In June, I signed for a new internet subscription. The Internet Provider Emtel had recently launched their new product called Airbox. The Airbox uses a relatively new technology that employs high-speed wireless broadband or FTTA (Fibre to the Antenna also called Fibre through the Air).
After more than one month, the delay due to the high demand on the island, the installation was finally done and I traded-in my Wimax connection for the new Airbox system with a 30Mbps subscription. The Emtel tech team of two guys arrived and installed the new antenna on the roof along with the coax cabling down to the modem-router and my PC. The complete installation only took 45 minutes and the modem-router was initialized on a test connection. After an hour the connection was in operation and stable.
The cable modem-router delivers WiFi in the home and there is a phone with free local calls included in the package. This modem is a Technicolor TC7200-20 termed as a residential cable gateway for broadband internet access, telephone connection and wireless networking all in one unit. There are four ethernet ports (RJ-45 connector) on the back of the modem and I have connected my own Netgear R6300 router to it which in turn provides WiFi to a Netgear N300 WiFi extender in the home.
Initial broadband speed tests show normal results but this needs to be monitored over a longer period and during peak usage periods. With any new technology implementation you can expect some “teething” problems at the provider end. Already there have been complaints from users connected to one base station which is experiencing technical problems. Fortunately, I am not connected to that base station and so far my internet connection is stable.
Hopefully, this new service will be improved in the future, such as the addition of more base stations, not just for extending coverage on the island but also to ease line-of-sight in urban areas. The good news is that Emtel, the provider, is planning to invest in the installation of new relay antennas.
For the home users things are changing for the better. Slowly but surely, in the internet broadband offers, we are coming to the end of monopoly. The prospects of investments in modern technology will in time raise the country to the true rank of Cyberisland.