Galiano is amazing minus one fact: it has spotty Internet coverage. DSL and cable only cover the southern end of the island, where the population is most dense.
I live in the middle of the island. The only pre-existing option then is dialup (not an option) or 3G. However, as I soon discovered tethering my phone, the speeds aren’t great and my 6gb/month cap would quickly expire with only basic browsing.
I knew a third option existed - Gulf Islands Wireless, a company that was recently sold to a man named Sigfried Luft (note - Sig has since relaunched the service as Beacon Wireless). I tracked him down, called him up, and he was sitting on my porch a day later after driving over in a boat from Saltspring. And he brought an antenna.
Attached to that antenna is an awesome little unit called a Bullet from Ubiquity Networks. Believe it or not there is a computer running Linux inside that.
He showed me some photos of the transmitter on Mount Bruce - island style ISP, mon!
Sig took it up to my balcony and pointed it towards Mount Bruce on Saltspring Island, right across Trincomali Channel. Unfortunately, it being foggy, we could not see the mountain.
My cousin Justin stopped by, a fellow geek, and gave Sig some instruction on the finer points of crimping Cat5 cable. Justin does satellite and network installs throughout the Gulf Islands.
Hooked it all up.
Plugged it into Sig’s MacBook - you can access the bullet’s interface through the browser (Sig was unfortunately using Safari - I forgave him).
Getting a decent signal at -72 db (we were shooting for -65, the lower the better).
We did not obey regulatory power.
Holy shit we’re on the Internet. Awaiting the moment of truth….
5mb/s down! 3mb and change up! That’s better than I had in Montreal! Huzzah!
Fog settled later in the day - the signal is coming from that mountain over there.
And the real test. Nice.
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