Wireless Frequently Asked Questions

    1. What is Fixed Wireless Broadband connectivity?
    1. Our network uses microwave radio technology to transmit data. The basic technology has been around since the mid 1900ís. Over the last year, this technology had been re-engineered and fine tuned for high bandwidth Internet connectivity applications.  "Fixed" means an outdoor mounted antenna is required.  "Wireless" means NO wires, just AIR between the subscriber and the provider's network.  "Broadband" means transfering data at speeds no less than 200 kbps in both direction. 

      1. What is the "Intairnet" ?
      1. The Intairnet is a wireless transport network wholely owned and operated by RapidDSL & Wireless, Inc that interconnects with and runs parallel to the Internet in the skys above.  The advantages are as limitless as the skys themselves.  Intairnet service is an alternative way to get connected, offering lower latency, blazing speeds, and coverage to many area where wired services can not.        

        1. Will wireless link quality be effected by rains or snows?
        1. No. RapidDSL & Wireless currently uses various frequencies between 900 Mhz and 5.8 Ghz. All these frequencies are immune to the effects of adverse weather conditions. It is only frequencies above 10 Ghz that are affected by weather conditions, and in many cases can become inoperable. Examples of services that use frequencies above 10 Ghz are Satellite, Cell Phone, Direct TV and WinStar.
        1. Is Fixed Wireless the same thing as Satellite Internet services?
        1. No. Fixed wireless is much faster and more reliable due to its design. Our fixed wireless network is made up of cell sites, located on building roof tops and towers. Our subscribers must have unobstructed line of site to one of our cell sites, and be within a 10 mile radius. Fixed wireless is a low latency service not impacted by weather conditions, unlike satellite services which deliver high latency and poor web browsing performance.
        1. Can service be effected by high winds?
        1. Antenna equipment must be properly installed to maintain alignment. Our professional installations are engineered to handle windloads up to 130 mph winds. The Tri-State areas is rated for 70 mph winds maximum. To date, an insodent has never been reported where our service has been adversely effected by wind or weather. All though, snow has been known to improve performance.
        1. How can I be assured wireless technology works?
        1. Over the past two years we have been working with Beta sites perfecting this technology. Hundreds of Wireless ISPs have deployed their networks successfully throughout the United States, first targeting areas where other options were not vailable.  RapidDSL & Wireless is the first wireless ISP to bring this revolutionary service to the tri-state areas.  Currently we have successfully provided services to area hospitols, web hosting companies, Legal firms, and corporation.  The best way to become a believer is to experience it for yourself, after all you are protected by RapidDSL & Wireless's NO RISK GUARANTEE.  
        1. Should I wait to order wireless service, in case there are bugs that still need to be worked out?
        1. No. Waiting to order could result in losing the opportunity to receive wireless service this year. Available frequency space is limited and orders are coming in fast!  Secure your opporunity NOW!
        1. A friend told me his wireless wasn't reliable, how come?
        1. Wireless has evolved to a mature technology and when engineered correctly is the most reliable service available on the market today. Intairnet Fixed Wireless Broadband has been engineered for maximum reliability and proves it daily. Unfortuneately all wireless networks have not been created equally, and their design is left up to the providers. In your friends case, most likely the problem lied with the provider not the technology. Their is a science to radio technology and not everyone has adequate experience or training to properly engineer reliable systems. Other times, they just plain don't have the budget to do it right. Often the goal may have been to deliver free service not necessarilly reliability. Limits may have been pushed trying to install in an environment that just wasn't suited for wireless technology or the equipment chosen. Equipment that was available even just two years ago, didn't have near the capacity or speed that current technology has today.
        1. Is wireless more susceptible to network intrusion?
        1. No. We believe our wireless network is more secure than any wired alternative offered today. Because our wireless routers use a proprietary algorithm, connectivity requires using one of our supplied routers that has a hardware imbedded key to unlock access to our network. To protect data further, VLAN & VPN Tunneling protocols are often used.  Our network was built from the ground during a time where Home Land Security was top priority, and every reasonable step has been taken to protect our network.  
        1. How redundant is RapidDSL & Wirelessís network?
        1. Redundancy has been designed into our deployment plan from the beginning.  We've created our own proprietary implementation of OSPF allowing automatic Re-Routing, Load Balancing and Fail Over, specifically to deliver Redunancy.   Our central cell sites operate in a star topology and Interconnected with neighboring cell sites to offer shortest path redundant routing.  Our fiber backbone carrier utilizes a ring topology as well. If the fiber gets cut on one end, the traffic will automatically route the other direction to its destination. We can even create fallback redundant links to any other providerís technology including DSL. 
        1. What if my circuit fails due to interference?
        1. Our cell site towers utilize two base station antennas per sector (direction), each set to a separate unique frequency. If subscriber equipment should lose connectivity to its primary base station, the system automatically switches over to the second base station on a second frequency. Our equipment was selected for its unique capabilities to quickly steer around radio interference.
        1. Are radio waves unsafe?
        1. No. Our subscriber equipment broadcasts at very low power and is not harmful in any way. It utilizes a power level less than 500mw, equivalent to that of a single cell phone.
        1. What equipment do I need to get started?
        1. Occasionally, an antenna can be installed next to a window in an office. More frequently a small flat panel or dish antenna is required on the roof of the building. RapidDSL & Wireless provides the wireless delivery system that can be shared by multiple tenants, and the subscriber only pays a small installation fee to connect to this system.  Secure connections can be created to tenants within these office building needing only a free port on their existing LAN Ethernet switch. Often an inexpensive router may also be purchased for the subscriberís office to further protect its internal network. 
        1. What make RapidDSL & Wireless's Intairnet radios better?
        1. Our equipment has been designed from the ground up for outdoor wide area network deployment. There are many advantages, but here are just a few. We can handle up to 500 clients per AP radio. We use smart polling technology to guarantee every subscriber gets its allocated amount of bandwidth, and to avoid collissions and retransmissions. We have up to 22 channels to choose from to work around interference. We are allowed higher power levels than basic WiFi gear for stronger signals. We automatically adjust our power to weed out interferrence. Our compression technology allows us to push 16 mbps through our base level radios. (thats approximately 12 T1 lines). We primarilly use radio frequencies in the 5.8Ghz,5.7Ghz, and 5.3Ghz ranges where there is minimal interference.
        1. What startegic advantage does RapidDSL & Wireless have over new start up wireless ISPs?
        1. Experience and location, location, location. RapidDSL & Wireless started in the right place at the right time, and had first choice to select and aquire the absolute best cell site spots to guarantee optimal coverage, minimal interference, and ideal peering. Thats an opportunity that new competitors will not be able to have.
        1. What protocols does RapidDSL & Wireless use?
        1. Our network utilizes the Ethernet standard end to end, and only passes TCP/IP traffic.
        1. How do I know if I qualify for service?
        1. RapidDSL & Wireless will perform a site survey to verify line of site from your office. Our initial deployment includes Vienna, Fairfax, NW DC, Bethesda, Rockville, Gaithersburg, and Silver Spring.
        1. How is my Quality of Service (QOS) and speed controlled?
        1. We offer our clients a committed information rate (CIR), the minimum guaranteed speed, and a maximum information rate (MIR), the max speed usable when available, also known as "Burstable".  Further we implement IP Port Prioritization, so that critical time sensitive traffic receives priority.
        1. Does RapidDSL & Wireless offer telephone service?
        1. No. One of the key elements to the success of our business model is that it is simple. We do not offer voice services. We also feel for redundancy, voice services should be kept a separate service. However, due to the high bandwidth and quality of service of our system, third party Voice Over IP services such as VONAGE or E-PHONE perform exceptionally well over our network and are fully supported.
        1. Will I be allowed to install an antenna on the roof?
        1. In May 2001, the FCC made a ruling that now allows any subscriber to install a dish antenna for Internet Service on leased, rented or owned property, regardless of any existing rules by management associations or local law. Common areas, such as tenant building roof space, is not included. Therefore building management approval is needed for roof access. In most cases, it will be approved for tenants. And in many cases, agreements will be made to service the entire building.
        1. How does RapidDSL & Wireless compare to Ricochet and 3G cell phone networks?
        1. RapidDSL &Wireless provides much faster and more secure access. In a best case scenario, Ricochet can only transfer at peak rates up to 175K. 3G cell phone Internet providers typically can reach peak transfer rates up to 128k, but usually much less than a modem, closer to 8K.
        1. Can I connect to RapidDSL & Wireless's Intairnet while roaming about using a mobile computer?
        1. For security reasons, a subscriber currently can only connect from a single defined location using a fixed antenna. Mobile roaming networks have different design characteristics. However, mobile components are planned for later expansion.  To compliment our service, RapidDSL & Wireless currently offers add-on WiFi components to build roaming wireless Local Area Networks (LANs), HotSpots, home networks, and small community networks.
        1. What is WiFi?
        1. "WiFi" is a label given to wireless products that conform to the industry standard 802.11b LAN specification. This technology was originally designed for indoor Local networks, and has many design flaws making it inadequate for large scale outdoor deployments. Many ISPs have used this technology successfully in rural areas, and have engineered links to reach distances as far as 50 miles away. 802.11b equipment is specified as 11 mbps, but actually only delivers true speeds of 4 mbps in ideal situations. The low cost of WiFi gear, and its wide spread acceptance makes it the first choice for most free network and HotSpot operators.
        1. What is a Hot Spot?
        1. A Hotspot is a public area that people can go to, to connect to the Internet wirelessly. HotSpots can be found in Airports, Hotels, Parks, Cafes, Libraries, and many other places. HotSpot groups are starting to organize where a single pre-paid subscription will give you access from any of the member HotSpots. Some HotSpots are free, while others will automatically redirect your web browser to a signup page, where a credit card can be entered.
        1. What radio technology is the best?
        1. There isn't a single best product. There are hundreds of different products by many different vendors each designed for a specific need. For example, 900 Mhz equipment is slower, but is ideal for non-line of site deployments through buildings and thick foliage. 2.4Ghz equipment is known for its low price, and extended range. Where as 5.8 Ghz equipment is known for its robust carrier class features and higher capacities. Antennas are designed for specific needs as well, durability, windload, directional to minimize interference, wide beam width to increase coverages, size to increase distance. RapidDSL & Wireless, Inc uses a wide variety of radios and antennas based on the appropriate need.
        1. Does RapidDSL & Wireless have a partnership program?
        1. Yes. RapidDSL & Wireless is currently the tri-state leader in wholesale wireless services, and welcomes partnerships on many levels. Our Intairnet service is an ideal backhaul for community networks, hotspots, tenant buildings, and small ISPs. Revenue sharing agreements available as well. Contact us for more details.
        1. What would prevent me from getting wireless service?
        1. Wireless service is not available everywhere, if it were everyone would get it. With some exceptions, Line of Site is required from your location to one of our cell sites or repeaters. The biggest barrier is dense foliage. Whether we can overcome blocked line of site depends on distance, technology, and budget. If you are interested in Wireless and have doubts regarding coverage, always inquire with us first, you'd be surprised what clever engineering can accomplish.
        1. What can I do if service is not available in my area?
        1. Asked to be put on our waiting list. If we are not aware of interest in an area we won't know to focus on lighting it up. If you are not in our immediate range, we will often plan to bring service to your community with as little as five interested parties.