I Hate Modens - Part 4

I promise this will be the last installment of I Hate Modems. Tomorrow I will have a good series of columns on my rocket powered boat.

So anyway, in Part III of I Hate Modems, I discussed life away from my Rocket Powered boat on the Island every second weekend, and the 3 weeks I am there now. I also talked of the only ISP on the Island losing their connection to the world on Monday from 10:30am - 8:30pm.

As promised today I will talk about what are the alternatives if people on the Island don't like the local ISP or at least dial-up access. The 4 options (one of them being a (gulp) dial-up option) are 1. Long distance dial-up 2. Wireless access (which the local ISP will be providing soon ONLY in town though, which they say will be high speed) 3. ExpressVu satellite access 4. Star Choice satellite access. I will say later why each satellite provider provides a different option for satellite Internet access.

Long Distance Dial-up

One alternative to the local ISP is to go with an off Island FREE dial-up ISP, or an off Island Dial-up ISP. The problem with going with off Island ISP's, is that you must pay long distance charges. Which start at 15¢/min. so that is a very costly solution.

Wireless High Speed

The buzz around the Island is that the local ISP is going to be offering broadband wireless access in town. There have been no details released about the service, and when I phoned a while back and asked about it, they refused to tell me anything. This solution may be good for people in town, but over 99% of the Island doesn't live in town. So this solution isn't a real option. Also the local ISP hasn't said anything about speed, or pricing. So the speed could either be as slow as an ISDN connection, or as fast as 1.5mbps. The other unknown, is the price. It could be as little as $39.95/mth or as high as $150/mth. So at this point this solution is not an option for my moms place.

ExpressVu Direct PC

Well right off the bat, you can tell they are anti black (a Mac term used to describe Mac users second class citizen statues in the computer world). ExpressVu provides Internet access via a satellite. ExpressVu offers a 400kbpa down link only connection for $39.95/mth. They also offer content for their customers only that can download at 1mbps. Sounds like a great satellite connection right? Wrong! First off it is PC only. The second problem, is that you must pay in addition to the $39.95/mth, for a local ISP to handle the up link. So for the eager ExpressVu Mac customer, they are out of luck.

StarChoice

Well Star Choice has yet to launch their satellite Internet access, but from what they have said so far, is that it will be true satellite access. What does that mean? Well what it means it that the down/up link will be handled through the satellite dish. That means no up link through a dial up connection. Isn't that great? At this point this is my suggestion for my mom to get for a high speed Internet connection and for myself for if, or when, I move to the Island (the lack of broadband Internet has been my #1 reason for not moving to the Island).

Well the down side is that they won't be offering it until they launch their new satellite in October and they have not stated if they will be supporting Macintosh. What I can tell you is this. If they decide not to provide satellite access for the Mac, I will do what ever it takes to make it as public as possible to the Mac community in Canada that StarChoice doesn't support the Mac. On top on all that I will also tell all StarChoice Mac users to either throw out their StarChoice system if they have one (and my mom does) or to voice their disgust to StarChoice for not supporting the Macintosh. I for one am calling weekly to ask about their satellite Internet service and to see if they will support the Macintosh.

Their that's my final I Hate Modems column. Oh wait there is one more thing (but you were expecting that) I almost forgot, time #3 that I am forced to downgrade from my Rocket Powered boat. That time would be when either their servers are acting up (which is less then 3 days a year if that) or when my Mac refuses to work with the service which I will discuss in my upcoming ADSL series.