The Cost of Fixed-Wireless
The question most people have about Etheric Networks service is, “Why does it cost more than Comcast or any other big provider?” The short answer is, because we provide a custom level of service that differs from Comcast in many ways. We’re like a microbrew or artisan bakery. A sports car, not a minivan. Customers pay more for these kinds of products and services for three main reasons. Location, quality, and loyalty.
The major issue big ISPs have with delivering fiber is location. Fiber goes in the ground and it’s expensive to put there. If you live in an urban area with streets designed for connectivity, the cost is affordable. If you live in a hard to reach or remote area, the cost goes up and it becomes a question of accounting. In rural areas with low population density, it doesn’t make sense to tear up the ground for fiber. Big ISPs have invested billions in cable and fiber over decades, to venture into specialized services like fixed-wireless would not be profitable.
We’ve built a hybrid network to make this possible. It’s a private custom engineered network with connections between fixed-wireless towers, dark fiber, and datacenters. A finely tuned system operating faster and more efficiently than one any large ISP could build or maintain for a reasonable cost.
More than megabits
Big ISPs provide lots of megabits for low cost, but the quality varies. That’s the trade off for big bandwidth. Speed and reliability are affected by other factors like number of hops, latency, and jitter. A private 10 megabit well engineered symmetrical fixed-wireless connection will deliver a better experience than a 100 megabit download / variable upload connection from a big ISP. Comcast can’t offer private high-speed connections like that because they don’t have the infrastructure. For gamers, livestreamers, and businesses that rely on quality high-speed coms, a low latency, low jitter connection is critical.
In the past, hard to reach and rural areas were left with few choices. DSL and satellite were the only options and they can’t provide adequate bandwidth for the cost. Fixed-wireless technology is an affordable way to deliver internet to these areas. However, Etheric can’t rely on one technology to provide reliable connectivity. Our network is a custom built hybrid that navigates between challenging areas and the urban datacenters that connect to the rest of the world.
Our network is a custom built hybrid that navigates between challenging areas and the urban datacenters that connect to the rest of the world.
Stock brokers use private fixed-wireless connections because they are faster than fiber and milliseconds equal millions in their world. NASDAQ had to add a minimum latency rule to level the playing field because of the custom engineering possible. Firms would have an unfair advantage from a faster connection if not regulated. Distance, tech, and engineering all count.
Etheric is a locally owned and operated business. We were founded to offer choice where there wasn’t any. Many of our towers are co-owned with customers. We work with communities to build infrastructure together. As a small business we have the flexibility to do that. This builds brand loyalty that helps us grow and do more for our customers.
It’s always more expensive for pioneers. Anyone connected to a fixed-wireless service is a pioneer in that sense. It’s bleeding edge technology. That’s cool.., but costly. Every new connection makes the tech more common which helps drive the cost down.
A spectrum of possibility
Recent days have shed light on how important hybrid network solutions are. Rural and hard to reach areas cannot rely on outdated infrastructure in emergency situations. Federal funding has been allocated at an unprecedented rate to help bridge the digital divide. Etheric has a mission to connect rural California and we’re determined to get it done faster than asked. It’s a mammoth task for a small business. As we scale up for the challenge, each community we reach will be faced with choices to make. We’re going to build this together.