[FoRK] Satellite Internet Service

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Tue Mar 17 15:40:42 PDT 2009

Marty Halvorson wrote:
> Eugern wrote:
> "How far is the nearest place which has decent broadband?"
> About 4 miles.  In fact it's unlikely I'll ever get broadband.  The 
> San Ildefonso Indians have a wireless service, which doesn't reach me. 
> Since they own the Pojoaque riverbed the phone company cable would 
> have to cross, they've said that no more cables are crossing the 
> river. Right now the only cables crossing the river are Comcast.  
> Electricity and regular phone service are on poles that only cross 
> private land. Qwest was surveying a buried cable, with broadband, 
> about 3 years ago. Then the Indians said no way.
Well within microwave distance.  In fact, you can easily do WiFi over 
that distance if you have line of sight.  If you don't, perhaps you can 
find a spot to put a solar powered WiFi repeater.  "It's a wildlife 
monitor w/ camera."  The hardware for a WiFi repeater is $400 or so.  
Plus an outside antenna, can be cheap.
> Stephen Williams wrote:
> "So, go OpenDNS.org and just forget them."
> This I don't understand.  Does this mean I need to have a local DNS 
> server somewhere in my house?
DNS servers run in two modes: End point only, for serving addresses to 
the public for domains, and recursive query, which allows dumb clients 
(i.e. programs using a resolver library) to make a single query to the 
server and have the server do the walk from the top level down to the 
DNS server involved.  So, for instance, there are 20 or so 
.com/.net/.org servers which have pointers to the next level, 
google.com, etc.  Those servers have the answer, or a pointer to the 
next level.

Normally these days you don't allow the public to use recursive mode on 
your DNS server, even if you do run one.  On a network, you might run a 
DNS server on the border, primarily for caching, but also if you have 
different internal / external addressing.  All ISPs have to provide you 
a DNS server, even if they are stupid enough to insist that they don't.  
In many cases, if you are running your own DNS server, you don't allow 
the public to do queries for security reasons, DNS poisoning, etc.

OpenDNS.org is a set of DNS servers that explicitly allow public 
recursive DNS.  What is clever about them is that they provide 
additional services.  You can for instance block malicious or 
age-restricted sites by configuring your account, causing related DNS 
lookups to be redirected.  They can also keep stats for you, etc.  
Unless that spooks you, they are useful to A) get away from locally 
broken DNS servers, B) other fixes that were irritations with typical 
DNS providers (redirecting unknown DNS names to ads for instance), and 
C) those other extra services.  Plus just to test to determine if the 
local DNS is dead or if you really don't have connectivity.

The great thing about using them is that when the local DNS server dies, 
I get nearly the full pipe since there is no competing traffic.  ;-)
> "I'd recommend Sprint CDMA 2000 Rev. A"
> Cell service here in the wilds of Santa Fe county is pretty iffy for 
> all but Verizon.  I started with Sprint, switched to AllTell, and 
> finally Verizon before I had reliable cell service.
Where I worked in Mountain View, they didn't have very good service at 
first, but then it became much better in a few months.  I think I am 
flagged as a VIP, or I imagine so anyway.  ;-)  I have 6 devices on my 
account...  Companies banned for life due to extremely poor customer 
service and general ripping me off-ness (MCI, Cingular, Verizon 
wireless) are really missing out.  Bandwidth is my biggest expense after 
rent/mortgage.  And well worth it.
> Thanks to all for their helpful responses!


More information about the FoRK mailing list