• Unofficial Guide to Clear Lake Internet Options

    May 30, 2017
  • This guide is not meant to endorse any of internet service provider but simply to make available most of the main options our members subscribe to. It was compiled by Chris Johnston, a former Telecom Marketing Manager, and Technology Consultant who has been on the lake for nearly 30 years.

    There are 3 main types of Internet to consider on Clear Lake:

    1. Satellite
    2. LTE
    3. Fixed Wireless

    Satellite

    A Satellite internet connection is very much similar to Satellite TV. A dish is installed on your property and it gets a signal from a Satellite that is orbiting around the Earth in a Geosynchronous orbit. Which is to say, it matches the Earth’s rotation to always be available. Currently there is one main supplier of this type of Internet. Xplornet. Xplornet boasts 300,000+ customers across Canada. A recent launch of a new Satellite has boosted service, and they have released new Packages with speeds up to 25 Mbps.

    Find Out More about Xplornet

    Another exciting development in the Satellite Internet Options is a team known as OneWeb who have owners like Richard Branson’s Virgin and Softbank (Japanese Telecom & 62nd largest company in the world) who hope in 2019 to have 1 Gbps connections available anywhere on the planet.

    LTE

    This is what powers your phone’s connection and in fact the Turbo Hubs or Rocket Sticks that you will need require a SIM Card just like your cell phone. You will either need to purchase or sign a contract in order to get a Turbo Hub (or Rocket Stick) and have several options of what carrier you select. Rogers, Bell, Telus of course are the 3 main suppliers, however there are some relatively less known providers as well. One of them is Tbaytel which actually is a reseller of Rogers. One of the key determinations of speed is proximity to a cell tower. You can find out which towers are closest to you by looking here. (Hint: It’s Rogers)

    Find out more about:

    Bell Plans

    Rogers Plans 

    Tbaytel (note, that Tbaytel is only allowed to sell in a prescribed area, if you want their service you need to go to the closest location to pick up your turbo hub. This is in Sault Ste. Marie)

    Fixed Wireless

    The last option is one that anecdotally most lake members choose. The only option on the lake with unlimited monthly usage is also the slowest. You need a direct line of sight to the tower and can be up to 10 KM away. There is a tower on the East Side of the lake, that I am sure everyone has seen if they have spent anytime on the lake. A tech will come and install a receiver outside to talk with the tower, and then a cable will be brought into the house. There is great debate to be had about who has the best customer service, but there is only one option on the lake. The other companies just resell the one option.  I’ll list the 2 most popular.

    Netspectrum

    Vianet

    Of course before you choose any provider always be sure to do a simple Google Search for reviews and ask your neighbours about their experiences. Happy Surfing!