What if my venue has no internet service?

For a location with no internet service, you have a couple of options to explore.

The most reliable would be the free-to-air (FTA) satellite feed.

Another option is a mobile wireless device (mobile hotspot). If you have a good 4G wireless phone signal at your venue, you can purchase a MiFi or similar wireless device from a wireless phone provider in your area. You may know someone who already has one and would let you use it for testing (or for the event, too). Some older devices may not be capable of the download speed required to stream the video. If you are interested in this option you should test streaming videos at your venue at several different times of the day on several different days (especially Sunday afternoons from 4-8 pm) to be aware of variations in the signal. If you get consistently good results, this is probably an acceptable option for you. You should be sure and have the backup file on hand if you go with this option since cell service is so subject to fluctuations and drop-outs. Note: If you don't have a 4G signal, you could go ahead and see how a 3G signal works for you.

These devices can also be rented, either from a local vendor, or online. Just google, "mifi rental" or "mifi rental [your city or area]" to start exploring this avenue. They are usually rented by the day with either unlimited data included or a base amount of data with a charge for any data over the base amount. Be sure of the download speed the device is capable of before renting; faster is better but you want a minimum of 3Mb/s. You also want to know the internet speed you can expect to receive with the device in your area. If you have the tethering option on your cellphone, you can use your phone for the connection to determine whether a mobile hotspot (using the same provider) will work at your venue.

You could even use your phone to stream the event, keeping a few things in mind:

  • Depending on your provider, you may lose your data connection if you have an incoming phone call. You will want to ask about this or find out by testing.
  • You will use up some data: between 3-5 GB for the event plus whatever testing you do, so check your plan details.

To purchase the FTA equipment is around $700, but then it is yours to use whenever you want with no subscription fees. This price includes installation and support to get you all set up for Harvest America. The wireless device costs less than $100 (may even be free with a 2-year contract) but you have two years of monthly fees, which may end up costing more than the FTA.