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Just some Xplornet news...


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Ok don't flame, I am just posting since I use testmy.net on a regular basis when going to customers houses to do tech support. I work for an Alberta Xplornet Dealer so I cannot pin-point any issues in Ontario specifically (though I assume most of the issues are ISP wide).

Just thought I'd post some news. We're in Southern Alberta, and this goes for up around Red Deer area as well (not sure if it's around Edmonton yet but ask your local dealer), and it's this wonderful thing called Expedience 3.5. It is a direct replacement, purchased through the buying out of Pathcom in Alberta. They used 3.5 and Xplornet has bought the rights to use 3.5 in Alberta in doing this.

Many people (and I'm assuming it gets 100000x worse the closer you get to the normal populace), are experiencing massive disconnect issues, (Scanning, Synching, Registering, Repeat). Here's what the 1-866 number will tell you:

"Check your house for Cordless Devices to see if they are interfering with your signal."

It has been the case in many places i've been to, but here's some things in this matter that I found were quite humorous. One couple had a Baby Monitor, and it was some cheap one and everytime they put the baby down for a nap, BOOM no internet lol. Uhm, 900MHz/2.4Ghz phones BOTH use 900MHz frequency bands, so you can't trust the 5.8 as it most likely uses 2.4GHz (not sure about this one but I know the previous one is correct). If you are worried, get one of the DECT models (or the 1.9GHz frequency phones) if you find that the phone interference is the case.

"Reboot your system and router if you have one."

If you are lucky to get someone who acknowledges that you probably need a router, they could try to get it working over the phone. What I have found, is that most over-the-counter modems are dumb. They give-up after a time. D-Links seems a little better as they retry after a delay but... When you reboot, Power the two units (Canopy/Router) in sequence. Unplug both at first, then the Canopy (Motorola power supply with the green light) and then wait for 30-40 seconds, then power on the router.

Now, a note about 3.5 Expedience systems. We just got finished doing a lot of Pathcom customers (some are still flailing around because someone missplaced them or something in the system when handing over the customer list from Pathcom to Xplornet but alas... and there are a LOT of places between Airdrie and Cochrane that can get it. If you don't live in a hole (or in Madden for that fact), chances are you have a good probability of getting 3.5 service. The towers go from Airdrie West (There's one just on the west side of Simon's Valley Road), and every major road going west, there is a tower.

From what I have experienced so far with 3.5 here's my official perception of it, what it will do and what it will not do.

Will Do:

It eliminates a large fraction of the radio frequency interference from nearby wireless providers and oil companies. A lot of the people get very close to their "up to" speeds where as before on the 900MHz Canopy system they either were not working, or had 1/10th of the service.

It will also allow VoIP to work practically flawlessly WHILE surfing (not downloading... surfing). Even Xplornet's OWN SYSTEM is having issues (we don't sell it anymore because it doesn't work for about 70% of the customers we've sold it to and they have cancelled).

You can get a Static IP, it's a bit more complicated to setup, but it's possible. Therefore, VPN works really well on it. To set it up you will need to get the MAC address of the WAN port of the router. As long as you can log into it, it's usually pretty easy to find it on most router's status pages, and some tech level 2's know where to find it (otherwise ask your local tech guru).

It uses existing Cat5 infrastructure, so you don't have to re-run all the wiring in your house (for those who have through the wall systems etc).

Won't Do:

It's nearly impossible to get the application to "see the settings" of your machine. You need this little java applet that the installers are provided (if you ask nicely maybe they'll give you a copy even tho they're not supposed to), and then manually configure your IP addess on your NIC. Therefore, personally going into the "canopy page" cannot be done to my knowledge. Good thing is, it usually means, if they cannot figure out what's wrong, you get a service call.

It does NOT go down nearly as much as the 900/2.4 systems. In the last 5 months, I think i've had 7 work orders for repairs on 3.5 systems. The ones that did have it, were either very far from the tower as it was, or it was a faulty 3.5 module and replacing it fixed it.

Now, the hiccups with this system as a lot will want to know. It is still based on a lot of the old infrastructure, however, they're slowly replacing the backhauls and pre-existing equipment that Pathcom had. It was (as I was told) a really really old back-end. Tho it was working, it was severely in need of replacing a few key areas of the network immediately. One problem was found about 20 days after the initial "switches" were done to the new tower. The Backhaul in Calgary was failing and suddenly died :o and it was replaced in a couple days, and since then everyone has been working (I haven't gotten any other work orders lol). I am not saying that it is problem free (and Vista has it's own problems anyway) but there are some people who think that if they switch they'll never have problems, I cannot claim it.

Vista w/ Xplornet 3.5

You have to disable IPv6 on your network adapter. I don't know exactly WHY with the new system they never implemented IPv6 in the design phase but.... it basically makes your system not work at all or erratically, depending on your service. I would suggest turning it off if you are an Xplornet customer, they don't use it anyway.

Anyway, if there are any questions about 3.5 just reply and I'll try to answer them as fast as possible. I will try to answer any questions, and even put my rep to the test if needed. I also have #'s for some guys in xplornet who could probably help out if I asked nicely. Anyway, post away, don't flame because I am only here to try to help.

Thank you,


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That's good to hear :) Mature forums are rare and hard to find on these here interwebs :D

Oh and I thought I'd add this about anyone on the KA-Telesat system.

Anik1 is full. If you are around Edmonton and south to the US Border, contact Xplornet and pay roughly $199 for the new KA-Hughes system, or if you have good cell phone reception with either telus/bell then look into getting an Aircard. Find a dealer with a demo and see how well it works before you buy it. Telus has Rev A network (and it's actually REALLY fast in Alberta). As long as you get EvDO service and have around 3 bars on a cell phone that does EvDO you should have at least the speeds that Xplornet gives, and the more you have the faster it goes. The fastest I've done with the Aircard 595U is 2.4mbps. Which is pretty dang sweet if you ask me. I don't know what the Bell one is like, as I haven't been able to find a dealer that has a demo (Wonders of an eastern company in a western world :D)

As of December 1st 2008 and till the end of the month to my  knowledge, the new KA-Hughes is approx. $300 installed for new customers: $199 for hardware, $99 for installation and a $99 activation fee on your first bill. $59/mo for 1mbps (compared to the 512kbps on Telesat). Only downfall is the 200Mb per day limit then it cuts you down ungodly for a 24 hour period. Whereas the Telesat (from what I can tell) is around 50Mb per hour give or take (and it got a lot lower closer to 20Mb later on in its life cycle). When Telesat cuts you back it's more like Dialup till the top of the next hour, then if you repeatedly do it for like 3 or so hours, it's a 12 hour period. So it's not as lenient. Just some more info if you have kids that download music/movies :) (LEGALLY OF COURSE) :D

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