WIRELESS, WHEN DSL IS NOT AVAILABLE
In a rural geographically diverse area such as ours, there are many places where DSL or cable service is not available. Fixed wireless is
your best bet. Spiral Internet partners with DigitalPath (a Wireless Internet Service Provider or WISP) because we've found that they offer the
most reliable and cost-effective Internet, at speeds that will let you watch streaming video. If we can't offer you DSL, call us at (530) 478-9822
and we’ll let you know if DigitalPath service is available at your location.
You can get 3 Megabits per second (Mbps) down / 1 Mbps up for $55.95 per month, and 6 Mbps down / 1 Mbps down for only $10 more per month.
These are not promotional rates that will be raised after one year of service. Fair and predictable pricing. We like that. At speeds that Netflix
likes, too. Since service requires that the antenna dish be able to "see" the tower (called "line of sight") where the
DigitalPath signal originates, installation sometimes requires that the dish be installed in a tree. Monthly prices for service with tree
installation are $15 extra per month. So, $70.95 per month for 3 Mbps / 1 Mbps and $80.95 per month for 6 Mbps / 1 Mbps.
BURSTABLE SPEED IS A BUST
Other WISP's numbers can be misleading. Some wireless providers offer similar prices for "burstable" speeds that give you high download
rates for short periods, and then throttle down to far lower values such as 512kbps, 768kbps, or 1.5Mbps. Such speeds are no longer tolerable for
anything but general email and some website browsing. Netflix will not work if your provider says they offer "burstable" speeds of 3+
Mbps. Always ask what sustained speed you can expect.
REASONABLE DATA LIMITS
Unfortunately, data limits are a fact of life with wireless providers, as the nature of the technology involves fierce competition for
limited bandwidth in the broadcast spectrum. There are no WISPs offering unlimited access in Nevada County, but Digital Path offers limits that
better support higher-intensity uses such as streaming video. The 3 MBps service comes standard with 75 GB of transfer per month, and the 6 Mbps
service comes with 100 GB per month (upgradable to 150 GB for just $5 more) — that's about double what other local WISPs offer at similar
Spiral believes that moving toward the future requires unlimited data usage, but when technological limitations make that impossible, you might
as well get the best deal you can.
DIGITAL PATH ANSWERS THE PHONE
DigitalPath is a regional ISP based in Chico, CA. You'll find that they offer free, friendly, and helpful technical support.
OTHER STARTUP COSTS
DigitalPath has a $249 installation fee, and if that's difficult to pay all at once, you can ask them to have it prorated over the course of
your 1-year contract. There are no equipment costs, although a DigitalPath dish will be installed on your home or other building that best can
“see” one of their broadcast facilities. If the best way to receive a signal is literally “up a tree”, then DigitalPath
charges an additional one-time charge of $46 for that work.
SOME THINGS TO KNOW AND CONSIDER