House blocking the wireless signal to mobile devices? High-speed Internet not available? Looking for an alternative to Hargray or Time Warner for Internet access?
Verizon Wireless thinks it may have a solution.
The wireless carrier began offering in-home broadband Internet service nationwide, including Beaufort and Jasper counties, in May. The new service uses Verizon's 4G LTE network, providing households in areas with limited broadband options a reliable alternative for Internet access in their homes.
The service, HomeFusion, uses a professionally installed, cylinder-shaped antenna attached to the customer’s home.
The antenna’s design includes multiple internal antennae, allowing the device to pick up the best Verizon 4G LTE signal available and transmit it to a broadband router inside the home. The router can connect as many as four wired and at least 20 wireless devices inside the home using Wi-Fi, according to Verizon.
“4G LTE has two great advantages: One, the data speeds are comparable with cable modems and sometimes faster,” wrote Jim Collett, chairman of an Hilton Head Island task force seeking to improve wireless service, responding to an email from The Island Packet. “Two, because the low frequency Verizon is using, it penetrates buildings and trees much better.”
Not everyone on Hilton Head, though, will have great 4G LTE service.
“Trees are still a problem,” Collett wrote. “However, for those that do, it should be a very competitive service to both Hargray and Time Warner for Internet access.”
The cylinder-shape antenna will overcome the problem many residents have where their house blocks the wireless signal, he said.
“You hear where folks have to go outside or lean out the window to make a call,” Collett wrote. “... Once the antenna establishes a good connection with a tower, it should be highly reliable and at least as good as, say, a signal from DirecTV. ... It should be a very viable service and give islanders yet another choice for Internet service.”
There is one possible wrinkle. Video, particularly high-definition moviesm, consume a great deal of bandwidth which is a precious commodity.
“It would be important to know how this was going to be handled before buying the service,” Collett wrote.
Verizon 4G LTE customers, including HomeFusion Broadband customers, should experience average data rates of 5 to 12 megabytes per second for downloads and 2 to 5 megabytes per second for uploads, according to Verizon.
Cost for the service is $60 a month for 10 gigabytes of data, $90 a month for 20 GB or $120 a month for 30 GB. Users who exceed their monthly data allowance will pay $10 per GB. A one-time equipment fee of $200 also applies. Installation is free, according to Verizon.
For more information about HomeFusion Broadband, go to www.verizonwireless.com/homefusionbroadband or visit a Verizon wireless communications store.