What is Plains Internet?
Plains Internet is a Wireless Internet Service Provider, or WISP, located in Amarillo that provides internet services to many towns and cities in the Texas Panhandle.
What are the benefits of Wireless Internet?
Primarily, the benefits are in terms of coverage. Wireless can expand farther and faster than wired companies simply by means of the media through which it is delivered. Other benefits include: reliability, cost, and most WISPs are privately owned local companies.
How Does Your Service Work?
We use point to multi-point wireless technology to relay signal from our tower to a receiver we would mount on your house or business. From the receiver we have to run a cable into your house or business to provide internet to your devices.
What Type of Gear do You Mount and Where?
Depending on how far you are from the tower, we use two types of antennas. At close enough distances, we use a small rectangular one. At longer distances we use a dish about the size of a pizza.
In either instance, we need to mount on a high place on the house, typically the roof, although sometimes the eves or other locations are possible.
Do You Have to Drill Into My Roof?
Not necessarily. Although drilling into a part of the house gets us the most stable mount, we can also use a non-penetrating mount* at a small increase in cost to the customer. Other options are possible as well. We have done installations on the sides of houses, eves and some people have had poles set in their yards for us to mount our gear on. The general rule is the higher we are the better, but their are options we can use to prevent mounting directly on your roof.
*Non-penetrating roof mounts require a reasonably flat roof.
Can I Install Myself?
No, there are many reasons for this. First, our technicians are trained in the proper installation and alignment of our equipment, meaning that only our technicians can best determine where and how to install to get the best link possible. Second, a sloppy install can potentially lead to a lot of problems, not all of which are related to internet service, for example, roof leaks or other house damage. Lastly, most people want to do this to save money on their installation; however, the long term risks could lead to more costs in the future. Therefore, the best thing to do is let our technicians handle the installation.
Is Plains Internet Satellite Based?
No, we use towers to create wireless links to our subscribers. This makes it more reliable. Since we are transmitting from the ground to the ground, clouds and weather have limited to no impact on our service.
This is West Texas, Does the Crazy Weather Impact Your Service?
Typically, no. The primary concern in West Texas is of course … wind. Our gear is rated to withstand high wind, and through most storms, the wind has next to no impact on our service. Of course if the wind were to pick up debris and it were to impact our equipment, service problems can occur, but even in this case, alignment can quickly be restored by our technicians. Our service is not impacted by cloud cover at all since we are tower based and not satellite based. And most other weather concerns impact us at the same level as any other service. If a storm damages our gear (lightning strikes, debris impacts, etc) then an outage is possible, but that is no different than any other company, including wired internet providers.
Does Your Service Work Like the Cellphone Companies?
No, the type of technology we use requires line of site to one of our towers and specialized equipment to receive the signal. This means that although the service is provided to you wirelessly, it is not mobile, nor does it connect to your devices without a direct ethernet connection or a wireless router.
Can I Use My Own Router?
Absolutely, our equipment works well with most routers. The only restrictions are if you are trying to use a wireless router that you purchased from another internet company, in most circumstances other companies gear is designed in such a way that it is only compatible with their service. Of course, if you are uncertain your router will work, we can provide you a router for an additional $4.95 per month.
What Brands of Routers do You Recommend?
Almost any brand will work with our equipment as long as it uses an ethernet port for the WAN (or internet) connection. Of course, we have experienced better luck with some brands. Our favorite brands include Cisco, Linksys, Asus and Netgear; however, many of our customers use other brands without problems. As with any purchase, we recommend researching both the brand and model before purchase to see if it will be reliable.
Do I Get an eMail Address
No, Plains Internet does not provide you with an email addresses. We recommend getting a free email address from a provider online. There are many out there, but our favorites are gmail (google) and hotmail (microsoft).
Can You Guarantee That I can get Service?
No, Plains Internet can not guarantee to be able to provide you with service. Given that we use a wireless signal to deliver your internet, everything is dependent on line of site. While we can normally tell if it is possible or not by looking at our coverage map, we cannot guarantee anything. There have even been situations where we can get service at one house, but not at the next door neighbor’s. We do, however, offer free site surveys so we can check signal levels before you schedule an installation.
I have Scheduled an Install, Should I Cancel My Old Provider?
For Internet, we would recommend not cancelling your current provider until after your installation is completed. As is listed above, we cannot guarantee service at your location until we attempt the installation. So if you cancel before we install you, and we cannot provide you service, you may experience a significant period of time without internet. With some providers, you may even be have to pay a reconnect fee to get their service back. So it is better to stay on the safe side and not cancel your old provider until we complete the installation.
For Phones, Do Not Cancel your provider until we say you can. If you cancel your current phone provider before we can acquire your phone number, you will probably never be able to get that phone number back again. Once we have acquired your phone number, we will let you know you can cancel your previous provider.