Frequently Asked Questions
What is "Wireless Internet"?
The proper name for Wireless Internet is Fixed Wireless Service. It is a method of delivering high-speed data utilizing a microwave connection between two fixed points.
How large is your network?
Gulf Coast Broadband owns and operates a large microwave network spanning from the Port of West St. Mary to the lower Mississippi River. This network extends approximately 40 miles offshore. All data traffic is transported over our network utilizing high capacity microwave technology.
How reliable is wireless internet?
It is interesting that most of the degrading things you hear about in regards to the reliability and young age of wireless technology comes from the same companies that have spent the past 60 years developing it. The truth is that prior to the introduction of Fiber Optic Cables "Fiber", all telecommunication companies that maintained nationwide networks deployed wireless technology.
Moving to fiber was more about capacity and cost than about reliability. Many major telecommunication companies still utilize wireless architectures within their networks. Alongside most any telecommunication central office you will find a large microwave tower. It has only been in resent years that the cost of wireless technology has became affordable enough to deploy on a widespread basis.
Does the weather affect wireless internet?
Weather conditions have no practical effect on the wireless link. The attenuation of the checkbox signal due to rain or snow is insignificant. Much of the reliability scuttle, again, comes from generalizing ALL wireless technologies into one group. Older wireless microwave checkboxs did suffer from extreme signal fade because of weather conditions. The technology deployed by Gulf Coast Broadband does not have these characteristics.
How does wireless compare to other broadband services?
Wireless technology can provide greater speed and better availability in rural areas and can provide large savings for customers who require high speed access. DSL has distance and speed limitations based on the location of the telephone company's "Central Office" and is not currently available in many of the rural areas. Cable systems are also not as widely available and most require the customer to subscribe to video services in order to be eligible for data service.
Depending on the provider satellite broadband services will only allow you to download 20-40Gb per month. This is approximately 40 to 50 compact disc. Most other broadband services give you more download data than upload data. This type of connection is know as an asymmetrical connection. Gulf Coast Broadband can reach 30 miles with a clear line of sight to our towers. Bandwidth is sold in symmetrical packages meaning that our download and upload speeds are equivalent. We currently do not cap the amount of data you use so feel free to surf as long as you like.
How large are the antennas - what do they look like?
Our current antennas range in size from a 2" x 3" to 11" x 11". These antennas are very lightweight and are comparable to the satellite T.V. dishes. The cables used to connect the antenna to the subscriber unit are about the same size as a T.V. cable.
How high does my antenna need to be?
The farther away you are from tower the higher your antenna needs to be in order for the signal to pass over trees and buildings that are located in between you and the tower.
Will the signal be interfered with by other devices?
Most references to interference issues are the result of poor network deployment, improper placement of antennas, and frequency channel selection. The subscriber units put out a very low power signal and as such are not likely to interfere with other devices. Wireless system providers are also required by the FCC not to cause interference with other wireless providers.
Can I change my connection speed if I need more?
Yes. If you need to upgrade your connection, simply gives us a call. We can implement the speed upgrade within 24 hours.
How long is the wait to get service?
We average 1-7 business days depending on the customers requirements.
How many devices can I use with my connection?
We provide one connection from the checkbox to your selected device, You can place this connection into a wireless router and connect as many devices as you like. This means that all of your toys and computers can play at the same time.
Configuration of a wireless router is not part of the basic install. It is best to talk to a sales team member about setting up multiple devices.
Can I get a static IP Address?
You will receive a dynamic IP with residential packages, but can upgrade to static IP for a one time setup fee of $24.95. All Business Packages come with a static IP.
Do I have to sign a contract for service?
There is no contract commitment on residential accounts. You simply pay month-to-month and can upgrade your service or cancel with just a phone call to our office. (Package upgrade availability may be limited in certain areas.)
Gulf Coast Broadband offers business contracts from 12 months to 36 months with discounts and free installation based on contract terms. ETF (Early Termination Fee) applies to all contracts.
Is Gulf Coast Broadband available for my area?
You can check service availability for your area on our Service Coverage Area form.
Alternately, give us a call at (985) 384-7040 and talk with a sales team member or one of our network engineers.