The following are answers to commonly asked questions about WildBlue.
What is the WildBlue service and where is it available?
Is Service available everywhere in the HOTEC service area?
Do I have to be a HOTEC member to receive Wildblue service?
Why should I get WildBlue?
How hard is it to use?
Who do I call if I have a problem?
What equipment is needed to get the WildBlue service?
What are my computer system requirements to get WildBlue?
How does WildBlue differ from current satellite offerings?
Are there any cancellation fees?
What kind of speed can I expect?
Why does an electric cooperative offer Internet service?
What does WildBlue cost?
What email do I get with my WildBlue account?
What web space do I get with my WildBlue account?
Do I get dial-up service with my WildBlue account?
Will WildBlue require a separate account with an Internet Service Provider (ISP)?
If I sign up for WildBlue service, can I keep my AOLŽ account?
Will you limit heavy bandwidth users?
Do you offer a warranty on the equipment?
When and where will the service be available?
Can I have more than one computer connected?
Can I pay for the equipment with installments?
Can I get WildBlue service in a mobile vehicle like an RV or boat?
What will the installation process be like? Can I install my own dish?
Can I use wireless home networking with WildBlue?
Do customers have to have a phone line in addition to the satellite connection?
Do I need a southern line of sight to receive a signal from your satellite?
How fast is this service? How does it compare to cable modems and DSL?
What operating systems are compatible with the WildBlue service?
Will WildBlue work with Macintosh computers?
What Web browsers and email clients does WildBlue support?
Will I be able to use a virtual private network (VPN) with WildBlue service?
What is the impact of latency? Can I play real-time Internet games or make Internet phone calls on your service?
What if my computer did not come with a Network Interface Card (NIC)? What can I do?
Is WildBlue service affected by weather?
What is the
WildBlue service and where is it available?
WildBlue is a high-speed satellite Internet access service for homes, home offices and small offices in unserved or underserved communities.
Is WildBlue service available everywhere in the HOTEC service area?
Yes, you may purchase WildBlue services from HOTEC as long as you live within our service area.
Do I have to be a HOTEC member to receive Wildblue service?
I get WildBlue?
WildBlue provides access to the Internet at much higher speeds than dial-up access: up to 1.5 Mbps which is more than 30 times faster than dial-up. A whole new world of content will open up to you with your broadband connection. And with WildBlue, you get an "always on" connection which means no dialing-in or other delays to get high-speed access to the Internet.
How hard is
it to use?
Not hard at all. Once we professionally install your WildBlue system, you are ready to surf the Internet at lightning fast speeds. You can use your same web-browser, go to the same sites, use your email, etc. just like you always have...but a lot faster! And it's always on so no more dialing-in delays, or getting "bumped off."
Who do I
call if I have a problem?
You just call the friendly customer care agents at WildBlue. We'll have a person you can talk to, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
equipment is needed to get the WildBlue service?
It's easy. All you need is a WildBlue minidish and a WildBlue modem.
What are my
minimum computer system requirements to get WildBlue?
Most computers in use today will meet our minimum system requirements. PC/ Windows: 300 MHz or faster processing speed, minimum 128 MB Random Access Memory (RAM), and Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, or XP operating system. 100 MB of hard drive space and an ethernet card are required.
Macintosh: 300 MHz or faster processing speed, 128MB Random Access Memory (RAM), and OS 9, OS 10.2 or higher operating system. 100 MB of hard drive space and an ethernet card are required.
WildBlue differ from current satellite offerings?
WildBlue's Ka-Band Satellites are optimized for broadband. They use multiple spot beams pointed at different geographic regions rather than one beam that covers the continental United States. Spot beams allow a large degree of frequency re-use; i.e., multiple beams can re-use the same frequency as long as they are aimed at different parts of the country. By contrast, Ku-Band satellites, primarily used for broadcast applications, have a single beam covering the entire continental United States. This limits frequency re-use and reduces broadband capacity to a fraction of the comparably priced Ka-Band satellite.
any cancellation fees?
WildBlue customers are required to sign a 12 month contract when they initiate service. If you disconnect your service before the 12 months expire, there will be a cancellation fee equal to the price of your monthly service multiplied by the remaining number of months in your contract.
of speed can I expect?
WildBlue will offer different packages that provide you different speed levels. Our core Value Service will offer up to 512 kbps download speed. We plan to offer other services with up to 1.5 Mbps download speeds.
does an electric cooperative offer Internet service?
This new service will be offered because the HOTEC management and Board of Directors see a need. In the same way cooperatives brought electricity to rural areas that were not served by other utilities, WildBlue offers affordable high-speed internet service in areas where it was not available before.
HOTEC will offer high-speed Internet access at $49.95 per month for 512kbps download, $69.95 per month for 1mbps download and $79.95 per month for 1.5mbps download. All upload speeds are expected to be 256kbps. The installation fee will be $299.00 and will include both equipment and a standard installation. A 1-year initial commitment will be required.
of email options do I get with my WildBlue account?
WildBlue offers an advanced suite of Internet services including the commonly used POP3 (like Outlook or Outlook Express) and web-based email options. WildBlue customers will receive between 5 and 10 email addresses (each with at least 10 MB capacity depending on the package chosen). More email addresses and additional capacity will be available for a minimal extra charge.
Do I get
web space with my WildBlue account?
Yes. WildBlue provides customers with between 10 and 20 MB of web space as part of their WildBlue service package. The exact storage space depends on which package you choose to buy.
Do I get
dial-up service with my WildBlue account?
Yes. WildBlue will offer a remote-access dial-up service to its WildBlue customers, allowing customers to access their email when they are not at home or out of the office. Instructions for remote access will be included with your installation.
If I have
WildBlue, do I need an additional account with an Internet Service Provider
No. The WildBlue service includes all key ISP features like email, web space, etc. If you prefer, you can continue to use your current ISP for email and use the WildBlue service for your broadband Internet access.
If I sign
up for WildBlue service, can I keep my AOLŽ account?
Yes, if you prefer. You can use WildBlue for high-speed broadband Internet access and keep your AOLŽ service if, for example, you want to retain your current email account. You will need to pay a separate fee directly to AOLŽ beyond your monthly WildBlue fee. Please contact AOLŽ directly for more information.
limit heavy bandwidth users?
As is standard with other Internet Service Providers, WildBlue will ensure that its service operates at optimum speeds for all of its customers. Since WildBlue is a shared network, we will have a Fair Access Policy to ensure that extraordinary usage by a few customers doesn't negatively affect the normal usage of other customers. For the vast majority of users, the Fair Access Policy will have no effect on their usage. For a few very heavy bandwidth users, the system may restrict their bandwidth and therefore their speed. WildBlue's Fair Access Policy will be well-documented and communicated to you before you become a customer. We plan to offer multiple service levels that should accommodate most users' needs.
offer a warranty on the equipment?
Yes. You will receive a 90 day labor/12 months parts warranty on all equipment at no charge when you become a customer.
where will the service be available?
We expect to begin offering the WildBlue service in June of 2005.
Can I have more that one computer connected?
Yes. Your one subscription could serve your own wireless network with several home computers and laptops linked via wireless cards. HOTEC also offers installation service and the installation charges will vary depending on the number of computers you want to network.
Can I pay for the equipment with installments?
No. The equipment has a higher value than what we will charge subscribers. HOTEC provides this discount for two reasons: to gain subscriber commitments and because we can secure rebates from the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative, which is spearheading WildBlue for cooperatives nationally. Therefore we must require up front payment.
Can I get
WildBlue service in a mobile vehicle like an RV or boat?
Not at this time. WildBlue service was designed for stationary locations like homes and small businesses. We do not offer broadband service for mobile vehicles at this time.
the installation process be like? Can I install my own dish?
HOTECs' certified WildBlue professional installation specialists will quickly and efficiently install equipment and activate WildBlue's broadband service at your chosen location. The satellite mini-dish is about 26 inches x 28 inches and can be easily mounted on a roof, outside wall or in the ground. A cable from the dish will connect to a satellite modem (a small box usually placed next to the computer), which will connect to your computer via an Ethernet connection. Installation will require an installation professional to make sure that the dish is pointed at the satellite accurately and to verify that all connections are made properly. Self-installation is not currently being offered.
Can I use
wireless home networking with WildBlue?
Yes. WildBlue is compatible with all major wireless home networking products.
customers have to have a phone line in addition to the satellite connection?
No. WildBlue offers an efficient 2-way broadband connection that requires no phone lines.
Do I need a
southern line of sight to receive a signal from your satellite?
Yes. You will need a clear view of the southern sky to receive a signal from the WildBlue satellite.
How fast is
this service? How does it compare to cable modems and DSL?
WildBlue's always-on broadband Internet connection provides speeds that are comparable to DSL and cable modem services. At launch, we will offer downstream speeds of up to 1.5 Mbps - more than 30 times faster than today's dial-up speeds and upstream speeds expected of up to 256K which exceed most current satellite broadband providers. WildBlue's high bandwidth opens up a window to a world of rich content that is largely unavailable through dial-up modems.
operating systems are compatible with the WildBlue service?
Windows/PC: Windows 98SE, ME, 2000 or XP
Mac: OS9, OS 10.2 or higher
WildBlue work with Macintosh computers?
Yes. The WildBlue service is compatible with Macintosh computers.
browsers and email clients does WildBlue support?
Internet Explorer 5.5 & 6, Netscape 6 & 7.x, Mozilla 1.7.3, Firefox 1.x
Netscape 7.x, Safari 1.x, Mozilla 1.7.3, Firefox 1.x
Outlook Express 5 & 6, Outlook XP & 2003, Netscape Mail 6 & 7
Outlook Express 5, Outlook 2001, Outlook 2004, Netscape Mail 6 & 7, Apple mail
Will I be
able to use a virtual private network (VPN) with the WildBlue service?
Yes. WildBlue recommends the use of SSL-based VPNs as they work well on the WildBlue network because they work efficiently over a satellite connection. Users of IP Sec-based VPNs will find that their VPN will work over the WildBlue network, but it may be slower due to the effects of latency. WildBlue's customer care representatives can explain more to you about VPNs.
What is the
impact of latency? Can I play real-time Internet games or make Internet
phone calls on your service?
The WildBlue system is engineered to help offset the impact of latency, which is the delay caused by sending signals from the earth to the satellite and back again. However, there is a delay of about a quarter second as the signal travels up to the satellite and back down to the ground. For most applications this latency does not affect performance, however, there are some applications like voice over IP (telephone service delivered over the Internet, also known as VoIP), or real-time interactive gaming, where latency will have a noticeable effect on performance over the WildBlue network, as it would on any satellite-delivered service.
What if my
computer did not come with a Network Interface Card (NIC)? What can I do?
Many computers can be upgraded with a 10/100 Ethernet Network Interface Card (NIC) - which you can find at almost any consumer electronics store, or at an online store. If you are comfortable with opening your computer and installing hardware, most Ethernet NICs can be self-installed. Check with your computer manufacturer for more information on the right Ethernet NIC for your system.
We recommend that you upgrade your computer to meet all of the requirements listed above to get the most out of your Internet experience.
service affected by weather?
The WildBlue service is only minimally affected by weather, and only under extreme conditions. The WildBlue service will offer availability equal to that of satellite TV. Like satellite TV services, during a very heavy rainstorm, you may notice slower WildBlue speeds, but this should normally only last a few minutes.
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If you have more questions, please contact us at 254-840-2871.