Re: Shared community internet service
From: Alan Goldblatt (
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2014 12:25:24 -0700 (PDT)
Thanks everyone!

I think I'm going to see if I can convince the phone company to sell us
business services.  We'll see.

Here are answers to at least a few of your questions:

When the community was built, conduit was run between all the houses (which
are in a quite tight cluster, so we're not talking huge distances).  We
have CAT-4 cable running through the conduits, forming two loops with half
the buildings on each loop.  We have two DSL lines coming in, one in our
Common House and one in my basement.  There's a modem at those two points,
and a many-port switch that feeds the service through to all the other
houses on that loop.  Each house has its own router which provides wireless
within that house, and often across much of the outdoor space.

Bryan, yes, we have the same problem with people occasionally setting up a
router with DHCP.  But it's not really a problem -- we just have to find
the culprit and turn DHCP off.

There are a few of us who attempt to provide IT support.  A couple of us
who know a little about networking and can troubleshoot that, and a few
additional people who know quite a bit about one or another computer
specialty or application, so it's not too onerous, but yes, it does take
some time.

We have many people who stream Netflix, and a few teenagers who use other
bandwidth intensive "stuff".  Each DSL line is advertised as being 24 Meg,
but our actual measured bandwidth is more like 12 Meg down and much less
up.  This has been manageable, but not great.  Things slow down
significantly on Friday evening when several people are streaming movies.
 I've found that setting my Netflix to "low" quality makes a huge
difference.  The quality is still fine (though not full crisp HD), and
there aren't constant stops for buffering.

These DSL accounts are personal phone service accounts.  Those of us who
pay for that service are reimbursed by the community, and the cost gets
shared in our monthly fees.  The phone service doesn't like that we're only
paying for two accounts when 23 households are using them.  Despite the
fact that we, obviously, only get the bandwidth provided by two accounts --
we can't use more than that.  We were initially very excited by the rollout
of fiber by VTel (our phone company), since it will increase our bandwidth
by a factor of about 40.  VTel is switching everything over to fiber --
phone service, internet, and now TV service (which most of us don't use).
 But they see our setup each time they come to upgrade a modem, or pull
fiber into a home, and they have told us that it's a violation of their
usage policy.  And that "something" will happen if we continue to abuse the
policy.  Obviously they have no incentive to sell us two plans when they
could instead sell us 23 plans.

Cable service is also a possibility, but the bandwidth is slower than what
we currently have.

Soooo... what am I forgetting?  I'm going to go check into business service.


On Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 1:29 PM, Diana Carroll <dianaecarroll [at]>wrote:

> Unfortunately out here in t exurban hinterlands of Berlin MA, we have but
> one cable provider to select from (Charter). The only other choice for
> broadband is DSL.
> On Wednesday, April 2, 2014, Sharon Villines <sharon [at]>
> wrote:
> >
> >
> > On Apr 1, 2014, at 7:37 AM, Diana Carroll <dianaecarroll [at]
> <javascript:;>>
> > wrote:
> >
> > >  we had a single cable modem, which feeds to a router
> >
> > We have two modems, business service, to serve 43 units. Lots of devices.
> > We use two companies and they say this is fine. They provide the same
> speed
> > to the modem no matter how many devices are hooked up. It's just slower
> for
> > us if everyone is on at the same time.
> >
> > Sharon
> > ----
> > Sharon Villines
> > Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > _________________________________________________________________
> > Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> _________________________________________________________________
> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

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