Here in rural east central Illinois, there aren’t too many options for fast internet. Some towns 10 miles or so away do have more options, but the cable company and others have overlooked our area. Perhaps it’s not profitable enough for them to establish service in our area (although there are grants they could get to facilitate that process).

Anyway we’ve suffered along with dial-up internet. We’re on our second provider since the first one didn’t provide a stable or quick connection, even by dial-up standards.

We researched the high-speed options in our area. Either we could spring for satellite-based internet (like satellite TV), costing about $60-70 a month plus a hefty installation fee and a multi-year contract, or a wireless internet company that also charges a hefty installation fee and about $60 a month for service and requires a multi-year contract. Not going to happen.

I had to switch our cell phones to another company — don’t believe the AT&T commercials stating triumphantly “more bars in more places” — not a single bar here! I went with Verizon, since they have a signal in our area. However, Verizon also has wireless internet options that I didn’t know about before. The cost is the same as most other high-speed providers, $60/month, but there are no installation fees, and we can try it out for 30 days to make sure it works before being in a contract. And they have discounts if you work for certain employers, so the wireless modem was free, and no activation fees either. So I went with that for internet, and it’s worked a lot better than dial-up. They have two signals available, one for really fast internet, and one for slower internet. Our connection hovers between the two, presumably since we’re in a borderline area. So we’re trying it out for the next month. But it sure is nice not to tie up the phone line trying to check email, etc. I thought I’d post this in case it might help someone else out.

And, last week I read about an opening in our village’s council. I’m going to go to tonight’s meeting to express my interest in the opening, although I know someone else has already expressed interest. I doubt I’ll get the position, since I’m new in town and not well-known, but I figure it’s worth a shot. I’m not sure what the trustee meetings involve, which I think is a problem since there doesn’t seem to be any way to access information about our village government activities. I’ve got plenty of ideas, so we’ll see what happens tonight!