Charles Moore's Mailbag

The Welcome to Wireless Broadband Letters

Charles Moore - 2009.09.23 - Tip Jar

Charles received a boatload of "welcome to broadband" emails in response to Charles Moore Finally Gets Broadband!

Welcome to the World of Broadband!

From Jon:


I enjoy your articles and promise to tip you sometime! I can tell you that the move from dial-up to broadband in our household was a welcome change. I just about take it for granted these days and forget that many people still use dial-up. I have the same Belkin Wireless router you have pictured in the article, and it has been very reliable. In fact, it is about 3-1/2 years old now. Obviously Belkin has a winner with that router, as they are still making it. All this to say, welcome to the world of broadband! I'm sure you'll notice a huge difference in how if affects your work flow, etc.

Low End Mac Fanatic

Hi Jon,

Thanks for the greeting, and nice to hear a positive report about the Belkin router.

So far (nearly two weeks now) this wireless broadband performance has been flawless, and I've seen speed as high as about 1,300 kbps.

I'm already beginning to take it for granted. :-)


Broadband (Finally!)

From Robert:

Hi Mr. Moore:


I've followed your columns at Low End Mac for years, although haven't had anything to write to you about for ages.

We've had Bell broadband installed here in Ingonish, just last week as it happens. Speed is quite decent, and no problems yet. I'm using an AirPort Express (n) and see no reason to password protect hereabouts.

iPhone 3G works well with Skype. Rogers doesn't cover Ingonish - its signal is lost past Englishtown - so that's helpful.


Hi Robert,

Glad to hear broadband has made it to Ingonish as well. Rogers 3G doesn't work here, making iPhones a bit superfluous. A friend who was here with his recently wasn't even able to phone out. The signal peters out about 35 miles north of here.


New High Speed Internet

From Chris:

Congratulations to your new high speed Internet: I am sure that it will make life easier in the long run. I have experimented with wireless ways of getting high speed connections, but I must say that I am not very satisfied with the experience over here in Germany.

Living in a rural area, it seems as if we've got left behind again. We have got DSL, but it only runs at 374k, and German telekom isn't interested in making it any better where I live.

Good luck and greetings from Germany


Hi Chris,

Thanks, it is making a big difference already.

The wireless broadband I'm getting here at home is faster than the WiFi hotspot (router broadcasting a DSL connection) at the local library by quite a bit I think, at least by seat-of-the-pants measure, so to speak. Speed at the library also is highly dependent on how many users are logged on at a given time. Best to get there during closed hours, but a trip that I hope will be no longer necessary for me.



From Andrew:


Congratulations!!!!! Brought back fond memories of first going wireless (dialup over AirPort) and then broadband. Its only been about 8 years since I went broadband, but it seems like 80 since I've had to use dialup.

Welcome to the modern world.


Hi Andrew,

Thanks. Nice to be here finally. :-)

Broadband in the Philippines

From David:


Read your latest on Low End Mac.

Glad to hear you are now in the fast lane. It sounds like your broadband solution is similar to that we have in our home in the Philippines. We use a service called Smart Bro, the "bro" I think stands for broadband. We do not have a landline in our home. Instead, my ISP put an antenna on our roof that talks to a local mobile phone tower. You need to have line of sight to their mobile phone towers. Smart also does mobile phone service in the Philippines. For nearly four years we have had hardly a hiccup. It has been very reliable and reasonably fast. Fast enough for Vonage voice over IP.

DSL would be faster, but almost twice the cost. Locked into a promotional rate of 788 Pesos a month (about $16 at the current exchange rate), a pretty good rate.

Life and ministry are going very well here in the Philippines - living out our purpose and fulfilling our destiny.

blessings to you brother,

Hi David,

Delighted to hear the missionary effort is going well.

Yes, sounds like you're on a similar setup. I assume there is a sightline to the tower, although it's through a stand of trees. The installer couldn't get a visual to the tower, but it's gotta be there behind those trees, because we're getting a good strong signal.

Also good to hear that yours has been reliable. I hope this service will be as well.


Wireless Broadband Is Fast

From Mike:

Hi Charles

Congratulations on joining the world of wireless broadband. I suspect that you will find, as I've found in rural Alberta, that it's very quick (faster, in fact, than my office in Calgary) and much more reliable than the satellite versions. The one downside that I've found with it is that when the power goes out, so does the Internet (as with all broadband). In the city, that's not so much of a big deal, but out here in the sticks it goes off at least a couple of times a month. I'm going to experiment with UPS systems this winter to see what comes of it - any thoughts?

Who does the wireless out there? It's a different style antenna from what I've seen in the past.


Hi Mike,

Thanks. I'm finding it very fast as well, and when my daughter and I ran simultaneous speed tests using this site the other day during a phone conversation, I was getting nearly four times the speed she was on a city connection.

The power outage issue is something I hadn't thought of until now, however. I think I could probably power the wireless modem and router off a battery pack using my inverter (low-tech UPS), but I suppose it's dependent on whether the tower is powered off the local grid exclusively (probable, I would think).

One advantage of dialup! I've never had it go down through any power outage (many) over the past dozen years. Could be a good reason for hanging on to the cheapest dialup plan available.

Our wireless is supplied by a Nova Scotia-owned indie outfit called Seaside Wireless Communications, based out of Sydney, NS.


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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at and a columnist at If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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