Fixed Wireless Internet…It’s what we do!
Things really are different in the country. Not only is the air cleaner (debatable), the space opener (not a word at all) and the trees greener (OK that isn’t even possible is it?) and well, we do internet a little differently than regular folks. We make internet possible the way a lot of things are done in the country, with some grit, ingenuity and good old fashioned hard work.
OK, a bit of background and a bit of technical talk, it’s unavoidable really, being a tech blog and all. For most people, living in urban areas, the internet comes to their house on a line or cable, for the most part. ADSL, Cable, and Fibre are these primary ways of delivering the internet. All travelling on cabled networks that essentially criss-cross (you’re thinking of the 90’s hip-hop group) cities and towns. This can be thought of as ‘traditionally’ delivered internet. Background complete. Now imagine you live out in the boonies (like me) and that criss-crossing network of cables stops miles and miles away. Well then it would appear that you might have a problem getting the internet.
Rest assured my friend, as your situation is not so bleak. This is where Fixed Wireless Internet has come to the rescue. And you might be saying to yourself at this point, ‘Hey I thought there was going to be some technical jargon in this article?’
Well get ready because we are about to get into the proverbial Dolorean and hit 88mph – aka - It’s about to get thick with technical stuff. So Fixed Wireless is just another network, another group of connections all linked to a source. The source in this case is a PoP site, or Point of Presence site. This is where a conventional internet link can be established. A PoP site is generally, although definitely not always, a fibre drop site created especially for us (or anyone else for that matter). Two things about PoP sites: 1) they certainly aren’t cheap and 2) they are created along a pre-existing fibre run at a point of our choosing (sort of). Either way, the PoP site provides a source, a fibre internet physical location that we can then rebroadcast from.
Now here is where the wireless part comes in, because up to this point you may have been saying, ‘hey where does the wireless part come in?’ (sidenote: you should really see someone regarding all this talking to yourself, or maybe just get a cat or something). The PoP site will have a large dish or antennae that we use to literally send that internet wirelessly to Access Points throughout this big beautiful province. Often the PoP site itself will have an Access Point.
“What’s an access point?” you say (there it is again). An Access point is a piece of equipment that multiple individual radio/receivers can connect to. Our access points are usually mounted on towers in order to gain good line of site to as many homes as possible. And a radio/receiver is the ‘dish’ mounted to your house.
Honestly there is a whole bunch more hardware and equipment involved but the main components are the ones mentioned: PoP, Access Point, Radio Receiver.
Obviously the wireless part of this equation is that the dishes at the PoP site literally beam internet to peoples homes via an Access Point and/or beam that same internet to another Access Point further away. Oftentimes that chain can extended for 2 or 3 or even 4 Access Points each one relaying the source signal at the PoP site to the next Access Point in the chain (don’t worry, there should be a picture included to show an example.
Once the signal is received by the radio/receiver at your home, the wireless part of our service ends and the internet goes back onto a cable and plugs into either your home router, game console or computer.
You may have more questions like, ‘OK then what’s WiFi Mr. Know-It-All?’ or ‘I thought your service was satellite?’. Good questions. I am going to explore the WiFi question in a further post, and in regards to satellite, no we aren’t a satellite provider. Those do exist, but all of our equipment is mounted firmly upon good old Mother Earth.
That’s it! Check out the post on WiFi for even more explanations on how internety things work.