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home service area service rates getting started FAQ Usage About Us

Frequently Asked Questions

What does HillCountryTX.net provide?
Everything related to the internet:
  • Wireless Connection to your country home or business
  • Connection to the World Wide Web
  • Site Development including commercial art design.

Is this available TODAY? Yes!
 
Our towers and transmitting systems are in place and operating. We are expanding coverage each month.


What equipment is used?
In 2001 we were manufacturing our own radios using technology by Lucent . We later found a Canadian company called TRANZEO that was making the needed radio equipment. We purchased their gear from 2003 to about 2013 when we began trying products made by Ubiquiti in our installations in Maryland. Today both Maryland and Texas systems are almost exclusively Ubiquiti radios and routers. Our system has always been fully routed where our competition often bridges all the traffic across the network. If you need a wifi router for your home, we will generally recommend the various dual band routers made by ASUS.

Are any dangerous signals present?
No! - The system operates in the 2.4 and 5.2-5.8 gig range, just like the better cordless telephones. The system is within FCC allowable power limits.

Who is Hillcountrytx.net?
A team of individuals with property ownership in this area for over 30 years who were tired of having poor Internet access service and like the idea of working from home. We have a registered engineer on the team and are currently seeking individuals for part time installation and network support. Our organization is "lite" to save you money - kind of like a co-op. We have a business affillation with Sugarloaf Networks which is building out both line of sight wireless as well as buried fiber optic broadband network connections in rural Maryland and northern Virginia. In 2017 we made an agreement with Federal Tower Control, Inc to act as our management structure and basically leave the core organization operating locally. Hillcountry Networks is now a DBA structure under the FTC, Inc corporation.More About Us


How do people pay for your service?

We bill you each month with a statement. If you need invoices each month for business purposes you will need to let us know.We can set up auto draft to pull funds from your checking account each month. Many customers set up automatic check writing services thru their bank that mail us checks each month. If you choose this method, then please have then get us the checks by the 10th of the current month. Any checks will be made payable to Hillcountry Networks ( now under the umbrella of FTC, Inc )

We will be handling the credit card payment processing by sending you an Email Invoice from which you will be directed to a secure web site that collects and verifys your Credit Card information. We also accept credit card and paypal payments for basic monthly service . See the PAY BILL ONLINE button on every page left side of this web site.


What about service and up time?
This is a network for personal use. Our commitment to service is to provide not 99.999% uptime but 99.00% uptime so that we don't have to charge you for a team of people sitting around reading magazines and playing computer games in order to provide you with critical business levels of uptime.

What about VPN back to my company network?
This is a network for personal use, not CRITICAL business use. VPN does work. We have a number of users operating VPN from their homes to their company networks successfully. If you need VPN and use it sometimes to avoid a drive back to the office, it works. We do not service or support VPN, other than to communicate with your company network support people on the needed IP address structure that we provide to you. Then they do their "magic" and it works.

Could I be a repeater location? How does that work?
This network is based on community support. We typically swap use of your property as a repeating location for free internet service to your home. We can discuss what we look for in a repeater location and how we handle our access to your property when required to service our equipment.


What about EMail?
We provide the path to the internet for your choice of email . So if you have a yahoo.com or a gmail.com or any other email set up it should still work with no problem.

What about playing games?
We have about 200 ms lag time to most gaming servers which is worse than being in Austin or Dallas on Google Fiber, a cable modem, or ATT UVerse. So you will be at a disadvantage playing against those gamers.


What can I do with this connection?
This is a network for legal personal use. We don't allow any high speed outbound web content, or streaming audio or video distribution.

We don't allow you to resale this connection or share with your neighbor. We do appreciate any referrals that you make that result in our selling a connection to your neighbor. Downloads are fast, uploads are slower, so if you want to "stream video" to the world we reserve the right to limit your upload speed and suggest other ways of doing that. We do have web hosting sites that have screaming fast upload capabilities and are better suited for delivering or publishing content to the WWW. No malicious or disruptive activities are tolerated. No multiple user outgoing unsolicited email (spam) is allowed. See our Usage Policy for details and the legal wording for all this.



What policing or snooping can or do you do to my connection?
We can see packets moving across our network. Outsiders cannot.

We have lots better things to do than snoop around the network -- UNLESS -- we have network problems -- or get complaints from upstream network managers. Then we watch for high volume traffic which might indicate a virus on a PC. The October 2003 virus, Blaster, and several other virus around that time cause PC's to send volumes of email or random packets across the network. This brought down not only our connection to the internet, but the entire Austin central router hub. We did a lot of watching of the network packets and helped determine that the source of the problem was outside our system. Check your PC to prevent this and you help keep the network running smooth and fast.

We cannot connect to your PC or "see" beyond the router that we place in your location to make the wireless connection back to us.




What do I do when I need service?
First - I give all customers a  phone number at which they can communicate with our staff. Customers can call any time 24/7 and either get me or send a text message and someone will get back with them. I don't live close to the equipment, but have immediate access to troubleshoot the entire system from my home or office. From my cell phone I can often help you fix or isolate the problem even if I am driving.

Next we have several installer/support techs living in the area near the towers. They work independent of us to do interior wiring and PC and network service on hourly fee basis as you need. If I can't resolve a problem, I will call them in to visit you or one of our equipment locations. If the problem is with my equipment there is no charge to you.

Just remember, if you call me at 2:00 in the morning -- be sure to tell me if you don't want to be called back shortly thereafter.
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