Which service do you use and why? – We are trying to find out what works best in different parts of the country – it can make a huge difference to your quality of life. Please let us know through comments at the end of this story, or in the forum if you prefer.
There are three main options
1. Satellite Internet – like Dish network and HuughesNet – relatively inexpensive but surprisingly high power consumption.
2. Mobile broadband via your cell – either on your cell or using it as a wireless hotspot and connecting your computer to it – lowest power consumption.
3. A purpose built device, like a roof-top antenna for 4G signals, connected to a wireless router inside the house like Home Fusion from Verizon.
Its a question that goes far beyond those living off the grid. With the advent of cellular telephones, consumers were released from the confines of their homes, free to place and receive calls from virtually anywhere. Cell phone popularity exploded, and as a result, landlines to people’s homes have rapidly fallen out of favor.
A recent study conducted by the US government found that landline sales revenue for AT&T fell 16.5 percent since 2007, and Verizon’s dropped 19 percent. In total, 32 percent of American homes now use only cell phones, and that number is growing every day.
Verizon Wireless offers its HomeFusion Broadband service launched in select locations around the country in March
“The service is tailor-made for residential customers who can’t access cable, DSL and other “hard line” Internet sources,” said Ken Watts, district manager for Verizon Wireless retail.
“The system operates off of the same 4G LTE network that many popular cell phones currently use. Install an antenna on a home’s roof to improve reception, and that attaches to a WiFi router in the home, making the Internet available for up to 20 wireless devices and up to four devices via an ethernet connection.
The service provides download speeds of between 5 and 12 Megabits per second, putting it on par with some cable Internet and DSL services, he said. Upload speeds fall between 2 and 5 Megabits per second.
HomeFusion offers three different pricing plans – $60 a month for 10 gigabytes of data, $90 a month for 20 gigabytes, and $120 a month for 30 gigabytes.
Currently, Watts added, the company is running a promotion offering 150 percent of the data in each price range for the first two months after signing up.
Overage costs come out to $10 per gigabyte, he said.
While there are certainly cheaper options available to consumers, this service targets consumers who ordinarily wouldn’t be able to access the Internet.
“It gives them a choice,” Watts said.
For more information on the HomeFusion service, visit http://www.verizonwireless.com/homefusionbroadband.
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