (Williamsburg area)?
January 16, 2010 7:26 PM   Subscribe

How to get high speed internet (besides satellite) in rural Kansas (Williamsburg area)?

We are considering buying a home in rural Kansas, but there are no DSL or cable companies offering internet coverage there. I would prefer not to go with satellite since I get the impression that it is pricey and offers poor speeds (high latency). Most of the big telcos seem to offer EDGE/GPRS coverage (at least according to their website's coverage maps). My wife requires the ability to use a VPN for her job, and I am a tech addict who requires internet access to function =)

My main question is:
are there any other options for internet in the area surrounding Williamsburg, KS?

And, if a cell data plan is my only option, then I have several questions about that:
Can I have my phone hook to my router and provide service to my laptop and desktop?
What is the quality of service?
Do the companies offer the option to breach contract if coverage is too poor to be usable?
I don't care about having internet on my phone, I just want it at my home. Are there any other questions I should be asking in order to make my internet experience workable/livable?

I am planning on taking advantage of the tax credit for first time home buyers, which stipulates that we live in the house for 4 years. I do not want to live somewhere for 4 years without internet service.

Eternal graditude to anyone who can help!!
posted by idyllhands to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You're not going to find anything out there, you have better options if you move closer to Ottawa or Garnett.

I have a friend who has a place in the middle of Kansas that is a great retreat, but no Internet. EDGE/GPRS works, but is complete shit, no way you'd get work down on it. We asked around town what people use and its sat, dialup or nothing. The locals didn't seem to care either, but he locals were all old. There's a reason these towns are evaporating, which is a pity.
posted by geoff. at 7:48 PM on January 16, 2010

Can you memail me which part of rural Kansas? I'm also in the sticks in Kansas and AT&T has said they'd provide cable in my town if at least 50 households would sign up. If you're in my area, that's awesome because you'd be house 45, if not, perhaps we can see if there is a similar group in you area.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 8:08 PM on January 16, 2010

Response by poster: So EDGE/GPRS is that bad? What about for casual browsing?
posted by idyllhands at 8:08 PM on January 16, 2010

I'm in central Kansas and I have AT&T DSL through my regular landline, even though their website claims that DSL is not available in my area. My in-laws are out in the sticks and they have internet service through their AT&T cell plan. If you don't have any luck with AT&T in your specific area, try Verizon because they advertise that they have more coverage than AT&T. Good luck!
posted by amyms at 8:19 PM on January 16, 2010

Best answer: Remember 9600baud dial up modems? That's EDGE on a good day. GPRS is even slower. To me, I'd think you'd be better sharing a dialup modem connection in your house than EDGE or GPRS.
posted by birdherder at 8:22 PM on January 16, 2010

I'd go with Verizon or Sprint, their EVDO (3G) coverage is at least much closer to you than AT&T or T-Mo's 3G coverage. As well, they both offer a device called the MiFi, which is a pocket sized Wifi router with a built-in 3G modem.
posted by ConstantineXVI at 8:27 PM on January 16, 2010

Best answer: Can you find anybody who does have a decent Internet service whose house roof is within line of sight of your proposed home's roof, even if it's several miles away? With good antennas, you can go house to house with 802.11n* (or even g) over quite remarkable distances, often achieving speeds that will make the upstream Internet connection the bottleneck.

Sharing a connection in this way tends to end up benefiting both parties, as ISPs will often offer far more than double the bandwidth for double the money. You do need to check the ISP's terms of service, though; some are quite explicit about requiring all connected equipment to be within a single household.

*802.11n needs two antennas at each end, polarized 90° apart (or, if you're using circularly polarized helicals, wound in opposite directions).
posted by flabdablet at 1:59 AM on January 17, 2010

Some older EVDO maps - Sprint, Verizon, & Alltel, which merged with Verizon a year ago.

Using a separate card, rather than tethering a phone, will probably be faster & cause less contention.
posted by Pronoiac at 3:48 AM on January 17, 2010

It won't be high speed as we think of it today, but ISDN may be available, which would give you a very consistent 128 Kbs both up and down.
posted by COD at 6:24 AM on January 17, 2010

Best answer: Looks like Midwest Connections may offer high speed wireless coverage in the Williamsburg area.
posted by white_devil at 8:23 AM on January 17, 2010

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