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About the PRiS High Speed Internet System

The Peace Region Internet Society provides High Speed Internet Access to PRiS members in Fort St John, Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, Tumbler Ridge and Hudson's Hope: We are actively working on extending this service to other rural communities as well.
What is High Speed Internet?
PRiS High Speed Internet services offers the fastest residential and business connection to the Internet available today.
Is High Speed Internet Over-Hyped?
Quite honestly, yes.
Not everybody is wise to spend the extra money to get High Speed Internet. After all, the monthly cost of your Internet connectivity will increase somewhat. Regular PRiS Dial-up access is best for users who communicate via e-mail and mainly use the internet for entertainment or research. The regular Dial-up access that PRiS currently provides is quite adequate for normal web browsing, and the transmission of text, graphics, and even voice.

High Speed Internet is for users interested in full motion video, high resolution graphics and/or interactive high speed data transmission. Surprisingly, High Speed Internet is more consistent with the wants of active families, than the needs of many businesses!

How Fast is High Speed Internet?
That is a tough one to answer.
With a dial-up connection, it is your telephone line and your modem that limits the speed of the connection. Compare this to owning a car that was capable of doing 33 or 56 km/hour on a freeway. That is dial-up. Clearly there would be advantages in owning a faster car.

How fast should this faster car be? Being able to do 128 km/hour would certainly be advantageous, but you might have difficulty in justifying a car that can travel at 1000 Km/hr because your speed would still be limited to about 100 Km/hr by the limitations of the highways you would be traveling.

Having a PRiS High Speed Internet connection is like owning this very fast car. It can travel at speeds in excess of 2,500 Kbps on a closed race track, but ultimately the speed you achieve will be limited by the condition of the Infobahn between you and your information destination, and no amount of personal upgrading will get rid of that constraint.

Should I use the PRiS Wireless Service, or the PRiS ADSL Service?
Both have limited availability, but we are quite certain that one of the two technologies will work for you.

WIRELESS (Radio)

ADSL(Asymetric Digital Subscriber Line)

DESCRIPTION 2.4 Ghz wireless (radio) DSSS transmission from access point to small antenna at your location. No telephone line required. Radio unit inserts into PCI, PCMCIA, or ISA slot on your computer, and connects to antenna using 3/8 inch diameter co-axial cable. Radio is IEEE802.11-b compliant, 11Mbps half-duplex. USB units are now also available, and simplify installation. External radios can be provided in special applications where networks need connectivity. Internet packets are delivered to your location at very high frequency over your existing telephone line. Because these signals are carried at such high frequencies, the same phone line can also carry regular telephone calls simultaneously. In plain terms, you can be on the Internet and make phone calls at the same time!
LOCATION AVAILABILITY IMPORTANT: Follow this link to make sure you have clear line of sight to a PRiS Wireless Access Point
Dawson Creek: Pouce Coupe,Bonanza,Rolla Area Rolla, Bonanza, North-East Farmington, North-West Arras, South Dawson, Devereaux, Upper Cutbank Area Tomslake, Tupper, South-East Fort St John
  • Fort St John Airport
  • Charlie Lake Clayhurst Taylor Tumbler Ridge Chetwynd Hudson's Hope
  • Signal Hill
  • Must be within 5 KM of the Telephone Company Central Office 'as the wire travels'
    Fort St John: - YES
    Dawson Creek - YES
    Chetwynd - YES
    TIME AVAILABILITY Now Five working days
    MONTHLY COST Option A) $28.75 with member purchasing radio
    Option B) $40 with PRiS providing radio
    Option A) $28.75 with member purchasing ADSL modem.
    Option B) $28.75 with PRiS providing ADSL modem (Deposit required)
  • BUT check here for substantial Introductory Offers
  • STARTUP COST Option B) Installation, Mast, and Cabling (About $150)
    Option A) As low as $100 (plus taxes) plus installation, Mast and Cabling, for USB Radio. Radios capable of Network Connections are higher
    A) $60 for Modem Kit
  • (New Broadband Accounts Only)

  • B) Nil
    DOWNLOAD SPEED Up to 2,500 Kbps depending on general traffic levels and signal strength Up to 1,500 Kbps depending on local loop length and makeup
    Higher speeds available with business packages
    UPLOAD SPEED Up to 2,500 Kbps depending on general traffic levels and signal strength Up to 640 Kbps depending on local loop length and makeup

    Will I still also have dial-up access if I need it?
    A PRiS exclusive! The answer is "YES".
    This is an excellent question. You realize that both wireless and ADSL installations become tied to a specific location. What if you travel to another town? What if you use your account from office as well as home? What if your High Speed Internet connection temporarily bites the dust?

    PRiS encourages you to keep a modem handy. You still have full dial-up privileges in all the towns served by PRiS, and access to our Toll Free 888-685-6245 mail express line when out of town.

    However, we do not expect to see two different people using the same account at the same time (per our current policy re 'Duplicate Logins'). This is only fair: One Membership = One User.

    Can I network a number of computers in my house or office to one High Speed Account?
    Another PRiS exclusive! The answer is "YES".
    PRiS has no business in the bedrooms / boardrooms of the nation. You need not fear that the dreaded Internet Cops are going to wake you up one night to examine your computers. PRiS assigns one IP address to your gateway, and you can build proxy networks as you wish behind that. There are, however two provisos:

  • All computers or terminals are located at the same physical location. A physical location is any collection of rooms that have the same complete mailing address and 911 address,
  • You may not resell all or part of your connection to a third party.

    What kind of computer do I need to be able to access ADSL services?

    Computer Software and Hardware

    **** Internal ADSL Modems are currently not available for Mac users ****

    Can I run a Web server or FTP server on my computer?
    The answer is again, "YES".
    Bear in mind that an ADSL connection is 'ASYMETRICAL', meaning that the speed at which you can transmit data is significanlty slower than the speed at which you can receive it. Wireless may be the better option here. If you have 'mission critical' applications, remember that the last mile connection to your location is never as reliable as the Big Pipes connecting the PRiS office to the world. It might be wiser to house your critical applications on a PRiS server, or to co-locate a server at a PRiS office. You get the advantage of power interruption protection, and closer monitoring of the equipment for potential failures.

    PRiS policies concerning issues of legality, copyright, and conformance to community standards apply to all data served through the PRiS network.

    Are there limits to how much data I can transfer?
    Sadly, the answer is "Maybe".
    Unfortunately, with the emergence of Broadband Internet, the communications companies are starting to realize that they can no longer charge fixed rates for access to the Internet Backbone. A single heavy user is capable of using as much bandwidth as an entire town could in pre-broadband days. In the interests of fairness to all of their customers, communications companies now bill based on the bandwidth actually used.

    Similarly, in the interests of fairness to PRiS members, PRiS must also ensure that a single member does not go 'download crazy', and leave the membership at large stuck with a bill for hundreds of dollars. PRiS has always had such a policy in place. The existing data transfer policy will apply to the High Speed accounts. The policy states that PRiS may, at its discretion, with adequate warning, impose a cost recovery charge on data transfer in excess of 1 gigabyte/month. This cost is currently $10.00 per gigabyte for each Gig in excess of 6 Gigs per month on wireless accounts, and there are no charges on ADSL accounts)

    How likely is this to affect you? Very few dial-up accounts exceed one gigabyte, but the potential for exceeding a limit is increased when you have access to such powerful tools. Just remember:

  • We will not necessarily bill you: but we reserve the right to do so if it becomes necessary.
  • We will warn you. No retro-active charges or surprises.
  • You can check your current usage at any time on the PRiS Home page.
  • We will only "pass on" the amount we need to recover the direct costs charged to us by our upstream communications company.

    Are you really willing to install PRiS equipment at our location?
    We trust you, sort of.
    In Option B, with either wireless or ADSL, PRiS does indeed install several hundred dollars worth of electronic equipment on your premises. It is only responsible for us to request additional information or security to ensure that our investment is safe and well cared for. Details are on the application form.

    Do I have to sign up for a minimum period?
    No... Well, actually, a month

    What are my payment options for ADSL?
    A bit more limited for the first year of ADSL service.....
    There are several payment options currently available for ADSL: monthly pre-authorized with VISA, Mastercard or Chequing account or pay for the year in advance. Of course, if you are currently subscribed to one of our dial-up plans we will apply any prepaid credit towards your ADSL service.

    Wireless services can be billed just the same as regular PRiS Dial-up accounts.

    How do I apply for Wireless or ADSL access?
    Pick up an application form at our office, or
    Print off the application form and the Agreement, fill it in, and mail it to the PRiS head office. To ensure the earliest available installation date make sure that you completely fill out the on-line form, and attach any payments or documentation necessary.

    Then what happens?
    We will contact you once we have approved the application, and determined that the requested service is possible.
    You will have two options: You will be able to undertake the installation yourself once you pick up the required equipment, or we will discuss other installation options with you.

    With wireless service, a small antenna (about the size of a book in town, or about the size of a BBQ grill for rural areas) will be installed on a mast. A special rf cable will be run from the antenna to the location of your main computer. We can provide you with a USB radio, or a PCI or ISA card can be installed in the back of your computer, and connected to the cable. Some configuration work will be required and you'll be super-surfing!

    With ADSL service, we must first determine that the quality of your phone lines is acceptable for ADSL service. We must then schedule the changeover for a time that will work for the Telco, the installer, and you. This can be as much as a week. In some cases, you will need to get a network card for your computer during this time. (About $15 from PRiS for members). If you purchase an internal ADSL modem that PRiS is providing, ($60), then a network card is NOT required, as the ADSL modem slides directly into your computer, and you simply plug it into a regular phone jack.

  • If you are doing a self-install with third party equipment, you will need to connect the ADSL modem to your computer network card, and plug the ADSL unit into one of your wall jacks using a regular phone cord. Finally you will need to plug a small filter into each of the lines going to a regular phone, to filter out the Internetty noises from your regular phone calls. Do some configuration and you are on your way.
  • Our installer might in some special cases, (alarmed buildings, etc) use a slightly different process: We begin by connecting a device called a P.O.T.S (Plain old telephone service) splitter where the phone service comes into the building (demarcation block) or as close to this location as possible. All the existing phone lines are then routed through this device. The ADSL modem is then installed on its own line close to the jack where the PC is located. Since ADSL only uses the high frequency portion of the line the low frequency portion is still available for the existing phone line. As a result you will not notice any change in your current phone service. In addition, if you have the required network card in your PC when our installer arrives, he will configure the card for ADSL for you. This means you will simply have to turn your PC on to establish a connection. A worry free installation process!
  • For office settings, PRiS can also provide special ADSL Modems with a four port switch at a slight extra charge.

    I want to know more!
    Where to go for more info? The web! Of course! ..
    A short tutorial on ADSL
    Definition of ADSL and starting points
    More about wireless Internet

    or call our office for information specific to the PRiS system.


    This page is maintained by the Peace Region Internet Society
    Questions, comments, and suggestions can be directed to the sysop@pris.ca