Minneapolis wi-fi network nearing completion

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13 thoughts on “Minneapolis wi-fi network nearing completion

  1. I’m curious to know how satisfied the first 8,000 people have been?

    I’m considering the service. But by far the best deal is to pay for a year in advance and buy the modem outright, I’m not willing to do that until I hear whether or not the service is dependable and as fast as it claims.

    Has anyone heard anything good or bad?

  2. with USI Wireless, do you also need to buy a modem or will your laptop simply detect the signal and allow you to sign on, as in a coffee shop? please email me with your answer; thanks

  3. I received the equipment today, and – no shock having read all the bad reviews – we have no signal at all anywhere in our house. The tech support person wearily explained that the network is advertised as “complete” in my area (Nokomis, but not the gray area) but they are not done installing nodes, and there is not one near enough to me. We did “qualify” our address before ordering but they still sold us service that they could have seen wouldn’t work. I strongly recommend that anyone considering the service try to call tech support to determine their nearest node. I was told that it should be nearer than a city block away from you. I had/have high hopes for the network, but so far it looks like USI has terrible communications skills, long hold times, and is driven by profit over customer service – somewhat like other utility monopolies!

  4. Almost…….well Everyday around the times of 930am-1200pm and 100pm-400pm, the usi signal doesnt work. I am a block away from a node so therefore the signal/service should be better, but yeh its not! SOOOO irritating!!!

  5. Prepaid for a year and bought the wireless antenna only to find out USI thinks they are the internet police. You can forget about file sharing, USI Wireless will slow your traffic to a crawl and send you copyright notices. You can forget about stable connections or advertised speeds as well, because you will get neither. (I live 100 feet away from their node.) Unless you like getting lag stomped, you can forget about gaming too; my 256 Kb DSL was better then this. I am trying to get a refund, but their customer service is almost nonexistent – buyers beware.

  6. I’ve tried USI and I have the same complaints as everyone else.  When first I tried the roaming option with my USB adapter the signal is sketchy and I live 5 houses in either direction of 2 nodes.    I have my antenna on the roof with clear LOS to each node yet the connection is unstable at best.  When I rented the modem and antenna they provide I hoped for a better connection.  Alas, not much of a difference.  If you don’t mind dial-up speeds and stability then it’s okay. 

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  8. USI is f@#king terrible. Awful service. Randomly stops working. When I first heard “100$ for a year long plan” I thought hey, that’s not too expensive.
    It’s not worth that. You’re better off just connecting to your local Dunn Bros. That connection may be just as slow, but hell, at least it stays connected and it’s free. 

  9. Trust me. I have ordered USI in 4 differnet parts of minneapolis( every time I moved ). If you rely on Internet more than several times a week, avoid at all costs. I have literally had dozens of visits by “technicians” who off the record told me to try CenturyLink or Comcast if I wanted reliability.  It is terrible. Not even the city uses  it when they need reliable service. What is sad is the amount of money Minneapolis has spent to buoy this company.

  10. This is a good question. One major source that this piece is missing is input from casual users. Coincidently I signed up for the service after writing about it (even though I live in Loring Park, one of the “challenge” areas).

    One of my major complaints (besides the fact that I have to leave my home to get a signal) is that the service periodically reloads and I need to repeatedly sign in again and again if I’m online for an extended period of time.

    Friends have expressed similar complaints. I’m not sure why the service does this, and it’s probably worth asking about in a follow up.

  11. I just sign up with USI wireless for about a month.  I bought their moderm for $79.  When its first snow this year (Nov 2010), that moderm didn’t have good signal at all. 

    Which service will be the best?  I had netzero DSL, but the bad thing was when you move (within contract year) you have to pay the early termination FEE $150.  This is true even you just move next door.   

  12. You want a comment from a casual user? Here I am, and I’m telling you that USI Wireless sucks!! We’ve had it for 4 months, and every month it’s a new problem. We have the indoor modem for our home network. The service works for a couple weeks (although there are frequent disconnects – a bitstream download log showed that the service disconnected every 40 minutes) and then for no reason the node (access point on the light pole) has some problem and we have to move the modem to the other side of the house (in a window) to connect to a working node. The speeds are inconsistent – one minute it’s 1.5m and the next it’s 300k. Our speedtests are all over the map.
    It short, it may be the cheapest service, but it’s also the most unreliable.

  13. If your laptop can connect to wireless networks in coffee shops etc., it should be able to connect to the Minneapolis public network without any additional hardware.

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