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Thread: GCI cable internet in Homer Alaska

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    Default GCI cable internet in Homer Alaska

    My wife and I are thinking of moving to Homer. Does anyone here have first hand experience with their service? Is it reliable? Is it fast? My wife has a business that requires a very good and reliable high speed internet service. She runs VOIP/citrix/dropbox and email so it's not big bandwidth but it needs to be good. Thank you very much for any feedback.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Like any TV cable based internet if many of the other users of the trunk line you share with them are streaming netflix, then your speed will be lower. The real question you need to ask is for the place you choose to live does it even have cable to start with? Does it even have DSL through the phone line? Is it too far from a central hub to have any speed at all?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    Like any TV cable based internet if many of the other users of the trunk line you share with them are streaming netflix, then your speed will be lower. The real question you need to ask is for the place you choose to live does it even have cable to start with? Does it even have DSL through the phone line? Is it too far from a central hub to have any speed at all?
    That is what I was going to say, lots of places in Homer don't have cable and probably don't have DSL. There is a "wireless" network provider in Homer called SpitSpots that appears to be a decent deal but I have no experience with them other than I was going to get it set up on my land in Homer but we ended up not spending enough time there to make it worth it. The other option would be a cell modem on the 4G networks if you can get the signal... lots of places don't. I do have a GCI cable modem at my home in Eagle River and it has worked good for years.
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    If your street doesn't have cable now you won't get it because GCI won't put any more cable in the ground. I live in Anchorage and can't get cable and to many trees for satellite and 1mb DSL is the only option I have and that is to slow for HD TV.
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    I work for the "other" ISP. The answer is, it depends. It depends on your street address. Like any broadband, the distance from the nearest fiber fed DLC is everything. One thing to keep in mind is that GCI makes a lot of money from overage fees, since they bandwidth cap service. Depending on where you are, the service could be better with DSL, or slower (than GCI). Spit-Spots may be an option if there is no cabled option in your area, however, they buy their Internet from my company, and they sell far more than they buy (in other words, if a lot of people are using it at the same time, speeds will slow.)
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    Thanks everyone, I really appreciate it. I guess I just need to be darn sure whatever place we settle into has good access/bandwidth BEFORE we commit to anything.

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    I wanted to resurrect this 2-year-old thread instead of creating a new one as it might help others later.

    I am also moving to Homer soon--maybe January. I was wondering if any new internet options have become available. I will be within the city limits, new construction and I believe cable is in the ground already.

    Akheloce, you especially seem to know this area and options well. I would appreciate your thoughts on the best internet options and if things have improved much in the past two years.

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dloop View Post
    I wanted to resurrect this 2-year-old thread instead of creating a new one as it might help others later.

    I am also moving to Homer soon--maybe January. I was wondering if any new internet options have become available. I will be within the city limits, new construction and I believe cable is in the ground already.

    Akheloce, you especially seem to know this area and options well. I would appreciate your thoughts on the best internet options and if things have improved much in the past two years.

    Thanks!

    I can't speak for GCI or their pricing/speed options, but I do know that they still limit monthly usage and either throttle the speed down, or charge extra (depending on the plan) when you go over the monthly allotment.

    As for other options, there have been changes in the speeds available. With the phone company, equipment upgrades are constantly in progress, allowing higher speeds in more areas (not upgrading equipment fast enough for some in many neighborhoods unfortunately). The phone company also continues to offer all plans unlimited data.

    "inside the city limits" is not good enough to tell you what you can get. You really need to call the ISP's to find out by specific address what speed you can get.

    As far as technologies go, with cable, everyone in an area shares a main coax line. Coax allows higher speeds per foot of distance than DSL, but again, you share the bandwidth. With DSL, you get lower speeds per foot of copper, but the copper is dedicated to the customer. With newly installed VDSL equipment installed, speeds up to 50Meg are attainable. This is highly dependent on distance from the CO or DLC however. Up to 2000' of copper, 50Meg is possible, but at 6000', you're looking closer to 10-12Meg. Homer city limits encompass in excess of 25,000 cable feet from west to east (shortest line of utility easements) .

    The three main providers are Alaska Communications, GCI, and SpitSpots. If I were you, I'd call each one with your address, and find out what speeds, are available for that address.

    Any more specifics will have to be asked of the companies' official customer support lines, since I'm not authorized to speak on an internet forum on behalf of my employer.
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    Thank you. Great information and advice.

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