Megatron, very insightful! I'm still laughing about making a sandwich and watching the sunset as the data uploads to the internet!
I took a quick look at satellite services, the affordable ones tie to HughesNet. A bit of history: We lived and I wrote from Yerington, Nevada for years. We began our internet access with a 24K modem to a local server host, with bandwidth, as we used to say, generated by squirrels running in a cage.
This thin stream of data fed through our archaic, analog telephone lines, which would unexpectedly disconnect at odd times in the winter months. Next up was the quantum leap to a Wild Blue dish (somewhat like HughesNet). I could actually upload a light URL page in just minutes—as long as Nevada Energy wasn't dropping electrical service on our rural power line to satisfy big agriculture's irrigation and pumping needs during the summer season—and barring January or February storms that would smother the receiving dish with blizzard snow every ten minutes.
The magazine's location at Fernley revolutionized our internet access. Charter, frankly, has served us well. Plenty of speed up/down (4-5MB up, 10-15 down) without a high monthly cost. Given our historic experience, this is really something and certainly acceptable for the magazine site's maintenance and HD video uploads to Vimeo Pro. Fast enough.
Given your expertise in cellular, is there a cellular solution that makes sense? Satellite with any speed is too costly, but cellular with current 4G available in many locations must have some potential, right? We're using Verizon, would otherwise consider Sprint, and I appreciate your comments here. For years, we had AT&T for cellular phone service and discovered its perfect score for dead cell areas that never improved, despite the AT&T claim that the company was "constantly adding towers"—certainly nowhere near rural Nevada!
On trips to Moab, Utah from Fernley, we have traveled from just east of Fallon, Nevada to Delta, Utah, along U.S. Highway 50 ("The Loneliest Highway in America"), without any cell phone reception—either from AT&T or any partners in the area: a distance of 437 miles! This and chronic dead spaces from Yerington to Silver Springs, Nevada, and from the Humboldt Sink NE of Fernley all the way to Wendover along I-80, made us believe that AT&T meant, "You'll only have service when you don't care, and never where you might really need it!" Despite promises to build more towers, AT&T apparently held out for the next leap in technology.
The combination of fiber optic and RF sounds promising, though likely expensive for consumers initially. (I did spot the RF fixture atop the stealth pine tree, it's at the upper branch, right side, right?) A visit to the local Verizon office a year ago to consider an Android and similar options left my wife and me scratching our heads.
Would 4G and a tablet make sense, and is that cost effective? Is this an alternative to a satellite dish on the trailer? Could I keep the magazine fresh and running (including uploads to the server and Vimeo) from the Rubicon Trail or Black Rock Desert? Your comments about traveling deep into the woods or desert and watching the signal get steadily dimmer is all too true! We do magazine coverage at places like Moab, Utah and High Rock Canyon, Nevada—as a general rule, the words "canyon" and "cellular" should never be used in the same sentence!
Your thoughts? Comments from others?