Borealis Broadband Inc
menumenu

Frequently Asked Questions

General
  • question_answerWho is Borealis Broadband?

    Borealis Broadband is a locally owned and operated Fixed Wireless Internet Service Provider. We own our entire network and are independent of the other Internet companies, except where we plug into the upstream Fiber backbone going to the lower 48 through AT&T.

  • question_answerAre you affiliated with GCI or ACS?

    No. We are an independent, Alaskan-owned company, not affiliated with anyone else. However, we do sometimes recommend customers to one of those companies if we can’t adequately service a location and we also sometimes get referrals from them.

  • question_answerHow long has Borealis’ network been in operation?

    Our network was started in 1997 and has been running and growing continuously ever since.

  • question_answerDoes Borealis track my activity on the Internet?

    The short answer is “no”. We do have to track a minimum amount of network data in order to monitor, operate and improve our network. This includes IP addresses. However, we do not specifically track any private data such as browsing histories, etc. We take your privacy very seriously. For more information, see our Privacy Policy.

  • question_answerDoes Borealis sell my private information?

    We have not ever, do not currently, and will not sell or give away private customer information in the future. It is against the company's ethics and privacy policies. In most cases, we don't even collect, much less store, such data. We strongly believe in the right to privacy for our customers. Our Board of Directors is very firmly committed to this policy, as is our CEO.

    As some of our customers already know, even when troubleshooting a customer problem, if we have to analyze your traffic in order to troubleshoot, the technician will ask you for your permission to do a deep scan of your traffic first, before continuing. All such data is strictly temporary. It is not stored and when the troubleshooting is done, the data no longer exists.

    For more information, see our Privacy Policy.

Service
  • question_answerAm I in your coverage/service area?

    Generally, we cover almost all of Anchorage and Eagle River. Please see our Coverage Map for more detail.

  • question_answerWhat is the equipment/installation cost?

    Residential customers incur an installation fee of $99.
    Business customers incur an installation fee of $199.

    These fees can be waived with a 2 year service agreement and participating in our AutoPay program.

    In some cases, extra equipment, cable, supplies or accommodations need to be made that will increase the installation costs. You will be notified and asked to approve of charges prior to service commitment or installation.

    See the How We Do It page for more details.

  • question_answerDo I own the equipment?

    No. Borealis owns the equipment and will de-install the equipment if you choose to terminate the service.

  • question_answerI am a renter. Do I need my Landlord’s permission to install your service?

    Yes.

    Regardless of whether you rent or own the home or building, we will require you to sign a permission form allowing us to install our service at your location. You can download the form here.

  • question_answerWho is responsible for the maintenance of the antenna?

    Generally, the equipment is maintenance-free. If any extreme weather or natural events cause damage to the equipment, Borealis will repair or replace it. However, if the customer damages the equipment (e.g. accidentally cutting a wire) then repairs will be billed.

  • question_answerIs it satellite?

    No, it is a Terrestrial Microwave network, commonly referred to as a Fixed Wireless Broadband Network.

    We have many transmission towers and facilities throughout the Anchorage and Eagle River areas. Our network delivers low-latency, high bandwidth connections. As an example, our latency to Seattle is typically between 40-50ms, similar to fiber or copper connections and sometimes even better.

  • question_answerIs the wireless signal secure?

    Yes, Borealis uses multi-layer security mechanisms to insure data integrity and security across all of our equipment and connections.

    However, please note that when your data leaves our network, we no longer have any control over its security. Always practice safe computing.

  • question_answerIs Wi-Fi router included?

    If you already own a WiFi Router, we will configure it free of charge during the initial installation. If you don’t have a WiFi Router, we can provide one during the installation. However, this will incur an additional $99 charge for the hardware on your first invoice.

  • question_answerWhat router do you recommend?

    We recommend D-Link, Linksys or Cisco brand routers. These can be purchased at most big-box stores (Best Buy, Walmart, Fred Meyer, etc.). Other WiFi routers will also work, although they can range in quality and reliability.

  • question_answerWhat are your support hours?

    Our office hours are Monday – Friday 9am - 6pm.
    Installation and support appointments are available Monday – Saturday 10am – 4pm.
    Phones are answered 24 hours per day.

  • question_answerWhat service level do I need so my Netflix doesn’t buffer?

    Our rule of thumb is that for every 10 inches of your viewing screen, you should have at least 1Mbps of bandwidth. For example, if you have a 55” TV, you should go with at least 5 Mbps of Internet Service.

  • question_answerHow much data does Netflix use?

    Watching TV shows or movies on Netflix uses about 1 GB of data per hour for each stream of standard definition video, and up to 3 GB per hour for each stream of HD video.

  • question_answerWhat are your overage fees?

    Our metering limits are quite generous and very few of our customers incur overage fees.

    Your account will be flagged after you exceed your assigned usage limits for 2 consecutive billing cycles. At that point, we will notify you and help you find a more appropriate service level. If you choose NOT to change your service plan, but STILL go over your limit, you will be billed $1.00 for every 1 GB over your limit.

    That means you will never get a metering bill from us by surprise.

  • question_answerDo you have unlimited plans?

    All residential plans are metered. The highest limit we have for residential plans is 500 GB.

    Our Business Essential plans are not metered, but still subject to our fair usage policy.

  • question_answerCan I get Satellite TV through your dish?

    No, our equipment is strictly for internet. Of course any video content provider that streams their service through the Internet is available to you.

Technical
  • question_answerHow does the install work?

    Please see our How We Do It page for specifics.

  • question_answerI have coax cable in my house. Can you use that?

    No. We use Category 5e Shielded Twisted Pair cable for our systems.

  • question_answerMy house is wired with CAT 5 Twisted Pair telephone cable, can you use that?

    Our equipment is an antenna mounted outside, for safety and reliability reasons, there needs to be STP (shielded twisted pair) cable used. Borealis has a very specific (and expensive) cable we require for our gear. This allows us to ground and protect our equipment.

  • question_answerWill Borealis run (hide) wires inside walls, crawl-spaces, attics?

    No. Borealis is not a wiring contractor. We make one penetration on the exterior wall of the building and provide you one connection for your router. If you’d like more extensive wiring done, we can recommend wiring contractors to do that work for you.

  • question_answerIs it weather/leak proof?

    All installations are done with industry standard best practices and Alaska weather rated supplies. Although we try to avoid roof/tripod installations when possible, when they are necessary, we use roof-rated screws with weather tight rubber gaskets and thread them through U/V proof 100% silicone. These provide both a water tight seal and a vibration damper against wind. All cable penetrations into the building or facility are done on vertical walls, with a drip-loop and sealed with the U/V rated silicone.

    To date, we have never had a complaint about a leak on any of our installations.

  • question_answerWe have high winds in our area. Can the equipment handle that?

    Yes. The equipment and installation techniques we use can typically handle wind loads of up to 130 Mph and we provide reliable service in high-wind areas such as Bear Valley and Potter Valley. So far, the only times we’ve had wind damage to our equipment was when a portion of the customer’s roof was ripped off during hurricane-force winds. Interestingly enough, our equipment is usually found still securely attached to the missing roof section.

  • question_answerDoes weather affect your signal?

    Technically speaking, yes, weather affects any microwave signal.

    However, we take Alaska’s extreme weather conditions into account when engineering your link so that your service is not interrupted by the weather, which is one of the reasons we have such an excellent reputation of reliability.