Friday, September 7, 2012

So Much For That

I'd heard that Big Bend Telephone had cut a deal with 9 Points Ranch to put a tower up there. I'd also heard that with one there and one on Elephant mountain it would close the gap between Alpine and Study Butte for cell phone reception. Well the tower is on 9 points now, but it has nothing to do with cellphones. That is to provide Internet and telephone to customers who live too far out to get a land line. It won't do anything for cellphones though.

Too bad that since BBT gets their service from AT&T that they (BBT and AT&T) couldn't have gotten together and added cellphone coverage at the same time.


  1. I may be mistaken, but don't ya think that "telephone service" broadcasted from a tower would be cell service? Or are they only broadcasting to special paying customers other than "regular customer" cell phone users?

  2. BB, I'm sure it takes special equipment/electronics at the customer's place to be able to use the phone/internet. Evidently its rigged where cellphones can't use it.

  3. I bet that big tower is real purdy up there on 9 Points.? Got pics?

  4. I have been battling all night trying to post because the broadband connection (more like dial-up) keeps on going dormant.

    Do not know if it is because the new modem I purchased two months ago has issues or because there is no Cricket tower close by.

    I think you and the other residents out your way are so lucky to have access to high speed internet, at least you can use Skype and Magicjack...not so outside the city limits of Del Rio which happens to be where we live.

    It would have been very beneficial all the way around to have finally gotten cell phone coverage between Study Butte and Alpine but I think that will happen pretty soon.

  5. Anon, I couldn't say because I can't see it from here. That's more second hand info that may turn out to be false, but I don't think so. If it turns out to be you'll probably read it here eventually.

    MsB, maybe they will get decent broadband to you'll one of these days?

    BTW the high wind woke me up at 3:45 and it is really blowing. I'd guess in excess of 40-50 MPH gusts. Damn I hate this place! (Some times) (Most of the time really!)

  6. What kind of bandwidth do you actually get? I believe you folks have DSL on twisted pair wires? Plus it's a regular hardwired phone line?

    For accurate bandwidth, try (wait for "Begin Test" in the center of the screen, not the ad that shows up quickly at the top).

  7. rj, I used to use in Plano to check speed on the FIOS, but had forgotten all about it. the results were:

    PING 56 ms
    Download 1.5 Mbps
    upload 0.38

    It does have its ups and downs as far as speed goes though. Seems to be a little slow right now. I don't have the fastest package they have, but its sufficient now that my neighbors aren't scabbing off of me. It got damn slow at times when they were. I'd imagine they are using twisted pairs as that was what AT&T was doing some years back. (According to my eX son in law who works for At&T.) However, when they put this system in they ran extra conduit for future upgrades and there may be FIOS cable already there for when they switch to it. If they ever get it and its affordable I'll jump right in the middle of it.

    Yes it comes from the pedestal to the modem over a normal phone line. That is right next to here though.

  8. BTW the wind is still blowing like hell, but not quiet as bad as real early this morning. Its calmed down 230 miles west of here so maybe it will here soon. As hot and humid as its been for quiet a while and with little to no wind at least it feels pretty good now.

  9. whoops... that should have been 230 miles North Northeast of here.

  10. David, back when I was there I could get Verizon service in a lot of areas. They must have a tower on one of the mountains, but don't know for sure.

  11. DD, I think their tower is in SB, but in some areas here there must be less blockage from mountains and the phones work in places around here. I have made calls on cellphones from up here before, but not very often. Some places east of here have more or less full time service. I built a couple of antenna for the cell phone and had pretty good luck facing it toward SB.

  12. Tffnguy,

    (captaincrunch again)

    I dont really dig on seeing cell towers or people driving and Yappin and Text'n on thier cell phones.

    I come from the days when there only one phone company. The phones would last forever and you could throw one accross the room against the wall and they would not break (I know I did that many a time)

    Cell phones have their place, but there is too much emphasis on connectivity and not enough emphasis on self reliance.

    Now' cell phones have their place and for emergencies they are wonderful. I just see too many people, especially younger people (in thier 20's) have to stay in contact constantly.

    My long term goal is to move someplace where I can see no cell towers from my land and house as well as not see anyone under the age of 30. (Old geezers have more interesting things to say)

    Bottom line is, this worlds a giant merry go round and its turning and changing too fast and I wanna get off and walk away.

    Theres a song that came out a few years ago that I have recorded on CD. It's a Texas Country song, it kinda goes like this.

    "When the world starts spinning and your head hurts, there's cheap bourbon whiskey and pearl snap shirts"

  13. CC, I don't like cellphones either and the only time I've had them was for road trip emergencies. Back in Plano it was basically for the little woman to call me while I was at the grocery store to tell me she forgot something on the list or keeping in touch when I was camping at automotive swap meets. I've had near accidents because of other people using cell phones and one was while I was riding a motorcycle.

  14. "Damn, I hate this place". Did it finally get to you? Well I'm getting tired of working and having every modern convenience less than 5 miles away, so I figure in three years when the kid gets out of school I'll move back to Hell.

  15. Wow! BKid. I'd have never thunk I'd have ever seen you type that.

  16. TTFNGuy, I am new so please forgive. I have read that some have DSL and some do not. And now I am reading cell is in limited locations. What is your scenario if you don't mind my prying? Is it all a matter of your location in the ranch?

    And is "Damn, I hate this place" your real opinion or just a vent after a hard day? (again, if you will forward my prying...)

  17. DSL is only accessible in some areas of the ranch because of distance from where DSL can be routed from and the remote location of the land they would have to trench to to even add a phone line. I think now BBT is going to radio or satellite (MAYBE BOTH) to provide phone and internet service to areas where it was formerly not feasible to get services to. I don't know if that covers the whole ranch or not? They do have some pretty strict requirements as to whether they will put a land line in to though. I think that is you need at least 800 AMP hours of batteries and about that much solar and/or wind power and a 15 amp circuit to power it. (or be on grid) I don't have a clue what the requirements are for radio or satellite based phone and internet are?

    Cell phone service is spotty from several miles north of Study Butte (except in a few areas where they do work, (not many areas) and it looks like that will remain the case for some time.

    "Damn I hate this place" Yes I do for a good part of each year. Its hotter than hell, windy as hell, sandy as hell, cold as hell, prices for food, gas and supplies are higher than hell (within 60 miles of where I live) and decent water is 25 miles away from where I live. I could probably find a few more things to add to why I hate it. Now in the spring, fall and some of the winter its a beautiful place to live. At those times I love it and it ALMOST makes the bad times worth living here. I guess you could call it a Love/Hate relationship?

  18. Requirements are the same no matter what service you buy from them:



    I think I can answer some of your questions. If you do not plan to have commercial AC power we will require the equivalent. We need a 15 amp 110 volt circuit. We require a 1500 watt inverter and 800 amp hours of batteries with enough panels to maintain the charge. We use several methods to provide service in the Terlingua area and the power requirement will cover any and all we currently utilize.

    We do have areas which do not have cable within a reasonable distance and we may utilize other methods of service.

    One additional requirement is you may need to provide easement if for some reason we have to cross another landowner. This does not happen often as we will use public right of way if possible.

    I hope this helps but let me know if you have other questions.



    Ray Ellis
    Senior Engineer


    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  19. Thanks Chris,

    Well there you have it folks. I'd forgotten about the 1500 watt inverter.


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