Frequently Asked Questions


Cardinal Wireless is wireless broadband internet service provider (or WISP); aside from the installation, our service is really nothing like satellite internet. Our subscribers will have a small radio (referred to as “customer premise equipment” or “CPE,” and generally no larger than 12″ x 12″ square, though we do have some radios that are smaller) affixed to an exterior wall or the roof of their house* with a cable running into the interior house through a drilled hole. Once inside, that cable will connect to a PoE injector that will supply power to the outdoor radio and pass network to your in-home WiFi device or network switch. The exterior radio connects wirelessly to one of our Access Point (AP) Tower locations to send and receive internet traffic.

This differs from satellite in that our APs are earth bound, whereas satellite internet is connected to geostationary satellites orbiting the Earth at an altitude of about 22000 miles. While satellite technology can provide reasonably fast data transfer speeds, the distance your signal has to travel leads to numerous issues, such as an excessively high latency (the time it takes your communications to be transmitted and/or received) and susceptibility to weather-based interference. With a terrestrial wireless service such as Cardinal Wireless, links rarely exceed ten miles, providing significantly lower latency and minimal “rain fade” or other weather-related issues.

*Radios affixed to an exterior wall will use a J-pole, while radios affixed to vertical surfaces will be mounted with a tripod.

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Yes, we do charge an install & activation fee. The basic install fee is $200, but more advanced installation accommodations can be requested or required and will be quoted on a case by case basis.

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Our basic install ($200 for basic install & activation) consists of a small radio (referred to as “customer premise equipment” or “CPE,” and generally no larger than 12″ x 12″ square, though we do have some radios that are smaller) affixed to an exterior wall or the roof of the house with a cable running into the interior house through a drilled hole. Once inside, that cable will connect to a PoE injector that will supply power to the outdoor radio and pass network to your in-home WiFi device or network switch. Our install techs do their best to make the install as minimally invasive as possible and will take steps to hide or conceal the cable when possible.

Certain circumstances, such as mounting on a structure other than the house or special requests from the homeowner (special wiring, cable routing, hard wire network accommodations, etc.), may require a custom installation, which may increase the cost of the installation. Some examples would be a situation where perhaps the primary structure doesn’t have a good line, but a strong connection can be achieved at a separate structure (such as a barn, garage, or even a utility pole or tower), we can mount our CPE on that separate structure to get a connection, then either run cable to the primary structure or set up another point-to-point wireless system between the two structures.

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Yes, subscribers commit to a minimum of one-year of service upon activation of a connection and may be subject to an early termination fee comparable or equal in value to the remaining time left on the contract period. Certain exceptions may apply; see our terms & conditions for more details.

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You’re welcome to purchase or supply your own router or you can lease one from us for $6 or $12 per month, depending on your needs and requirements. Leased routers come with added support and full replacement (usually next day; sometimes even same day if circumstances allow) in the event that a problem arises. When you supply your own router, our ability to troubleshoot issues will be limited to equipment supplied by Cardinal Wireless. Further troubleshooting requiring on-site assistance may require a billable service call.

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Absolutely! Our top-tier package is specifically geared toward business environments where bandwidth for multiple users is important. If your business is interested in Cardinal Wireless internet service, please contact us (either fill out the form or give us a call) and we’ll be happy to discuss your needs and put a plan together to bring you online!

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We can supply internet to renters or other temporary residents, but we’ll need to coordinate with the property owner as the installation of our customer premise equipment (or CPE) does require semi-permanent modifications to the structure to which it is mounted (e.g. a J-pole or tripod screwed to an exterior wall or the roof and a drill hole through which we can run a cable from the outdoor CPE into the house to connect your in-home WiFi router). Something else you should consider is the fact that we do require a minimum contract term of one year, and terminating that service prior to completion of the one year term may result in an early termination fee as defined in our terms and conditions.

So while we can and will supply internet service to renters, it is your responsibility to decide if your situation is stable enough to meet the minimum contract term or negotiate an exception, as well as facilitate our consultations with your land lord or property owner/manger in order to establish a plan for equipment installation!

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As you’re probably aware, internet map services (such as Google Maps or Bing Maps) are great but can be way off on certain addresses in our area.Thankfully there’s a simple workaround that you can use to make sure when you provide your address, we’re looking at the right house when we’re doing our coverage simulations and other tests!

First, pull up either Google Maps or Bing Maps (other services will likely work as well, but the steps may vary). Without typing in your address, find your house (easiest with the satellite or aerial view). The next steps will vary depending on which map service you’re using:

If you’re using Google Maps:
Click on the center of your roof (sometimes you have to click a few times) and a white box should pop up at the bottom of your screen. In that box will be a set of numbers that you can copy and send us so we’ll have your exact location coordinates!

If you’re using Bing Maps:
Right-click on the center of your roof and a dark box will pop up. The very last option in that menu box will show the coordinates with the word “copy” beneath them; click that last option and the coordinates will be copied to your computer clipboard so you can paste them into an email to send us!

Once you’ve got your coordinates, just paste them along in the message area of the contact form on our homepage and we’ll be able to accurately find your location.

Note: the steps outlined above are for use on a computer web browser; you can find your coordinates on a mobile device as well, but the steps will likely be a little different!

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If you decide to end your service for any reason, it is your responsibility to coordinate the return of any Cardinal Wireless equipment. This includes your outdoor radio and mounting equipment, as well as any indoor equipment supplied by Cardinal Wireless (such as WiFi routers, network switches, access points, etc.) Equipment can be shipped to our Anna office or delivered in person with an appointment.

If you’re unable or otherwise unwilling to remove and return the equipment, you can make arrangements for Cardinal Wireless to come out and retrieve the equipment for a fee. Failure to return or coordinate the return of the equipment may result in a fine as detailed in our terms & conditions.

Note: if you’re selling a house outfitted with Cardinal Wireless, let us know! It may be possible to transfer your service and any remaining contract time to the new owner(s) without the need to remove/return any equipment. We can also temporarily suspend service during the sale process without penalty or any additional payments aside from a fee of $25 to reactivate the suspended service.

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With any wireless technology, occasional hiccups are possible though shouldn’t happen very often. If you feel you’re not getting the speeds you should be or you’re unable to connect to the internet, please let us know! Our office hours are 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, but our techs do their best to keep up with emails for outage reports and other questions even outside of normal operating hours and can advise you on steps you can to take or let you know if there’s possibly a larger issue at play.

If you feel your connection is running slow, the first thing you can do is run a connection speed test, which you can do directly on our website! You’ll want to stop all other internet usage (streaming videos, browsing websites, etc.) during the test and be sure to run the test on multiple devices (just run the test on one device at a time and make sure the test is complete on one device before starting it on the next; if you run multiple tests at the same time, the results will be skewed by the fact your devices are competing for bandwidth). This will help you determine if the issue is with the connection or possibly just with a certain device. If you feel you’ve narrowed it down to an issue with your connection, please have the results of the speed tests handy when you reach out so we can work with all the variables and better assess and hopefully help to rectify the situation!

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Probably not, but maybe! Go ahead and fill out the form on our home page and mention that you’re interested in hosting an access point tower. It will be helpful if you can also provide your GPS coordinates, which you can find on Google Maps. To get the coordinates, pull up Google Maps on your computer and find the location you feel would be suitable for a tower. Click on the spot (you may need to click a few times) to pop up a small, white box at the bottom of the page. In that box will be the numbers that you’ll need to copy and send along with your message!

Note: while some major nationwide cellular companies occasionally agree to somewhat lucrative lease agreements with land owners, our maximum offer in exchange for access will be discounted internet service. As a relatively new, small, local wireless internet company, we are not looking for or open to lease agreements, except in extremely rare circumstances, that will require a monthly lease fee at this time.

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