Internet Access for 10 Days Only
July 10, 2010 8:47 PM   Subscribe

I need good internet access in New Hampshire for only 10 days during a very difficult time.

Oh, wise Me-Fites. I wasn't going to ask this, but I'm in a Tough Spot.

My dear father died unexpectedly in April in New Hampshire. I have been dealing with his estate (I live in MA) and my sister is joining me (she lives in Pittsburgh) next week at his house to do as much as we can together.

I have let bills slide until officially appointed as executrix of the estate, since I am a college student and could not afford to keep paying bills with my own money. This includes the Time Warner Cable bill, which was phone, tv, and, most importantly to this question, the internet. In this time, these services have been shut off at the house.

My sister is bringing her newborn daughter(!) and her husband, who must continue working in the 10 days he is in NH. He needs the internet.

To re-instate internet access, it is a bill of $750. I called my sister and husband tonight to ask if there was another way we could access the internet at my dad's house without paying the entire Time Warner cable bill for all months since our Dad died.

My brother-in-law is Not Nice (sigh; that's a whole 'nother question) and immediately refused any other options, saying he Absolutely Needed the Internet and we Had to Pay the Whole Bill. He refuses to work at the library, or another place that offers internet access, partially because he can only help with the baby if he is at home.

I want to check, just in case, for any other option other than reinstating cable service. I looked, and Verizon wireless (which, in my experience, offers reliable cell phone service in southern NH) offers a month-to-month plan on an Internet USB key. Would this provide sufficient/reliable service? He'll probably need to send large files, not just access email.

I am not a techie. Can anyone explain different options of accessing the internet without a year-long contract? Does anyone know options that offer better-than-dialup connections in southern New Hampshire? We'll be in Keene, NH if that helps. Since the bill is $750 dollars, anything under that -- even a year-long-contract -- is a better deal.

Please, Hope me, Me-Fites. This is a difficult time.
posted by missmary6 to Technology (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am so sorry. If there is other phone service at the house, you may be able to get DSL hooked up which would have a small [like $35-50] set up fee and a monthly fee of something reasonable [$20-40]. There's often a cancellation fee but you could always pull the "bill payer is now deceased" and they should be okay with this. Call Verizon and see what your options are. The Verizon wireless option will be okay, not great, but sufficient. A lot depends on the service where you are. I live in rural Vermont and it barely works at my house. A place like Keene should be fine, but you might want to check online where people talk about these things and get an idea first.

Alternately maybe offer to make b-i-l some sort of fee-splitting deal until you get the estate settled or some other possible way to get the $750 become a joint responsibility between your sister and you. At the least I'd try asking her about this, even though man this sounds like a tough situation all around. You have my sympathies.
posted by jessamyn at 8:58 PM on July 10, 2010

Well I don't know why it is your responsibility to furnish Internet to people (usually when people need the Internet for work related reasons, work provides it for them).

Regardless, I have had good luck with Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go. The cards cost $100 and for unlimited Internet it'll cost you $60 for a month's use.

Virgin uses Sprint's network (sans 4G which probably isn't even available where you are anyway). It is by far the cheapest option for unlimited use, no-contract Internet.

You do not want a contract where they subsidize the cost of the device. Then you're in it for 24 months. If you want to quit it usually is some formula that will always end up with you paying $250 to cancel early.

You can get the cards at Best Buy, but I'm guessing other places too.
posted by geoff. at 9:02 PM on July 10, 2010

Are there any neighbors with wifi? If it's locked I'd knock on their door and beg for the password. I can't imagine anyone saying no in you situation especially for only ten days n
posted by whoaali at 9:19 PM on July 10, 2010

HE needs the internet access; HE's unwilling to consider alternatives? Let HIM pay the bill. When you're officially appointed executor you may choose to reimburse him if that works out for the estate.
posted by galadriel at 9:22 PM on July 10, 2010 [2 favorites]

Regardless, I have had good luck with Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go. The cards cost $100 and for unlimited Internet it'll cost you $60 for a month's use.

The website you've linked says it's $60 for a month's access with 5 GB of transfers.

Of course, even the "unlimited" services usually also have limits, just they aren't upfront about them, and they implement them by becoming unusably slow instead of disconnecting you entirely.

Also, in my country, some mobile broadband services aren't suitable for all types of internet use; some of them aren't so good for Skype, playing computer games, and things like that. On the other hand, they're OK for e-mail, web browsing, and transferring files. I'd suggest you tell the brother-in-law what you're thinking of buying before spending too much, so he can feel that he's in control and that he approved it.

Did your father have good relations with his neighbours? They may be amenable to sharing their wireless internet connections.

Could you leave the brother-in-law at home with the newborn, and just have you and your sister do the work? You could portray this as a favour to the brother-in-law; after all, if he needs to get that work done he'll want an environment free from interruptions, and with all the crying/heavy things to be moved/etc at your father's house, the environment might not be conductive to him getting his work done.
posted by Mike1024 at 2:57 AM on July 11, 2010

Have you not tried getting time/warner to discount the account for the time after your father's death? If NO ONE was there using it. It's worth a try but if brother-in-law is being a butthead let HIM deal with it.
posted by patnok at 11:24 AM on July 11, 2010

I have a data plan on my verizon account, I was able to tether my droid to my lap top for two weeks to provide internet access while my company moved buildings... it worked fine..... This would require an account with verizon, a smart phone with 3g network, and the knowledge to tether the phone to the PC (in my case, a droid phone, a mac laptop and pdanet software on the phone and on the laptop (free))
posted by HuronBob at 1:46 PM on July 11, 2010

My parents live in Keene and have satellite internet. There are limits on uploads and downloads, but that's what they use.

I'm pretty sure they live farther out and can't get DSL.
posted by hazyspring at 5:17 PM on July 11, 2010

Verizon has a nice prepaid mobile broadband plan, $50 for 1GB data for 1 month (details here). I've used it and recommend it. The fine print says "Only available on Express-Cards, USB modems, Intelligent Mobile Hotspots and Mobile Broadband Built-In on select notebooks/netbooks.", so if you already have a good laptop, the cost of the 1 month plan and a USB modem shouldn't be too bad.
posted by Draxelion at 6:29 AM on July 22, 2010

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