Update on T-Mobile and StarLink

First things first. I got the T-Mobile unit and it is simple to set up, just plug it in and turn it on, and once I got the best location in my house for the unit, I am getting 9-11 Mbps Download and 2-3 Mbps Upload speeds. The big hint is aim it to the NORTH. The tower with the best connection is the one US 23 heading into Rogers City. The tower on Grand Lake Road heading out to US 23 to the south is not as strong for me. Both those towers are used by ALL the cell phone providers. I had to put it in the bedroom for the best signal. But this is a huge improvement for me from SpeedConnect so they are gone now. This unit does have a battery backup for up to eight hours, and can be plugged into your existing router if you wish, OR it has its own router installed. You can have up 10 devices on the 2.4 mhz band, and up to 10 on the 5 mhz band. I was streaming three 4K TV’s, two computers, two cell phones, and my Blink system with no hassles.

BUT, there is a dark side for some of you along Grand Lake Road and North Bay. T-Mobile, as well as Verizon and AT&T have very weak or no signal in those areas. The ridge that runs through the area both absorbs the wireless signal and bounces it high over your area. You have the ability to try T-Mobile Internet and return it in 20 days with no charge, so it may be worth trying.

In Krakow Township ‘most’ of the area west of US 23 should be great, so I would definitely give it a try there since both the nearby towers should give you plenty of signal.

I am working with their techies to see if there are adjustments that can be made to take the signal closer to the 50 Mbps they are targeting. One thing to add to the mix, but T-Mobile has a very powerful 5G product and it is rolling out in Northern Michigan. IF and WHEN it gets here the Internet offering will get much better too, since it is the 5G signal that is giving it real punch. They ‘say’ 2021 it will arrive here so their product will improve over time, at least you would expect that to happen. We shall see!

STARLINK offering by Elon Musk

Now this one has REAL promise. Never bet against Elon is something I have come to believe, so his Starlink offering has some promise. It is NOT tied to existing technology, but rather thousands of satellites launched by his SpaceX rockets. It is a self install, and costs $499 for the receiver, and $99 a month for unlimited service. Unlike the existing satellite providers, HughesNet and Viasat, these satellites are Low Earth orbit so they should avoid the latency and extra charges you run into with the others. It is also ‘unlimited’ usage, so that 99 bucks is all you will pay monthly.

FIRST, go to their site and sign up to be a ‘beta’ tester. You are under no obligation, but will be notified when they are ready early next year. There site is: https://www.starlink.com/

Second, take a look at this video to see how the system works, and how real users are getting some very high speed servicer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8XffqUGb6I&ab_channel=JoshBurnsTech

WHAT ABOUT FIBER?

Well, fiber to the home is STILL the best thing we could hope for. Right now the Government is running bidding for PI County and both Krakow and PI Township. This is a blind process, but there is more than one company in the mix. CCC is there because they told us that, but any others no one knows right now. Fiber is a 50 year product, and the cable is buried so it is impervious to weather, and it is SCALABLE in the future to multigigabit ranges. I can only hope that government funding will give some incentive to handle our difficult geology. I will keep you posted if anything is announced.

HAVE A GREAT THANKSGIVING!!!!

Mike