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scerruti
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Joined: Feb 05, 2005
Posts: 1424
Location: Carlsbad, CA (finally)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:04 pm    Post subject: Backup Internet Connection Reply with quote Back to top

Problem:

My Internet connection is currently a single point of failure for phone service. Additionally I work from home regularly and cannot work without Internet access. Finally I plan to have the alarm system monitored over my broadband connection at which point disruption of my broadband connection may trigger an alarm and/or render monitoring useless.

Situation:

Currently have a FIOS service from Verizon. This service has been very reliable, however repair time in the event of an outage could be rather long, especially in the case of a cut fiber going into my home.

Additionally if the fiber was intentionally cut it would disconnect the alarm system from the monitoring station. That could present an immediate threat.

Currently as a back up to my Internet access for work I use an EDGE data card that works wirelessly with my laptop. It would require some effort to make this work for the phone and alarm. This would not be possible if I weren't on the premise when the failure occurred.

Solutions:

The alarm problem could be solved using cell backup technology. My understanding is that this would cost nearly $10/month. It would not provide backup phone or Internet service.

I could get a second hard Internet connection, a cable modem connection for instance. However since the cable and fiber enter the house in the same place it is more than likely that an accidental cut would sever both. An intentional cut might sever both. I have not seen cable companies offering any type of metered plans to make this an economical choice.

I would like to get a wireless broadband connection as a backup to my wired connection. I would expect to pay for equipment up front and pay a low monthly fee for being connected. Included in that fee would be enough usage credits for a weekly test of the connection. Any additional usage, for example in the event of a FIOS outage, would be subject to a usage charge.

Questions:

Does anybody have any general thoughts on backup Internet connections?

Have you any experience with a switch designed for this purpose?

Did it have a way to schedule regular connectivity checks?

Did it support some type of usage metrics (netflow) for billing purposes?

Have you ever heard of a wireless company offering this type of service?

If a wireless provider were to offer that type of service would it be oversold such that it would be worthless in the event of a widespread outage?

What do you think would be a reasonable cost for this service?

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