Tag Archives: AT&T

VZ 4G vs. AT&T DSL, Lowndes County, Georgia, 2012-09-08

It turns out you can’t yet buy Verizon’s HomeFusion Broadband 4G wireless Internet service

in Georgia. (You can buy it in Tennessee.) However, in Georgia, you can buy one of several 4G LTE devices that have most of the same capabilities. For example, I have here a Verizon Jetpack™ 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi©, which is about the size of a pack of cards. A few minutes ago I compared its speeds directly with AT&T 3Mbps DSL. Here are the results.

The MiFi I’ve got is a slightly older model of the one pictured above, because for years

AT&T DSL: 2.66Mbps down 0.31Mbps up
AT&T DSL
VZ 4G: 10.88Mbps down 7.14Mbps up
Verizon 4G
I’ve been using it and its predecessors on road trips, for Skype, web browsing, blog posting, etc. It’s also come in very handy as a plan B home Internet access method on the many occassions when AT&T’s DSL has flaked out. Mostly I did not use it for uploading videos or watching them much, because until recently it was relatively slow, using EVDO technology at about 1Mbps down and 0.7Mbps up. Suddenly, the MiFi has gotten much much faster, ten times faster, because Verizon has turned on their 4G LTE service in Lowndes County, at least for mobile access.

The tables show results using SpeakEasy Speedtest a few minutes ago.

Megabytes/secMegabits/sec
downup downup
AT&T DSL 2.66Mbps 0.31Mbps 322KB/sec 38KB/sec
Verizon 4G 10.88Mbps 7.14Mbps 1360KB/sec 893KB/sec

Verizon’s 4G LTE is way faster, as in Continue reading

4G data caps and prices

It may be fast, but there are some drawbacks to 4G wireless Internet access, namely data limits and significant prices. Here’s Verizon’s table for their HomeFusion Broadband.

Monthly Data Allowance Monthly Access
10GB $60
20GB $90
30GB $120

I would bet the other companies’ caps and prices are pretty much the same. For web browsing, you’ll probably never run over that lowest 10GB/month limit. So if you want to tweet or facebook or tumblr or email with your friends, 4G probably will work fine for you.

If you do a lot of Skype or listening to music over the net, you might run over. If you watch a lot of videos, or you want to do video conferencing, you can definitely run over. Here’s Verizon’s table of estimates, and they have a calculator along with that:

Email (Text Only) = 10 KB
Typical Web Page Lookup* = 1MB
Audio Streaming = 51 MB/hr
Video Streaming (Standard Def) = 500MB/hr
Video Streaming (HIgh Def) = 1.6GB/hr
Digital Photo Download/Upload (Hi-Res) = 5 MB
4G VoIP = 67MB/hr
4G VoIP with Video = 254MB/hr

1 MB = 1,024KB
1 GB = 1,024MB

Videos of a single VLCIA meeting can run 2 gigabytes, and there are lots of other meetings going on around here. Not every local elected or appointed board has 5 minute meetings like the Lowndes County Commission. Many run for an hour or more.

Even though I’m a pretty intensive Internet user, I’m considering getting 4G home service. Someday AT&T may get around to running fiber for their uverse service out here in my sparsely populated area of the county, and then we might be able to get 3-24Mbps down (and unknown speeds up) for $38 to $63/month. Some year. Or never, if wireless speeds continue to leapfrog even fiber speeds. OK, real fiber speeds such as in Finland, Japan, France, Korea, or dozens of other countries are 100Mbps or up, but U.S. telcos and cablecos are not going to offer speeds like that until they’ve milked every penny they can get out of slower speeds first. Not to mention what the U.S. carriers are really selling with fiber is TV, which is a dying broadcast medium, fast being left in the dust by the participatory social Internet. Who do you know under 30 who gets their news from TV anymore?

Anyway, I don’t know whether 4G Internet service would work for you, but at least it’s another option.

-jsq

4G wireless Internet speeds

How fast is 4G wireless Internet, anyway? Mark Sullivan wrote for PCWorld 7 May 2012, 3G/4G Performance Map: Data Speeds for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon,

We saw three major patterns in our 4G test results. In five cities (Atlanta, Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco), AT&T swept the 4G upload and download competitions; in four (Denver, New Orleans, San Jose, and Seattle), Verizon swept both; and in the remaining four (Chicago, Dallas, New York, and Washington, D.C.), AT&T won for downloads and Verizon prevailed for uploads. Notably, in two of the cities where Verizon ruled (Denver and Seattle), AT&T doesn’t offer 4G LTE service.

And you’ll notice a pattern right away: they only tested big cities. So your mileage may vary around here. However, PCWorld’s observed average 4G speeds for Verizon were 7.35 Mbps down and 5.86Mbps up, and for AT&T 9.12Mbps down and 4.91Mpgs up. Verizon’s HomeFusion Broadband web page claims:

HomeFusion Broadband* is a residential Internet solution that uses Verizon’s 4G LTE network to bring reliable, high-speed Internet service to customers with limited broadband options.

Features

  • Fast Internet access with average speeds of 5-12 Mbps download and 2-5 Mbps upload
  • Wi-Fi connectivity for up to 20 devices
  • Wired (Ethernet) connectivity for up to 4 devices
  • Up to 5 email accounts included

That’s faster than Mediacom and way faster than AT&T’s alleged 3Mbps DSL I’m using at the moment, which shows 3.5Mbps down and 0.38Mbps up. Prices start at $60/month, the same as for Verizon’s Mobile Broadband 5G, which with EVDO typically does around 1Mbps down and 0.7Mbps up and with 4G typically does 5Mbps down and 3Mbps up.

Why do these speeds matter? Well, for video blogging, videos of a one hour meeting can take 8 hours to upload at 0.38 Mbps. At 5Mbps they should take less than an hour. That makes it a lot easier for LAKE to get you coverage of local events.

If you’re not video blogging, you still might like to be able to see George Rhynes’ excellent video coverage of events in Lowndes, Brooks, Lanier, and other counties. And nevermind video: a lot of people around here have no Internet access at all. This would be one way to get it. Some people around here already use Verizon’s mobile devices at home, because otherwise they’re stuck with dialup.

Then there’s reliability. I, for one, would like not to see ATM Cell Header Errors anymore, nor the “page not found, retry?” errors every few minutes. If you don’t know what those are, you probably don’t have AT&T DSL. It’s sad that wireless might be more reliable than copper. But I’m also glad about that because wireless doesn’t require running wires. And did I mention 4G wireless appears to be faster?

-jsq

Verizon or AT&T 4G in Lowndes County?

Maybe one solution to county-wide fast Internet access is 4G wireless? According to their online coverage maps, both AT&T and Verizon now offer 4G in Valdosta and almost all of Lowndes County and many surrounding counties.

IT News Online PRNewswire 15 August 2012 Verizon Wireless Introducing High-Speed 4G LTE Data Network In Valdosta,

ALPHARETTA, Ga., Aug. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Verizon Wireless customers will be able to experience the blazing fast speeds and Verizon 4G coverage map capabilities of the company’s 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in Valdosta when the service launches there on Thursday, Aug. 16. The introduction of the company’s 4G LTE network is part of Verizon Wireless’ announcement today introducing its 4G LTE network in 34 new markets, including Valdosta, and expansion in 38 other markets. The nation’s largest 4G LTE network will be available in a total of 371 markets and cover more than 75 percent of the U.S. population, including major metropolitan areas, small cities and many suburbs.

Customers who live in or visit areas including Valdosta, Lake Park, Hahira, Morven, Moody Air Force Base as well as along I-75 from Lake Park to Hahira and along State Road 125 from Moody Air Force Base to Barretts now will have access to the nation’s fastest 4G network.

Verizon’s 4G coverage map does seem to indicate the same thing.

AT&T 4G coverage map I see no announcement from AT&T, but their online map does indicate coverage here. My AT&T Android phone has a 4G light that sometimes lights up in Valdosta, but I sure don’t see it out here on the edge of the county. Maybe they just haven’t gotten to it here.

Sprint and T-Mobile do not seem to offer 4G around here. Still, 2 out of 4 would be more choice than we’ve had before.

-jsq

No Gates for ALEC: who’s next to jump off the crony capitalism ship?

Apparently the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave more money to ALEC than Pepsi, Coke, Kraft, and Intuit combined, but no more. Who’s next?

Jessica Pieklo wrote yesterday for care2, Bill And Melinda Gates Dump ALEC,

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation became the latest high profile backer of the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council to withdraw financial support after pressure from groups opposed to ALEC’s support of “stand your ground” laws and Voter ID.

And private prisons, such as the one CCA wanted to build in Lowndes County, and “anti-immigrant” bills that creat many new crimes to fill those private prisons. And charter schools, such as the referendum for charter school tax credits on the ballot in Georgia in November. Some of our local “white fathers” pushed school consolidation a few months ago and charter schools are yet another attack on public education, backed by ALEC.

Roll Call reports that a foundation spokesperson said it does not plan to make any future grants to the organization. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation contributed more than $375,000 to ALEC in the past two years.

Meanwhile, according to ALEC Watch:

ALEC’s more than three hundred corporate sponsors pay annual membership dues ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to advance their agendas, plus additional fees of $1,500 to $5,000 a year to participate in ALEC’s various task forces, where, according to an ALEC publication, “legislators welcome their private-sector counterparts to the table as equals.”

That’s the very model of a bad public-private partnership and crony capitalism. (More detail by ALEC Exposed.)

So what excuse does the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have? Jessica Pieklo’s article says:

Continue reading

AT&T DSL outage until 8AM Sunday 5 June

AT&T is upgrading DSL service and requires more than a full day, until 8AM Sunday, to do it.

So I happened to wake up and wanted to check something online. No DSL service. (Yes, I rebooted the DSL modem.) Determined the modem was working and the problem was beyond it in AT&T’s network. Thought maybe there’s a tree down on the line.

Called AT&T. Message said “high speed” Internet technical support hours are 6AM to 11PM, so please call back then for best service. Excuse me? The Internet is supposed to shut down overnight?

Stayed on, outwaited the robot, got a tech in the Philippines, Continue reading