My insurance company emailed me saying I do not have a fence around the pool. Is this a requirement in Illinois?

Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
9,559
Eastern Ohio
I know of forum owners on other websites who depend on satellite daily. For items such as basic websites, email, and so forth it works perfect. Items such as 4K movies, it struggles. So much simply depends on what you call normal.
 

Shirker

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2014
520
Athens, GA - USA
Do you think it will be fine for working remotely? Just basic internet stuff?
Sending files, email, opening docs should all be fine. But remote desktop (controlling office computer from home) will be laggy. Click a button remotely but will not see the result for 1/2 a second or more will be annoying.
 

TangoOversway

Active member
Jul 19, 2019
31
Richmond, VA, USA
Thanks to @kimkats for waking me up on this thread. I have comments on the fence and internet. I'm breaking this into parts with titles so you can skip my blather when necessary.

Fence: My locality requires a 4' fence with special features, mainly things to make sure a kid can't easily climb over it. My insurance is USAA and they have told me there is no difference in rates with or without a fence (when I doget the pool done and add it). That doesn't mean there isn't a liability issue, though. We live in the boonies and it's several hundred feet from our planned pool site to the nearest property. Our lot borders on their "far side" of their property, with a lake on their property. I found that both zoning and the building inspections department have rules about fences. Zoning said we can get it waived because it's so far from another lot (and it's in the woods, with no paths or anything in that area and swamp land from the top end of that lake I mentioned in between the pool and the other property). Building inspections is not so sure about that (this is a newer development).

Beyond any of that, though, is liability - and your own feelings. What if a 5 year old is exploring the area and found dead in the pool? Insurance is not going to cover the amount of that lawsuit and the sick feeling that the kid died in your pool is not a short term emotional issue.

I was originally planning for no fence, for multiple reasons, but now, even with a likelihood we could manage to get that allowed for our location, I'm still planning some kind of barrier. Just what will depend on cost and appearance and how I can work it in with the atmosphere of the area.

Internet: Plainly, contemporary satellite internet sucks. (I need to point out contemporary satellite is geostationary satellite. That makes a difference later!) There's no way around that. Once you hit <return> after typing in a website, it'll take about half a second before the signal comes back to you. That's only the first part of the suckage! They have bandwidth issues. We went with Viasuck - er, I mean Viasat. When we got here, about 2 years ago, we could get 150GB of data a month. (The average home use was about 269GB a month when I checked a year or so ago.) I might get decent speeds in the morning and early afternoon, but somewhere around late afternoon, it could be as bad as an old dial-up modem. (I was seriously considering paying for a landline phone line at the cost of a few thousand to improve on Viasuck! Yes. It can be that bad.

We'd try to stream a video on our HD TV. Quality was so low we could not watch it. My wife likes British mysteries and the resolution was good enough she could watch them on her laptop. I would not stream because if we both did, we'd go over our quota and I'd have to pay big bucks to get more data for the month. They would promise that when their second satellite was up, they'd allow more bandwidth. Nope. Never happened. Infact, if we had renewed after 2 years, they would not have let us have the full 150GB we had - they'd allow something like 50 or 100GB. Our area had too many people on their service.

You can go to other providers. I think the other one is Hughesnet. Worse. They only have up to 50GB plans.

Overall, satellite providers for TV and internet are stuck in the 20th century. Their mottos should be, "Providing last century's technology to 21st century customers."

Today's Internet Solution: What kind of cell service do you get at this house? I use BBQ, Broadband Q. I forgot their wireless. Basically cell providers, except Verizon, resell their extra bandwidth. For now, in this area, that's great, since very few people use this around here. But if all my neighbors started using it, we'd have problems just like satellite. (At least, though, there is no 1/2 second delay!) If you can get good cell service for the cell companies other than Verizon, look up BBQ and call them. They'll check your address and see what cell towers are nearby and see if they can set you up with a good service. They send you a router. Find the best place in the house where you get a good signal and place it there. If you use all Wifi, just plug it in. If you use ethernet, you'll need to have a way to connect it to your own systems.

I'm very happy with BBQ. It's not as nice as the FiOS system I had at my old house, but it's better than when I had AT&T for a landline internet provider and far better than geostationary satellite that you can get now. I can finally stream and I'm using Apple TV so I can have my favorite Britcoms on in the background when I'm working. Before I wouldn't have dreamed of streaming something for background noise because it'd be a waste of precious bandwidth. Now? No big deal.

My one issue has been with Hulu. I use Apple TV, which Hulu recognizes as a "fixed" device, but I'm getting internet through a cell service, and Hulu can tell that. So it has a problem with me using a home device on what it calls a mobile connection, so I can't play their stuff. (And they don't seem to have any interest in looking into fixing this.)

Tomorrow's Internet Solution: There's a new kind of satellite internet that should be functional within a year. It requires a LOT of satellites! Elon Musk's company, SpaceX, is starting something called Starlink and he plans to have 1,500 satellites in orbit for this by this time next year. (His actual wording stated the end of the hurricane season in 2020.) (I know some people don't like Musk, but I've watched him for a good while. Generally when he makes a bold statement like this, he's already had it all planned out and he's good at hitting the goals he announces publically. His ships can launch 60 Starlink satellites in one shot.) There are other companies working on the same thing, including Amazon, with Project Kuiper, OneWeb, and a few others I can't remember.

This type of satellite will NOT have that 1/2 second delay that today's geostationary satellite service has. In fact, this kind of satellite service will make decent internet available almost everywhere in the world. (Amundsen Base, at the South Pole, may not get it and the same for around the North Pole, but the rest of the world should have no problem getting it.) Starlink is the closest to being complete. From what I've seen, Project Kuiper (Amazon's version) and OneWeb are 1-2 years behind Starlink. By 2023, we're going to see the start in a major revolution in internet access. While it won't have the bandwidth to work for everyone, especially people in areas that are well served by cable), it could put Viasuck and Hughesnet out of business and make it affordable and easy for people in rural areas all over the world to get good internet.

Tech Talk on Satellites (and why current satellite sucks and Starlink and others will be good): Currently, for satellite internet, you have a dish pointed at one spot in the sky and that doesn't change. The satellite has to stay in the same spot all the time. That's called geostationary. It means the satellite is always over the same spot on the Earth. For a satellite to do that, it has to orbit at the same speed Earth turns, which means it has to be about 22,000 miles above the ground. So if you ask for a website, that's 44,000 miles the signal must travel to get back to Earth and another 44,000 miles for the data coming back to you. That's 88,000 miles or, at the speed of light, about half a second of travel time. They also have one satellite handling an area, so if there are a lot of people using it, then they have to restrict how much data anyone is getting at a time.

The new satellite systems are LEO (Low Earth Orbit). Those satellites are only about 300-600 miles above ground, so it's not far. Plus they will send signals from one satellite to another by laser. A laser in space is faster than a signal in cable on the Earth. This needs a lot of satellites to do it right. These satellites orbit the planet much faster than the geostationary ones do. So you need a special transceiver to talk to them. It has to be able to keep up with the satellites as they move and when one satellite is about to go below the horizon so you can't reach it, the transceiver has to switch to another that is just coming over the horizon or has been up already.

Starlink has said their transceivers are about the size of a pizza box. So you get one of those, put it in a good place in your yard or on your roof, and it'll talk to the LEO satellites and the delay will be almost unnoticeable. Elon Musk has said that streaming 4K video through Starlink will be no problem, so it is expected to have high bandwidth. When other companies start providing the same kind of satellite service, not everyone will go through one service for that, so that should spread out the demand and make it easier for them to keep providing good speed and bandwidth to customers.
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,121
Pacific NW
Ya good post Tango, I was going to say, all that rural satelite based broadband is very soon to change and be much more like wired.
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
1,309
OV, CA
Have you checked to see if there are any line of sight wireless or Fixed Wireless internet services that service your area? Talk to the neighbors and see what they use.
 

TangoOversway

Active member
Jul 19, 2019
31
Richmond, VA, USA
WOW! Thanks @TangoOversway That is a wonderful write up and should be VERY helpful for them! :hug:

Kim:kim:
Thank you!

Ya good post Tango, I was going to say, all that rural satelite based broadband is very soon to change and be much more like wired.
Thank you!

I spent a long time talking with one of the engineers at BBQ, the wireless home internet service I mentioned. He said that once 5G takes hold, he expects to see it spread through rural areas like wildfire. I don't remember his reasoning, and I don't like to always think "The next big thing" is a panacea, but he was pretty convincing.

I think the biggest change will be the LEO satellite systems like Starlink. I think that by 2023, we're going to see a massive change in ISP situations for rural residents and I'm sure it's going to have a serious impact on internet service overall. Heck, it might even lead to the big guys like Comcast and FiOS dropping prices and starting to care about customers. (Although I have to say when I had FiOS, I found the service reps amazingly knowledgeable and helpful.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: borjis and mguzzy

wogster

In The Industry
Apr 30, 2018
149
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
(Off-topic, non-pool-related.)

When my wife and I were house-hunting in 2011-2012, we visited 60 homes over 7 months looking for the perfect one. We found one we liked very much but it was in a dead zone for high speed internet. All they had was DSL, which is too slow. I brought my laptop and wired it directly to their modem, and speedtest revealed the slowness. Our real estate agent phoned every ISP and none would service it. We didn't buy that house and, given our constant internet use, are glad we didn't.

If you haven't closed yet, you might want to look elsewhere because you will miss high speed internet.
Hate to say it, DSL is considered high speed... There are a few of us, who remember when "fast" communication was a 2400 baud modem, replacing your slow 1200baud modem, or 300baud acoustic coupler....
 

dodger413

New member
Dec 18, 2019
1
Joshua Tree, CA
first...........
i was able to dodge the pool fence issue by installing one of those electronic pool monitors / warning systems that detects water motion. this made all parties satisfied.

Second.............
i live in the desert with no cable available. close, but no cigar (missed it by about 1 1/2 miles.
best i could find was HughesNet. i get 40 - 45 mps consistently.

they charge by the data amount. 50 gigs for $130 per month tops. smaller plans to 10 gigs available.
you can also buy extra gigs if you exceed your plan at a cost of $3 per gig.

i supplement this solution with using my phone hotspot.

it's the best i can find in this remote wasteland of the desert.
 

TangoOversway

Active member
Jul 19, 2019
31
Richmond, VA, USA
...
i was able to dodge the pool fence issue by installing one of those electronic pool monitors / warning systems that detects water motion. this made all parties satisfied.
Interesting. How much is the monitor and can you provide more information about it? And have you had it go off due to animals in the pool?

i supplement this solution with using my phone hotspot.

it's the best i can find in this remote wasteland of the desert.
Who is your cell phone provider and how good a signal do you get?
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
44,950
Tallahassee, FL
The pool water monitor can go off just from the wind or even a good size leaf :roll: so they are not really that good if you are using them for safety reasons. One of those looks good on paper things. Most people stop using them after all of the false alarms.

Kim:kim:
 
  • Like
Reactions: TangoOversway

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
2,566
NY
Hey Kim. Remember that ‘my friends PB’ flat out told him that the neighbors would smash his windows out if he used that alarm because it would go off falsely 24/7 ?
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,757
Central California
I won't rehash this complicated pool safety issue more than I already have here at TFP. Short version, a fence is the right thing to do, regardless of codes or insurance. You have a pool? You have a responsibility. To your family, your neighbors and their kids (no matter how far away they are), and the families of your guests and visitors. I don't believe in electronic measures. They're not for me. I'm not going to put my granddaughter's life in the hands of a battery and a bunch of Chinese knock-off electronics. Nope, no door alarms or water sensors can replace physical barriers and diligence. That's not even counting the nuisance factor. I know how long I'd last with false alarms. For me: a metal fence and gates, properly installed and maintained and physically locked unless I'm in the pool.

The house I purchased had a black metal fence around the back yard and pool. 2" off the ground, 5' high, 4" between the fence "pickets." I don't really see it, I look right though it. I still have a perfectly fine view of the surrounding area, and the landscaping completes the disguise.

And I now have cams that keep an eye on the pool and gates, whether I'm home or away, so I can easily--visually--double-check the gates are closed and locked, from wherever I happen to be.

summer pool.jpg
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
44,950
Tallahassee, FL
Hey Kim. Remember that ‘my friends PB’ flat out told him that the neighbors would smash his windows out if he used that alarm because it would go off falsely 24/7 ?
There ya go!!!

a fence is the right thing to do, regardless of codes or insurance. You have a pool? You have a responsibility.
Very true words right there.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,757
Central California
Love that Oasis of yours, Dirk!
Thank you. I consider myself very blessed...

The previous owners moved, literally, a block away. They wanted their view to be of the city lights, instead of that oak forest. To each their own. Worked out for me, for sure.

So I made a point to try and catch them in front of their house. Took a few years but I was finally passing by at the same time they were on their new driveway. So I stopped, said "hi," introduced myself, and then thanked them for moving!! :wave: Not sure they appreciated my sense of humor...