The Cost of Fixed-Wireless

The question most people have about Etheric Networks service is, “Why does it cost more than Comcast or any other big provider?” The short answer is, because we provide a custom level of service that differs from Comcast in many ways. We’re like a microbrew or artisan bakery. A sports car, not a minivan. Customers pay more for these kinds of products and services for three main reasons. Location, quality, and loyalty.


The major issue big ISPs have with delivering fiber is location. Fiber goes in the ground and it’s expensive to put there. If you live in an urban area with streets designed for connectivity, the cost is affordable. If you live in a hard to reach or remote area, the cost goes up and it becomes a question of accounting. In rural areas with low population density, it doesn’t make sense to tear up the ground for fiber. Big ISPs have invested billions in cable and fiber over decades, to venture into specialized services like fixed-wireless would not be profitable. 

We’ve built a hybrid network to make this possible. It’s a private custom engineered network with connections between fixed-wireless towers, dark fiber, and datacenters. A finely tuned system operating faster and more efficiently than one any large ISP could build or maintain for a reasonable cost. 

More than megabits

Big ISPs provide lots of megabits for low cost, but the quality varies. That’s the trade off for big bandwidth. Speed and reliability are affected by other factors like number of hops, latency, and jitter. A private 10 megabit well engineered symmetrical fixed-wireless connection will deliver a better experience than a 100 megabit download / variable upload connection from a big ISP. Comcast can’t offer private high-speed connections like that because they don’t have the infrastructure. For gamers, livestreamers, and businesses that rely on quality high-speed coms, a low latency, low jitter connection is critical



In the past, hard to reach and rural areas were left with few choices. DSL and satellite were the only options and they can’t provide adequate bandwidth for the cost. Fixed-wireless technology is an affordable way to deliver internet to these areas. However, Etheric can’t rely on one technology to provide reliable connectivity. Our network is a custom built hybrid that navigates between challenging areas and the urban datacenters that connect to the rest of the world. 

Our network is a custom built hybrid that navigates between challenging areas and the urban datacenters that connect to the rest of the world. 

NASDAQ webpage

Stock brokers use private fixed-wireless connections because they are faster than fiber and milliseconds equal millions in their world. NASDAQ had to add a minimum latency rule to level the playing field because of the custom engineering possible. Firms would have an unfair advantage from a faster connection if not regulated. Distance, tech, and engineering all count. 


Etheric is a locally owned and operated business. We were founded to offer choice where there wasn’t any. Many of our towers are co-owned with customers. We work with communities to build infrastructure together. As a small business we have the flexibility to do that. This builds brand loyalty that helps us grow and do more for our customers. 


It’s always more expensive for pioneers. Anyone connected to a fixed-wireless service is a pioneer in that sense. It’s bleeding edge technology. That’s cool.., but costly. Every new connection makes the tech more common which helps drive the cost down. 

A spectrum of possibility

Recent days have shed light on how important hybrid network solutions are. Rural and hard to reach areas cannot rely on outdated infrastructure in emergency situations. Federal funding has been allocated at an unprecedented rate to help bridge the digital divide. Etheric has a mission to connect rural California and we’re determined to get it done faster than asked. It’s a mammoth task for a small business. As we scale up for the challenge, each community we reach will be faced with choices to make. We’re going to build this together. 

Tips For Buying An Internet-Ready Home

Have you ever purchased a home to find that you cannot get Internet service? This painful realization for would-be buyers relocating to the suburbs or rural areas can come a little too late! Below we share some tips for buying an Internet-ready home to help you avoid the same mistake.


My home is in a Mountainous Area – What service options are available to me?

Not every Internet Service Provider is available in all areas. Many of us have grown up spoiled by countless options in the city, but when you move to the suburbs or rural areas, the well dries up and reality shows its ugly face. Ouch!

So what if my current provider does not offer service in my new neighborhood?

In every state, you can find a list of service providers for your area at websites like Broadband Now, which displays pricing and vendors by zip code. But, buyer beware: just because it lists local Internet providers, that doesn’t always mean that they can provide service to your desired home.


DSL Internet – Service provided through your phone line; prevalent in major cities and also available in some rural communities.

Consumer Tip:  Call your local provider to see if service is available at your new location. No matter what you hear, verify service availability by having them come out to confirm this.

Cable Internet– In telecommunications, cable Internet access, shortened to cable Internet, is a form of broadband Internet access which uses the same infrastructure as a cable television. Also principally located in metropolitan areas, cable Internet may or may not be an option.

Consumer Tip: Call your local cable provider to see if service is available in your new area to transfer your service. No matter what you hear, verify serviceability by having them come out to confirm this.


Fixed Wireless – Fixed wireless is the operation of wireless devices or systems used to connect two fixed locations (e.g., building to building or tower to a building) with a radio or other wireless link.

Consumer Tip: Wireless Internet providers require line-of-sight to fulfill service. Some areas may require custom installations for clients with challenging terrain. Custom installs may cost buyers more upfront fees but can provide homeowners options when all else fails. Fixed wireless providers offer service in both metropolitan and rural areas as a “last mile” where other telcos are not available.

Satellite Internet – Satellite Internet access is Internet access provided through communications satellites. Modern consumer-grade satellite Internet providers serve individual consumers through geostationary satellites that can offer data speeds ranging from two to eighteen megabits per second.

Consumer Tip:  Often confused with Fixed Wireless, Satellite can provide service to nearly any area. However, at 22,000 miles above the earth and using the law of physics, ping on Satellite Internet will average around 625 milliseconds. This type of Internet service ends up being the last resort after finding Fixed Wireless, DSL, or Cable providers are unavailable.

What if my current provider is not available?

If you find yourself in this predicament, start looking for alternatives immediately. Research the area to see what providers offer service to your desired neighborhood. You can also ask neighbors to see who they use, check on Yelp, or see if your realtor can recommend anyone.

How to confirm service before you buy?

Remember: The seller wants you to buy their home.

If they are using a local provider that fails to impress, do your homework to look for other Internet providers that cover that area. Make sure you ask the seller if they can set up a free site survey with the desired Internet provider in that area to confirm serviceability. Once you have confirmation that Internet is available to that house, you still have work to do. See below for more tips.

Consumer Tip:  It is crucial that you do your due diligence to confirm if the house you want to buy has reliable Internet. Asking around is one method to get a feel for anecdotal issues. Nearby neighbors will give you the “skinny” of past tales with providers, speeds offered and performance they are getting using that service provider.

Another way to confirm services is to visit the prospective home you want to buy and explore Internet options just as you would other features of a potential new home. Some buyers focus more on the esthetics and worry about Internet later – don’t make that mistake!

Also, check for existing equipment located on the roof or property and ask the realtor for the name of the Internet Provider delivering service at that home.

Consumer Tip:  Asking the right questions will help you uncover what is real and what is not. Just because you see a telephone box does not mean you can get DSL Internet.

Once you’ve finished your preliminary investigation, call the local provider or providers to find out what speeds they provide, pricing, and learn if they serve other clients in that area as well.

Remember, it is not what you think you know; it is what you can prove.  

So there you have it, folks. Please use this as a good start to make your next home buying experience a lesson you do not have to learn the hard way. Be Internet ready! As always, thanks for listening! – Sonia

Question: Did you buy the house or did you walk away? Please share any past experiences.

Photo via Mr.TinDC