06/19/2023 - WCCBP - ~4 Minutes
It’s been a few months since we could share the great news of the broadband funding in Brinnon, and we wanted to share a few more updates. This update is focused on folks living south of Mt Walker. If you live to the north, see this post for more information.
What is coming?
Hood Canal Communications, a local family-owned cable company, is building a new fiber-optic network that will provide Internet, TV, and Phone to folks between Hama Hama Oyster Company and Mt Walker. This includes most people living nearby and up the side roads like the Duckabush and Dosewallips roads.
How does it compare?
When you consider broadband choices, we recommend three factors: speed, latency (lag), and price. Here’s why:
First, fiber is the single fastest technology available for broadband. The new HCC network can deliver 10 gigabit speeds to your house, and is much faster behind the scenes. This ensures there is always enough capacity to deliver peak speeds, even during the busier evenings when we’re all watching TV.
Second, fiber is lower latency (lag). This matters a lot for video conferencing, playing games, and general web browsing. If you use Viasat, it takes almost a second to get to the satellite and back, which is ~80x slower than HCC. Even Starlink and microwave is ~4-6x slower. We’ve tried it, and it’s noticable.
Third, the new fiber pricing is much cheaper than almost any other service today. Even the cheapest tier (which we only recommend for smaller families) is faster than anything else offered here.
How do I choose a speed?
HCC offers three speeds, and while its base package is faster than most choices today, it’s still half the speed recommended for small families by most experts. It remains a great choice to save money or for small families.
Here’s a quick table of some of your choices:
|50/50||$50||Faster than all Viasat, T-Mobile, Centurylink, and NOPDC services. Recommended for <e;3 users or occasional use.|
|100/100||$64||Faster than all local services. Good for most households, and can support >4 users, security cameras, etc.|
|1000/1000||$84||Faster than most WiFi. Good for very large families or heavy remote work.|
Most of us will save 30-50% per month on our bills.
What about storms, trees, and power outages?
A lot of folks have asked us what happens in a storm. Like many things, the answer depends.
On the upside, fiber doesn’t slow down in heavy storms like satellite, cellular, and microwave connections do. It’s just as fast when it’s pouring down and the lights are on.
Things are different when the power goes out. HCC’s network will have several hours of battery backup, but it won’t run forever. If you have a generator or a big UPS, it’s possible you have power but no Internet. This is the one area where both satellite has an advantage. (Our local microwave ISP still needs power in Kitsap to work!)
The worst-case scenario is a line break, which requires HCC to repair the fiber. Note that this is less common than power outages, which don’t actually snap the lines but trip the breakers. Mason PUD1 also helps with resetting the lines when they don’t snap.
None of us can really say how often it goes offline, but if you absolutely can’t go down and you’re willing to pay more for slower services, satellite remains a good choice. (For what it’s worth, we’re all switching to HCC!)
What about Wi-Fi?
The final point we’ll offer is about Wi-Fi. With services as fast as HCC, you need at least Wi-Fi 5 to enjoy the real benefits. If you aren’t tech savvy or prefer not to hassle with equipment, HCC is also offering the Plume Wi-Fi system. This is fast enough to ensure you can enjoy fast service throughout your house.
Do they offer TV and phone?
Yes, HCC does plan to offer both TV (e.g. cable) and phone service on their network. We don’t focus much on these services today, so you should reach out to HCC for more info.
So what should you do? Consider your budget and family needs. Most of us will save a lot of money and get much faster service with HCC, but if you are happy with your services today, there is no need to change anything!