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JRAYBO's profile

Teacher

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23 Messages

Thursday, March 29th, 2018 9:45 PM

Fixed wireless internet installation Question

Ok, so I have a second tech coming out on Saturday to try and install fixed wireless internet.  The first tech said that he could not get a signal, but customer service insists that it is available at my address, and were the ones that set me up a second appointment.  My question is, what should this tech be doing to try pick up a signal?  The last tech that came out, stood behind my house, at ground level, and was pointing around an antenna to try and pick up a signal.  Here is the problem, ground level at the back of my home is about 3-4 feet below my floor level in my sunroom inside, and about 12-14 feet below the lowest point of my roof, (probably 18 feet below the tip of my roof).  Given this fact, is it not likely that the tech might have been able to get a good signal, had he got on a ladder and tested the equipment at my roof level, rather than the crawlspace level of my home?  Is it reasonable to ask the tech to get on a ladder and test it fully before giving up and telling me he is getting nothing.  I have done some tower research and I know there are two AT&T towers within fixed wireless range, one is 3 miles, the other about 5-6 miles.  At these distances, I should be picking up the signal.  These towers are also on a higher elevation than my house location and they are about 250 feet tall.  Based on what I understand, there is no reason why I shouldn't be picking up signal at these distances.

Mentor

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35 Messages

6 years ago

Unless those towers are using Band 30 (2300 mhz) the tech will not pick up the "Fixed Wireless" signal. The cellular service is on a different band. So a cellphone showing service at your home does not mean "Fixed Wireless" is available. As I stated before you currently have DSL. CAF II is to target rural areas that have no access to land line broadband. You might feel that it's not fair you can't sign up, what about people like me that don't have access AT ALL? 

Teacher

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23 Messages

6 years ago

I don't think you are correct about how CAF II.  When I say I have DSL, I am not talking about Uverse DSL, which was ADSL2 lines, I am talking about legacy DSL from the 90s.  Also in my area, AT&T have stopped providing this legacy DSL to new customers.  A neighbor of mine cancelled their DSL and then tried to get it back about 6 months later, and AT&T told them no.  I only have DSL because I have had it at my address for over 10 years, so technically, this is an area where DSL is not available.  Also, I already get that if the tower isn't set up that I won't get the service, but that wasn't the question I asked.  My question was whether the contractor they sent out here to be my tech, actually did all he should have to see if he could get a signal?  There have been posts on this forum from other members who claim that second or third visit techs did find a signal despite prior techs saying there was not one.  So logically, I have to ask, could he have found a signal, had he got on a ladder to my roof level with the equipment? 

 

Also I don't get your anger, people like me not being able to sign up doesn't help you any.  I probably don't have it much better than you.  I am 5 miles in every direction from a town where they have fiber, cable, or Uverse, but all I have is 1.3 mpbs DSL at $51/month.  Trust me, it isn't sunshine and roses for me either. 

 

My confusion has arisen because AT&T fliers in the mail and customer service people are insisting that I can get fixed wireless, and yet the tech they sent out said I can't.  Which is it?  It is not unreasonable for them to know what they can and can't offer at my address.  I guess this time I will just insist that the tech get on his ladder and test my location thoroughly. I have read elsewhere on this forum that these techs aren't always AT&T employees and may be Direct TV contractors, so it makes me wonder if they know what they are doing?

 

Sorry about your situation though, the government at every level has failed rural citizens in this country.  As someone trying to run a home business, I can really sympathize with your plight having third world infrastructure.

Teacher

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23 Messages

6 years ago

Well just to update everyone.  Waited in all afternoon for my tech to show up but he was a no show.  There was no call, no text, nothing!  Just a Saturday afternoon wasted.  Bear in mind that for the past week, I have got 3 automated text messages asking me to verify my appointment, all of which I have responded "yes" to, and got a "confirmed" reply back.  So to summarize - AT&T sends out advertisements telling you service is available; their website tells you service is a available; they send someone out who doesn't even get on a ladder and test for a signal at roof level of your home, and so they get no signal; customer service assures you that it is available and sets up a second appointment a week later; you wait in all Saturday afternoon and no one shows up.  Meanwhile, AT&T is taking CAFII money from taxpayers and promising to provided these services while failing to do so.  My response, I just filed a complaint with the FCC. 

Teacher

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23 Messages

6 years ago

I wanted to update everyone in the interest of fairness to AT&T.  I did contact the FCC, which did lead to my case being escalated by AT&T.  The lady I dealt with from the office of the president was excellent, and really worked to find out what was happening with the installation.  Her actions led to two techs coming out to my house, who did a thorough signal test on 3 different towers.  They eventually found a signal on one of the towers and installed my service.  The techs were very professional and nice guys.  They explained that when the first tech came out, he only had authority to check one tower, whereas they had been given the  authority to check multiple towers, since my case had been escalated.  As for the service itself, I am very happy with it.  I have had it for 2 days now.  I am typically getting download speeds of between 15-40 Megs, and upload speeds at about 1-2 Megs, both of which are above the 10/1 minimum guaranteed.  I was interested to see if my service performance went down in rainy weather, and as it happened, it is raining today, and I have noticed no real decline in performance.  Based on this, I am going to give it a month, and if I have no issues, I will be cancelling my current DSL service, since right now I have both services in the interim. 

 

My advice to someone wanting to get this service; be persistent, ask them to check multiple towers near your location, if they can't get a signal from the closest one they test.  This service can work up to about 10 miles away.  From what I understand about it, it is all about line of sight, the elevation of the tower location, and your location.  In my situation, I am getting better signal from a tower that is further away, than one which is much closer.  This service really could be an option for people in rural areas.  Me and my wife still can't quite believe it that we are getting this fast internet out here in a rural area.  Good luck to everyone else trying to set up the service.  Based on what I have experienced so far, it is worth the persistence to try and get it. 

Mentor

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35 Messages

6 years ago

I have contacted the FCC as well, sounds like you got a better person to look into it. My "office of the president" representative claimed that 330 people were allocated to have the service in my zip code! and I won't be one of them. I am being persistent and cordial. You don't mind me asking. I would like to communicate with your rep that got it done

Mentor

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35 Messages

6 years ago

I have had a little breakthrough on my endeavor. The FCC was classifying my address as not eligible for AT&T to provide me with this service because according to their (FCC's) mapping I already had access to broadband. WOW! Leave it to Big Government to screw it up! In about a week from now I will have my service installed! I encourage everyone to go look up the FCC's new interactive map and fill out your location. Should it reveal incorrect information about your access let the FCC know.

Teacher

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23 Messages

6 years ago

That is great news!  If your service is anything like mine, you'll be happy.  My typical speed is about high 20s to low 30 Megs download.  For someone like me who had a 1.2 Meg DSL connection, this service is like going from 1990 to 2018 over night.  If they come out and can't get a signal from the tower assigned to your installation, ask them about setting up another appointment so that other towers can be tested.  With my installation, they had to use a tower further away because it got a better signal than one closer to me because of the line of sight requirements.  So far I have had the service since 04/13/2018.  Speed is fair consistent though there was one occasion late at night when the service was connected but had a DNS error - I believe there was some sort of maintenance being done because the next morning it was back to normal.  There was a slow down in speed to between 10-20 Megs on Friday evening, but the tech did tell me that this could happen during busier, peak times.  Other than that, no problems.  Good luck.

Teacher

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23 Messages

6 years ago

New update -  Service is now not working after 3 weeks working just fine.  It seems they messed up setting up my account.  I have a green broadband light but a solid red service light.  The worst thing of all, they said they have to do a second "install" even though the equipment is already installed and been working just fine.  Even worse, it is going to take them a week to get out here.  Total joke.  If this is how they operate, even with a complaint to the FCC, I would hate to know how bad the service can get for none priority cases. 

Tutor

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4 Messages

6 years ago

We're also experiencing a debacle trying to get fixed wireless internet installed.  Current count is 4 appointments and 4 no call/no show by a tech.  Each time I received a text about the upcoming appointment and I replied "Yes" then the day of appointment I received a text showing the install window and that a tech would arrive.  I never received a phone call on the appointment dates and order status always shifted to "Delayed - contact AT&T for details" when I logged into the account portal.  The order status page for fixed wireless is comical at best since there isn't a direct contact link nor any useful information provided to the customer.  It seems like it should be fairly easy in our internet connected world for an AT&T tech to transcribe information about installation delays in layman's terms that could be uploaded to a text box the customer can view on the order status page.  As it is now if you call the 800-288-2020 number you have about a 50% chance that someone even knows what fixed wireless internet is and that AT&T offers the service.  It's a coin flip if the person on the other end of the line provides any useful info other than endlessly offering to reschedule the appointment.  My wife called multiple times and it was a different story depending on which rep she talked to.  It took multiple phone calls just to get some vague information about not having equipment - kind of a big deal and something that could be communicated to the customer before we take time off from work for one of their 4 hour installation blocks.  After the fourth missed appointment the rep said the tech entered "Could not locate" in the notes which is vague to the nth degree.  Could not locate what?  Our house, fixed wireless signal, the meaning of life?  We live in a rural area but it's not Deliverance country and we're on a major county road - the cruelest part is we're on the wrong side of a road that received a major fiber expansion a few years ago so people two miles down the road have 1Gig while we get pamphlets for joke satellite internet.  We're also in a great AT&T 4G location and routinely get 25Mbps or so using the hotspot feature on our phones but now that AT&T is enforcing the 10GB limit per month per device we have no viable internet option until they figure out this fixed wireless installation.  It would be nice if AT&T could relax the hotspot throttling in rural areas while people are trying to get a primary internet option installed.  My wife also went to a ribbon cutting ceremony for the fixed wireless tower that is less than 1.5 miles away and was told service was available immediately - that was about a year ago and up until a couple months ago our address never validated for receiving fixed wireless internet service.  One other fly in the ointment is the service address - whoever is doing address qualifying for AT&T may need to pay more attention to matching the city to the zip code.  Our street address and zip code is correct but the city is incorrect but someone local with basic deductive reasoning would be able to interpolate and find our location using Google Maps.  Fortunately through work I have some local AT&T contacts and they appear to have escalated our problem without going the FCC route and my wife received a phone call this morning.  Fingers crossed my fifth appointment won't be another no call/no show since we're well within the service radius of the tower, don't live in an abandoned missile silo or have any major obstructions that could be used as a lack of service excuse.  To quote Mugatu - we're at the point of thinking we're taking crazy pills based on how amateur hour the installation process has been and the complete lack of detailed information provided to the customer when appointments are missed.  It's 2018 and internet access in rural America is a punchline to the point it impacts a person's ability to work from home, children cannot complete schoolwork which is becoming more and more reliant on internet access and ISPs give ludicrously low limits on hotspot use which is what we rely on while waiting for the modern option to be installed.  I'm curious what the actual problem is and I hope it's not something as simple as the city not matching the zip code in AT&T's service database yet there is only one address matching our home that you can locate on Google maps and it's ridiculously close to one of their fixed wireless towers.  I'll update once the situation changes since there seems to be more than a few people having the same problem.

Teacher

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23 Messages

6 years ago

Good luck sorting it out.  As for my situation, things are looking good right now.  Despite the installation process being messy, and the initial upload speeds not being very reliable, as of right now, they did something to fix it.  I am getting between 10-30 Mb downloads, and between 1-6 Mb upload.  Once it is set up right, the service is very good.  Weather conditions do not seem to impact the service or speeds.  I guess a lot of this is luck of the draw based on where you live; are there obstructions in your line of site, elevation issues. what upgrades or towers are in your area.  Keep persisting though, because I for one am very impressed with the service now it is working as it should.  Speeds exceed what was promised.  They even waived charging me when I went over my 170GB monthly allowance.  Youtube plays multiple HD vids with ease, and large game files from Steam download quickly.  Keep trying, you won't regret it.

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