Temporary Internet in remote area - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-20-2012, 09:42 AM   #1
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Temporary Internet in remote area

Kevin and I are going to volunteer on Pine Ridge during the first week of May. Since he and I have difficulty being disconnected with our respective schools (He is a supt and I am a professor.), I wondered if people could share low/no cost ways to connect to the Internet where there are no towers. We thought we could tether the last time we were there but discovered that while there was cell phone access, there was no data access. We have Verizon 3-G phones with unlimited data plans.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

CindyL
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:11 AM   #2
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Technomedia (their previous trailer was an Oliver) produces an iPhone app called Coverage? which might show if other carriers provide service in the area or how far you have to go to find Verizon data.

If there is no cell based data access, your only other possibility is satellite, which would be pretty expensive for short time use. If you are getting Verizon voice coverage, it might be worth checking to find why there is no data available. If it is because you are roaming, there isn't much you can do (other than finding what network Verizon is using for roaming & switching), but if it is a weak signal a directional antenna or cell amplifier might help.
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:35 AM   #3
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I have this Wilson booster. Product Details

I have had mixed success with it. If there is even a tiny signal, it grabs onto it and performs very well. It will not bring in a signal that plain isn't there.

I lived all of last summer in a situation you describe. I managed to get by by going into town, or driving up a ridge to grab a signal.

There is no majic bullet, unfortunately. Satellite is the only way to bring it in everywhere.

I paid $300 bucks for the booster. I am sure the price has dropped by now.
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:18 AM   #4
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We can see a tower when we are there, but as Verizon said, that is a cell tower, not 3G. The Rez has its own system that is for tribal members. I don't know what they have in "town." Pine Ridge has or had (We have not been there for a couple of years.) a Pizza Hut, a coffee shop, and a Shell station.

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Old 03-20-2012, 11:30 AM   #5
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As mentioned, free or low cost are mutually exclusive terms when talking about web access in remote areas. Sounds like you might get to like Pizza, a lot.
When I am in an area like that I post an automatic reply on my email accounts that gives the sender my cell phone number to try, or you could get a pager for emergency calls, they usually have even better coverage.
And just to remember, just 5 or so years ago "going on vacation" meant "going on vacation" and the world actually existed without us.....
BTW: If my employer had a "Need" to always be able to reach me, I would give them the opportunity to pay for said connectivity. I did that on several vacations to europe and they paid for local rentals of cell phones, was close to $100 a week at the time.
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Old 03-20-2012, 03:59 PM   #6
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Well, I will be doing grades at the time. That is done online.

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Old 03-20-2012, 07:53 PM   #7
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A couple articles about the Higher Grounds coffee shop indicated they had wifi, but only Monday thru Friday opening hours. You might try calling them. I didn't look around Pine Ridge, but many schools and libraries in other areas offer free wifi to patrons. As you're both educators, even if the service isn't public, they'd probably help you if you called ahead and explained the situation.
But then, you've probably tried all those options...
Sherry
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:58 PM   #8
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Thank you, Sherry. If the coffee shop's hours are amenable to us, that may be our option. As for libraries, I don't remember seeing one. Pine Ridge is unlike any community you may be used to. There is one grocery store on the Rez which is an area that is larger than Delaware and NJ. "Towns" are scatterings of homes that are rejects of past disasters like Katrina stuck in the middle of nowhere where people who have no money or means to get into a grocery have to depend on the equivalent of a few places like our 7-Elevens to eat or federal handouts like cheese, so the high rate of diabetes on the Rez is understandable.

Re-Member does have Internet but they have been touchy in the past about using it. We also have sucked signal from a local home that came in and out in the past. Before 3G, I had a cell phone that tethered with cell signal. I almost wonder if Verizon could hook it up for a month, but probably not, as they want to charge for tethering.

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Old 03-21-2012, 05:49 AM   #9
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i sugjest you simply unplug. the break from data streaming into your brain will do you good. and everything will be just fine without you for a little while.
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:02 AM   #10
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No can do. Our jobs will not let us.


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Old 03-22-2012, 09:48 AM   #11
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No 3G is no high speed but you may still have Edge if your phone can make a call from that location. Welcome back to the days of 19.2 modems. If the online system you need to connect to for grading has a "508" or Accessible option for viewing that will be text only or almost image free and perform much better over slow connection. Most commercial online course systems will have that viewing option to support the disabled user. Bug your registrar to have a site that allows you to upload grades as a spread sheet so you can work off line :-)
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by CindyL View Post
Thank you, Sherry. If the coffee shop's hours are amenable to us, that may be our option. As for libraries, I don't remember seeing one. Pine Ridge is unlike any community you may be used to. There is one grocery store on the Rez which is an area that is larger than Delaware and NJ. "Towns" are scatterings of homes that are rejects of past disasters like Katrina stuck in the middle of nowhere where people who have no money or means to get into a grocery have to depend on the equivalent of a few places like our 7-Elevens to eat or federal handouts like cheese, so the high rate of diabetes on the Rez is understandable.

Re-Member does have Internet but they have been touchy in the past about using it. We also have sucked signal from a local home that came in and out in the past. Before 3G, I had a cell phone that tethered with cell signal. I almost wonder if Verizon could hook it up for a month, but probably not, as they want to charge for tethering.

CindyL
maybe you can lease or rent something for a month?
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Old 03-22-2012, 03:07 PM   #13
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John,

A service like that was what I was hoping to find out about when I began this thread. I am going to stop at Verizon and see if they have something, since they are our carrier. Their map says that they have extended 3G coverage there. Maybe they have insight in how to access that. Or maybe it was added since last time we were there. We were just taken aback last time, when we thought we could tether and it did not work, when it worked previously. At that time, Verizon said it was lack of 3G there while prior to that, I was using cell signal to access the Internet.

The whole thing is confusing to me. I can install system software on my PCs, help trouble-shoot both my PCs and Macs, and program disability-accessible software, but when it comes to networking and wireless, it is like Russian to me.

CindyL
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:02 AM   #14
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boy,,,these computers sure have simplified our lives.
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