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Internet Connectivity Update 2018

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Kendall Davis is well-versed in the English language. She has 20 years experience as a published author and writing for clients. Her published works include historical articles in museums, magazines, newspaper articles, columns, content marketing, advertising copy, blogging, and academic papers. Kendall also makes her way in the literary world as a copyeditor. Writing about history is her first love interest. If you have editing or content needs on your website or for your books, articles, blogs, or columns, please visit her website to see details and more examples of her work, the services she offers, and contact information.

I have not reported on internet issues for a year because nothing much changed until this past fall. I contacted contributing expert, Radio Frequency Engineer Graham Jones, and as always, his knowledge is invaluable. We listed all the available options from Internet Service Providers (ISP) that we know of and provided personal experiences if possible and links to reviews if not.

Please add your personal experiences in the comments below this article because you may be able to help your Texoma neighbor by letting them know how your ISP or DIY home-hot-box configuration behaves compared to cost. A few more options have opened up in Texomaland with limitations and all but the local ISPs with more negative reviews than positive.

Local Companies

Internet Texoma Broadband

Go to the Internet Texoma website and click on the Coverage tab to view where their towers are located. They added more towers since the summer of 2016. There is a big, red, CLICK HERE link on their Coverage page. Click it to type in your address and contact info to see if they offer service in your area. If they do, a message pops up that tells you they may be able to cover you and that they notified their sales department. If they do not, it tells you that they will inform if and when they can serve your neighborhood.

I used Internet Texoma when I lived west of Tioga from 2002 until I moved to Gordonville in 2006. They gave great customer and tech service. I loved Internet Texoma. I left a voice message that my phone service is non-existent and to please text me. They did! They texted me information within an hour and also emailed me. They expanded their service to Gordonville, Sadler, Southmayd, and Whitesboro, Texas, east of HWY 377, and said they would need an exact address for Willis, Oklahoma.

Graham informs us that unless they have a site closer to Sherwood Shores than Mill Creek, coverage may be non-existent without a fairly high tower. The customer pays for the tower. They gave me an estimate of $400 to $500.

TekWav Broadband

On TekWav’s homepage, click Internet Service from the menu at the top of the page to look at their price and byte menu. Click the big green link on that page that says: Is TekWav Available in My Area? Scroll down and fill out the form. They offer to contact you by phone or email.

Graham checked coverage for his place near Gordonville, but it was a no-go and says that they have an interesting way of showing coverage. He suspects that they cover eastern Grayson County and that they also seem rather expensive.
Graham emailed TekWave, and they replied:

Good afternoon,

Thank you for the inquiry about service, but at this time you are slightly out of our service area. When we expand a little more I will be glad to let you know.

Rachel Huss
Customer Service

From a Broken O Broadband Consumer

The Friends of Hagerman use Broken O; very satisfied.

The Big Guys

Graham on Frontier Communications

Frontier DSL service is slow and prone to congestion since they simply carried on with Verizon’s system. Their customer service is indeed lacking. The Richardson and all of the northern Dallas suburb problems were due to their lack of expertise in switching over the FIOS Internet/TV system. I read that they are close to bankruptcy. The comment I liked was that Verizon’s plan will buy back their systems for pennies on the dollar.

I, Kendall, know that Frontier is awful in the Gordonville, Texas, area. These nightmarish reviews on Yelp about their Richardson, Texas, office right off of U.S. Route 75 agree with what we have observed in my neighborhood:

Graham on AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint Wireless

AT&T advertised home, high-speed Internet service through their wireless network. When contacted, they confessed they do not offer it in rural areas. In urban/suburban areas they have a cell site density that allows handling more internet traffic whereas in rural places, the cell sites are few and far between, and individual sites can become congested with just a few subscribers streaming video. Even where they offer service, monthly data usage is capped with overage charges after exceeding the maximum per month.

Verizon advertises home Internet access using their 4G LTE network: If one has Verizon cell phone coverage, they have a possibility of this type of service. Data usage caps apply and the monthly cost increases with the magnitude of the data usage cap and overage charges certainly apply.

Sprint offers 3G home Internet access with data usage caps. Some folks who have weekend places in our area are happy with the Internet service provided.

Myself and Rise Broadband

Rise—UGH! Rise sent a representative to my neighborhood last spring who canvassed with the information that Rise built a tower just across the Willis, Oklahoma bridge off HWY 377 and could serve the Willis, OK/Gordonville, TX, area with unlimited, high-speed, broadband internet.

The rep left cards with his phone number on it if residents were not home. I told him that nine months earlier, Rise sold me internet service with the same information and then failed to provide it. He promised me that was in the past and Rise could serve me right then. I waited a few months and called the rep.

The rep lived in Colorado, and Rise sent him on a wild goose chase with promised commissions from the accounts he sold in Texoma. He worked solely on commission for that project. Rise could not provide the service and they paid their employee zilch. If you can receive service from Rise, please read these horrible reviews from Yelp first:

Exede, My ISP—now Viasat Satellite

Exede has been my saving grace. However, I had a bad experience with them last fall because they do not allow their customer service representatives to be honest with their customers. Exede is now Viasat, and they offer some decently priced packages.

I receive reliable service from Exede and even moderately reliable service during bad weather. My internet cuts out during severe storms and when cloud cover is super heavy, but it comes back on when they pass. They offer unlimited, high-speed, broadband service for about $100 a month.Exede locks you into a two-year contract.

Viasat’s field technicians are independent retailers. The one that serves Texomaland is great. I learned to call him when I have a problem the hard way. Last fall, my internet quit at exactly 9 p.m. four nights in a row. I called their 800 number and had them reset my modem. On the fourth night, the customer service rep told me they would give me a free three-month care package, which is their insurance to negate their $95 service call, and that I needed a new modem. Their solution created a nightmare.

I use automatic bank draft to pay my monthly fee to Exede, and that month, and I had too little left over to cover the fee for the free care package that was not free. I called Exede daily for three weeks, and they refused to take responsibility for their lie. They did apologize for their rep’s mistake, but they refused to refund my money or remove the care package unless I paid them the $95 service call which never happened.

I lock my gate tight, and I did not hear the tech when he arrived nor did they tell me he was coming. I rent the modem. I did not need a new modem. I called my field tech, and he explained that there was nothing wrong with my modem, but that Exede had signed up hundreds of new customers on my satellite beam and it would work itself out. I wrote their legal department, the Texas attorney general, every other state agency that might help me, and sent copies to Exede’s legal department. I never heard from them, but the next month, there was a refund on my bill without a $95 service charge.

After that, my field tech told me to call him first with any problem. If you use or are considering Viasat, I suggest that you make friends with your independent Viasat retailer.

Cable One Cable

I tried to talk to Cable One’s corporate office in Arizona. I assume I only had one chance, and I blew it. Many times, my phone messages do not come through on time or at all. I called, and a Laurie Nicholson did return my call. But, I did not get her message for two weeks. She has never returned my calls again. I emailed Cable One at on January 24th. A Patricia Neimann answered me. I sent her the Cable One section of this article, plus I attached the whole thing, but at the publishing deadline, she had not returned the information Graham and I sought.

They bought Grayson TV Cable which served the Gordonville and Pottsboro area that I know of and more. As of last year, they said they would be serving Gordonville with internet by now. So far, they only provide cable TV and telephone service there. I have no experience with their service and their local office acted quite snippy to me several times when I tried to find out what they have planned for Texomaland.

Graham on Cable One:

Cable One is building out fiber access, 100 mbps, in Sherwood Shores, but only offering service to folks who had the old cable internet service as I understand it. I tried to get through to someone at Cable One without success. If they treat existing customers like they do prospectives, they are a company to stay away from. You might try getting a hold of someone who has their service installed in Sherwood Shores.

(I did have service with Grayson TV Cable. It only worked two weeks a month and cost $170. Since Graham and I cannot get Cable One to talk to us, I do not want their service.)

UPDATE: 12:07 p.m. Jan. 26 Patricia Neimann/Laurie Nicholson of Cable One updated Graham's version in an email to me:

Cable One is building out fiber access, 100Mbps up to 1 Gigabit in Sherwood Shores and surrounding areas with a focus on servicing existing customers to enhance their cable, internet and phone service. The goal for 2018 is to continue investing in plant infrastructure in order to build out Cable ONE to surrounding areas that were not part of the initial acquisition. Any requests for service that Cable ONE receives will be reviewed for serviceability. Cable ONE customers have access to 24/7 tech support and a local office in Sherman TX.

You can read mixed Cable One reviews here:

Graham on The Federal Communications Commission

In addition to eliminating Network Neutrality to the joy of the big service providers, the FCC has also slapped the faces of people in eastern Grayson County. In the Connect America II, the second phase of a program to fund the build-out of high-speed Internet into rural areas, auction notice, they bypassed western Grayson County from phase I and now phase II of the program. See and zoom in on Grayson County.

Funding stops just west of us along the Cooke County line! They are funding in areas around Denison and Sherman where I think they already have decent service opportunities. 

HughesNet Satellite

Just don’t! Because, thank goodness, they are not the only option any longer.

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Lake Texoma Fishing Report from TPWD (Aug. 15)

Water lightly stained; 83–86 degrees; 0.20’ low. Black bass are slow on Texas rigged craws, spinnerbaits and shallow crankbaits. Crappie are good on minnows. Striped bass are good on slabs and topwaters. Catfish are fair on trotlines.