Most people know I work from home, and most know that I depend on an Internet connection to make that work. This leads to a common question - how is that going?
Before we moved, we'd ensured that we could have high speed Internet access by having the local ISP (BC Wireless, which is partially funded by NetworkBC) come out and do a site test, which passed. However, until it was actually working in front of me I'll admit I was a little worried. Now that it's all set up and I've been using it for over a week, I can't be happier. My throughput speeds are decent (as high as 3Mbps), but lower than Westbank, where it was often in the 15-20 Mbps range. However, the quality of service appears to be greater. For instance, I am able to conduct all my phone calls using a VOIP connection to our PBX in Burlington, ON (which is how I still have a 905 number), and I could never do this in Westbank, as the calls lost too many packets (translation: voices were choppy). (Analogy: high bandwidth, low quality = waterfall; lower bandwidth, higher quality = firehose).
How does it work?
Telus, our local phone company, runs a fibre-optic line to a tower in Horsefly (at the Fire Station). That tower provides a line-of-sight connection to anyone with the right antenna. There is also a tower at the trailer park on a hill that repeats the signal and extends the range - this is what we're aimed at with our directional 2.4GHz 802.11b client access antenna (by BC's own Tranzeo).
Out of curiosity, I ran a traceroute test to the BC Wireless server, assuming that my connection went through there:
Tracing route to bcwireless.com [126.96.36.199]
over a maximum of 30 hops:
1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms 192.168.1.1
2 4 ms 2 ms 2 ms router-254.fortinet.com [188.8.131.52]
3 4 ms 4 ms 4 ms 184.108.40.206
4 8 ms 8 ms 9 ms 220.127.116.11
5 19 ms 21 ms 19 ms PGRGBC01DR01.bb.telus.com [18.104.22.168]
6 19 ms 19 ms 20 ms vancbc01dr01.bb.telus.com [22.214.171.124]
7 20 ms 20 ms 20 ms 126.96.36.199
8 36 ms 35 ms 35 ms 188.8.131.52
9 37 ms 36 ms 35 ms web2.bcinternet.net [184.108.40.206]
What this tells me is that to get to 100 Mile house, my packets are going though Prince George, then Vancouver. I find that facinating! (The fact that my VOIP calls are going over an encrypted VPN connection, first to the VPN server in San Jose, CA via Prince George, and once in the VPN from California to Massachusetts, then up to Burlington, ON, is completely mind-blowing!)
Anyway, I'd highly recommend BC Wireless for their service so far - they've done everything to accommodate me and before we ever had service answered all my questions. With ISPs like these, I should expect more and more information workers to go rural.
A diary of the projects, hurdles, rewards and family life at we recorded at Wise Acres, our former homestead in Horsefly, BC. (Careers and teenagers have forced us back into the city, at least for a little while.)