I have been to the mountaintweet

Sometimes the world just openly mocks you. The top of Mt. Everest is getting 3G data coverage to offer climbers, and presumably their Sherpas, high speed internet access at the world’s tallest mountain peak.

Meantime, efforts to expand high speed internet access on the Iron Range more closely resemble all those guys who froze on the side of Mt. Everest years ago and who remain there today, too heavy to bring back down the mountain and too frozen to decay. All the local candidates who highlighted high speed internet in their campaigns lost last Tuesday. In fact, talking about high speed internet on the Iron Range is the quickest way to lose political influence, probably worse than actually stealing money.

But I’m being very negative. 3G on Mount Everest. That’s cool, eh?

(Thanks to Paul for the tip).


  1. NOT FUNNY!!!!! Because at home, I get only 42.5 Kbps. And those summer people at the lake get DSL. I’m in another state getting 52 Kbps, which is noticeably faster than at home. Of course, I can pay a fortune to get sort of fast fast internet, but why should we pay more when they provide better service to some people here?

  2. I would not expect to see many broadband improvements come to the Iron Range anytime soon either, especially to the unserved portions. Cable companies are unlikely to expand their footprint. To make things worse in a relative sense, the bigger telephone companies are likely to spend money on infrastructure in Cook and Lake Counties and the Ely area of St. Louis County, the areas that received stimulus dollars for public broadband, in an effort to protect their market share. Those areas will have two providers; the other areas will have none.

  3. And while I’m in a complaining mood: Why does my ATT cell phone, supposedly the company that works for 90% of Americans, not work at my mom’s house, daughter’s house, sister’s house, niece’s house, and sister in laws’ house. Other brands work there. Why don’t they cooperate?

  4. My Dad lives four miles out of Goodland in Itasca county and gets excellent DSL speeds there from Frontiernet. I was amazed when I saw download rates over 1.5 megs/s…

    Another viable option is if you have cell coverage with 3g signal at home and a decent data plan, get a rootable android phone and use wireless tether. (This may also be possible with a jailbroken iphone, as I know at&t has the best coverage up there…) Works almost anywhere for me using my rooted Moto Droid 1, speeds are good enough to do nearly everything you would need to, useage is capped at 5gb per month (verizon). Do lots of research before buying the phone though, it must be rootable to work in most cases.

  5. I remember feeling the same when I learned about NASA’s network, which I read as 10 Gig on the moon. (They are going for 10 Gig in the next 8 years – but I don’t know if they’re actually wiring the moon.) It’s frustrating. My hope is that Minnesota’s stated goal of ubiquitous broadband (20Mbps down/10Mbps up) will help make it a priority. Or maybe having neighbors with better broadband will help light a fire under the newly elected officials who haven’t made it an issue.

  6. It’s depressing that the only high speed service that the fast growing townships can get is through satellite or cell phone towers, both of which are not practical as a permanent solution. Meantime, Qwest and local cable killed the FiberNet project, with no intention of ever expanding out into the country. They’ll wait until they have to, just like the power companies in 19-f’ing-32. I hear tell of projects that “could” reach the Range someday, but that’s what Qwest said when I talked to them five years ago. Five years of competitive advantage lost for a region that can’t afford it.

    You are right. This is not funny.

  7. My daughter has satellite, in rural Wisconsin, but that isn’t so great. We can also get AccessMN which is something like radio waves, but that company won’t answer their emails, so forget it. The cell phone signal isn’t 3G, just 2g, I guess. I can get some things on my cell phone, not an IPhone, faster than I can get it on the computer because they leave off all those darn ads. ATT in Virginia told me that they would have 3g in Virg by this fall, and then it would move farther north. I don’t believe that. But I was in an eastern state where there was 3G in many very small cities. Qwest strung some kind of cables along a number of the roads, but still no DSL. Not sure what that cable is for.

  8. OTOH…when we moved here, the phone line was a wire lying mostly on the ground and partially in the creek, coming to the house. And it was a party line, ringing for all on that line. And since my husband was ultra dependent on the phone for his work, they got us strung up with the new line as one of the first with the transition to the new phone company. So yes, that dates me, but really, it wasn’t all that long ago. And I’d get more art work done if I wasn’t so enamored of the internet.

  9. Jill Michels says

    I don’t have a phone line so I am forced to use a cell phone. Have a dish for TV and internet. I don’t see this changing any time soon. We need high speed to move forward. I am 30 miles north of Grand Rapids so guess I don’t count. It costs $20.00 to go to town. We need internet to go to school, communicate with friends and family and to look for jobs that are not there. Please help us!

  10. “White Space” may offer some hope:
    Rural Broadband Internet

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