Today's Office Hours: 8:00 am-4:30 pm | Today's Support Hours: 8:00 am-10:30 pm
Today's Office Hours: 8:00 am-4:30 pm
Today's Support Hours: 8:00 am-10:30 pm
We’re always getting messages and calls from people who are fortunate enough to live in the beautiful rural areas of Northern Ontario, but struggle to find an internet solution. We understand the need for internet in rural areas, this is why NETSPECTRUM started providing wireless services in the first place (read about our history here).
In this blog, we’ll be explaining the process for getting service to your rural location. The following are the steps and costs associated with our service.
Looking up Your Address to Determine Service Availability
First things first, we need to know where you are to determine if we can get you service. The main factors that we look into when determining if you can get service is the distance from your location to one of our towers and whether there are any large obstacles in the way. Heavy foliage and hills are the main culprits that can diminish the wireless signal from our tower to your location.
The accuracy of your location is key for the first steps of determining service availability. When you provide your address, it is helpful if you can either provide your GPS coordinates (here’s a great site to find your coordinates) OR provide us with some descriptors of your location (example: the third house on the right, the house on the corner, blue roof, long driveway, etc.). Often, mapping software isn’t the greatest for pinpointing an exact house with an address in a rural location.
You can provide your address details:
Once we have your exact location, we’ll run what’s called a “path” from our closest tower(s) to your location which will determine the distance from the tower to your location, any loss of signal due to terrain or heavily wooded areas, and what the signal loss might be. From there, we’re able to determine whether there is potential for service or not at your location. We will also check to see if we can offer our Cable or DSL packages in your area.
This is what a path run to a potential service location looks like.
Scheduling a Site Visit
If our software shows you’re at a viable location for service, the next step is to have one of our friendly technicians to come to your location and be sure the software prediction and the actual signal level of the radio link line up.
When the technician is on your property, they will be able to determine the best place to mount the radio (the piece of equipment that receives the signal from the tower to your home/business) and whether you will need a pole or small tower put on your property in order the reach a height needed to get over any obstacles (again, heavy trees and terrain).
If we show up to your location and we determine we aren’t able to get the speeds you’re looking for with a standard install (mount a radio on an existing high point), you will not be billed for the site-visit. You also will not be billed for the site-visit if we determine we can provide the speeds you need and you decide to go forward. The technician will do the install right then and there, so be prepared for the site visit to turn into an install. The only time you are charged for the site visit is if we show up and determine we can deliver what you’re looking for but you decide not to go forward – site survey fee is $100 + HST. , or if you specifically wanted only a site survey.
For a standard installation – where we can mount a radio on an existing high point on your property, this can often be done while the tech is there for the site visit. The installation fee is $250+HST and our wireless plans require a one year contract due to the cost of the specialized equipment.
If it’s determined an additional pole or tower is required, we will provide you with a quote for the equipment required and let you make your choice. Our technicians would need to return for an additional visit if a tower or additional pole is required. Information about our residential tower program below.
If you decide not to go forward, we’re out of your hair, no charges for the site visit (unless your property is only accessible by boat – there is a $100+HST charge for all island visits).
Connecting to the Network
Our technician will run a cable into your home from the radio mounted outside. If you require Wifi access (which most of us do), you would either need to provide your own router, or we offer 2 models for rent (as of July 2018), or one for sale. Pricing and models will not be listed in this blog as they can change.
What if we don’t Service at your Location
As you can imagine, building a tower for service is no small feat (nor is it a small investment), but we do want to get as many rural users access to internet service as we can.
NETSPRECTRUM offers a residential tower program where you pay a monthly fee and we come and build a tower on your property. As pricing and equipment varies, if this is something you’re interested in, reach out to us and we’ll work with you to arrange a solution.
Otherwise, we keep your information on hand for future installs and we will let you know when there’s new infrastructure built or when upgrades are done to an existing tower, that will enable us to provide you with service. If there’s enough interest in a particular area, we may be able to build a tower to satisfy the need for service. Where we build our towers depends on the option for land use/purchase, access to hydro, and surrounding terrain that would affect ability to reach homes/businesses in the area.