Frequently Asked Questions

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What about NetFlix?

Ewwww …. that’s almost a dirty word!   Actually it’s a great, innovative service and an American success story of resurrection and reinvention. But, video services via NetFlix impose a heavy burden on Internet Service Provders.  And NetFlix doesn’t compensate ISPs such as Waterford WISP for using its bandwidth to provide you service.

There are some studies that suggest that seventy percent (70%) of nighttime Internet traffic is NetFlix, alone.  Crazy, right!

Here’s the rub – standard NetFlix video services requires about a 3Mbps bandwidth stream to deliver your TV show or movie.  Pick an HD video Offering and that jumps up to 5Mbps.   And, that’s for one user.  In my house, we might be watching Breaking Bad in the living room and Orange Is The New Black  in the den.

And fuhgedaboutit if you’re trying to watch House of Cards on a release weekend where many of your neighbors are watching Frank’s latest antics, all at the same time.  COMCAST doesn’t have that much bandwidth, but they won’t tell you that!!

What kind of user equipment do I need?

Well, you may also wish to acquire a  WiFi router (typical manufacturer names like Linksys, Belkin, TP-Link, D-Link, etc.) which cost about $100.   This device does several things which will likely improve the useability of your system: (1) it helps secure your network, (2) it provides wireless access so you can use WIFI devices inside your home, (3) if your read the manual, you’ll learn how the router can help you control access and shape ussage for exactly your needs. We can advise you on configuring your system, and can do the basic installation at no charge, other than the cost of the equipment.

We will install a small antenna either in your house or outdoors, depending on your location which will connect to our network to provide you highspeed Internet access. This equipment will be provided at the time of installation.

If I need an outdoor antenna, what will it look like?

We use two different types of antenna. Those uesed within the village are only 5″ x 1″ and usually placed inside the house. Antennas for homes outside the village are 1′ tall by 6″ wide and 3″ deep. We try to position them to keep them out of sight.

Will I have high speed uploads as well as high speed downloads?

Yes. Upload and download speeds are the same. Our speed ranges from 2-3 Mbps in the village and lower outside the village.  We are upgrading the older 900 Mhz equipment to current state-of-the-art equipment.

Who created the Waterford WISP?

In 2003, a couple forward-looking Waterford residents saw an opportunity to bring much needed high speed Internet to Waterford.  Waterford Foundation Board Members formed a team to finance and build out one of the earliest commercial wireless broadband providers in Loudoun County. And, we haven’t looked back.

Waterford WISP is a whooly-owned Non-Profit subsidiary of the Waterford Foundation, Inc., of Waterford, Virginia. The Waterford Foundation has the mission to protect and inform the public about the Waterford National Historic Landmark. The Foundation owns and maintains numerous historic buildings in Waterford Village, as well as a substantial amount of surrounding farm land, in order to preserve Waterford Village much as it appeared before the Civil War. All Waterford WISP profits go to the Waterford Foundation.

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Is my wireless internet connection secure?

Yes. Wireless transmissions between your WISP antenna and our base station are encrypted and secure.

That said, it is always recommended to set your browser(s) to use Secure HTTP (https://) for all your Internet browsing.  This is a default now in Google Chrome, other browsers are following this practice in their latest updates.

How do I pay my monthly service charge?

We direct debit your designated bank or savings account for your monthly service charge.

Are there any extra charges?

Once you have acquired and installed whatever equipment you need there are no extra charges.

What kind of equipment do you use?

We use state-of-the-art equipment for the Waterford WISP system. For some customers who are surrounded by dense tree cover, we provide them service using radio gear designed to pass a signal through leaves and trees.  If you have your propeller topped beanie on, that’s a 900 Mhz frequency system.

The other unlicensed wireless bands at 2.4 Ghz and 5.4 Ghz must have clear, unobstructed line-of-sight from tower to your house receiver.

We also use state-of-the-art traffic management equipment that that protects the system from attack and shares bandwidth in an equitable manner even where there are many users increasing the effective capacity of the system.