Local Internet Access Options for Black River Falls, Wisconsin

How We Can Help

Give us a call before you order broadband access for your home or business. We can advise you of your options and expected costs, set it up, install any needed hardware (such as routers and network adapters), update your antivirus and anti-spyware programs, set up internet sharing on all your computers, and provide top-notch service and support you simply cannot get from your provider.

Local Dialup Internet Options

There are two primary dialup providers left that serve our area. Both offer local access numbers in many of the smaller communities, giving them a much wider local coverage area than the national providers.

Triwest (Tri-County Communications Cooperative) also offers broadband internet access in the areas that they are also the local telephone and/or cable company. In addition, Triwest offers an optional content filtering service for their dialup subscribers, as well as the very effective and easy-to-use Postini spam filters.

Centurytel (CenturyLink) is the only other local dialup internet provider. They also offer high-speed DSL service in areas that they are the local telephone company. Centurytel's package deals, which may include satellite television service, may save you some money.

Discover-Net shut down its dialup and high-speed fixed wireless service in Black River Falls on July 1, 2010. If you are affected by this and can't get DSL or cable internet, your options are pretty much limited to slow dialup service or expensive satellite or cellular-based service.

There are a few national providers, such as AOL, Earthlink or ISP.com, that offer local access numbers in Blair and/or Melrose, WI. If you can dial those locations as a local telephone call (such as Black River Falls to Melrose or Taylor to Blair), the national providers offer additional options and (usually) lower monthly costs.

Still using AOL?

AOL (America Online) changed their rates and plans on August 2, 2006. Unlimited dialup access from AOL now starts at $9.99 per month (plus tax in WI). The former BYOA plan, which is AOL service using your existing internet connection, is now free (premium level services with extra support and security software are higher-priced). So if keeping your aol.com email account was the only thing keeping you from switching, now's your chance to make the move to broadband and still keep your old aol.com email address (which should still be accessible via AOL webmail).

To cancel AOL, call (800) 827-6364. AOL's customer retention department can be a bit persistent at times; so be firm and don't volunteer any extra information. Don't get talked into something you don't want. Remember the purpose of the call: to cancel AOL.

Lost your Usenet or Postini email filters?

In an effort to cut costs and increase profits, some internet providers are discontinuing services that are expensive to carry (e.g. Postini email filters) or are used by relatively few subscribers (e.g. Usenet newsgroups).

Postini Email Filters

Postini cannot be subscribed to directly as an end-user, but Triwest and ISP.com both offer Postini email filters for their subscribers. Most other internet providers have some sort of email filtering solution in place. If you're unsure of what yours has, just ask them.

Black River PC can provide managed email filtering services to businesses, organizations, and individuals with their own domain name; basic email filters are included at no-charge with our web hosting accounts; and we now also offer individual email accounts with high-quality spam and virus filters.

Usenet Newsgroups

You can subscribe directly to a commercial third-party usenet provider, such as Newsguy or Giganews, regardless of who your internet provider is. Several local internet providers do still offer usenet access to their subscribers:

  • Centurytel/CenturyLink: as of July 1, 2010, no longer offers usenet to its subscribers, but you can still subscribe to a third-party service yourself. Formerly outsourced to Giganews.
  • Charter: news.charter.net - Provided by Highwinds Media (outsourced). 2 throttled connections per IP (residential, must be connected to Charter's network - No roaming)
  • DiscoverNet: no longer offers usenet to its subscribers. Formerly outsourced to Supernews.
  • Cutting Edge Systems: no longer in business. Formerly outsourced to Newsguy.
  • Triwest/Tri-County Co-op: news.triwest.net - Provided by Giganews (outsourced).
  • TDS: news.tds.net - servers operated by TDS.
  • ISP.com: news.isp.com - Provided by UsenetServer.com (outsourced). Login required using your isp.com email and password.

Generally, if you are connecting to your own provider's usenet newsgroup server, and you are connected to that provider (i.e. not roaming), you do not need to login to the server - you are authorized by the IP address you're connecting from. Besides using your provider's usenet server, there are also many free text-only and specialty usenet servers available for you to use.

High-Speed Broadband Internet Options in Black River Falls and Jackson County, Wisconsin

There are three main providers of traditional high-speed broadband internet in Black River Falls and surrounding communities:

  • Centurytel provides DSL service in areas that they are the local telephone company.
  • Charter Communications provides cable internet in areas that they are the local cable company.
  • Triwest provides DSL and/or cable internet service in areas that they are the local telephone or cable company.

DSL and cable requires that you are located within their service areas, which usually means "in town" (especially for cable). DSL has a further "reach" (including some out of town areas) than cable because the telephone company's service areas are geographically larger.

None of our local telephone or cable companies allow third-parties on to their networks, which reduces competition and keeps rates higher than in larger cities such as Eau Claire, Minneapolis or Milwaukee.

Broadband Internet Elsewhere in Western Wisconsin

TDS and AT&T are the other major telephone and DSL providers in our region. Each has their own protected markets that they serve. TDS is in Neillsville and Madison, while 'the new' AT&T owns what used to be Wisconsin Bell and Ameritech. AT&T is the only one that allows competitors to use their networks, so their DSL prices are usually lower than others in the region due to that increased competition.

Satellite Broadband Options

Satellite internet, either one-way (also relies on dialup connection for uploads) or two-way service. Providers include WildBlue and Starband. Satellite service is slower and more expensive than DSL or cable, has strict usage limits, does poorly with real-time communications (voice and video messaging, multiplayer gaming), and it has a significant up-front expense for equipment and installation.

Cellular-based Internet - Access on the Go

Cellular-based service, either directly on your phone, via a separate "cellular modem" for your PC or by tethering your phone to your computer, can provide internet service at home and on the road. Cellular providers in our area include Verizon (Alltel) and US Cellular. Service is slower and more expensive than DSL or cable, and is almost always limited by usage caps which may make it a poor choice for full-time use.

Internet services from other cellular providers work in limited areas only, such as along Interstate 94. When you get a few miles away from the freeway, most national providers roam on our local providers' towers and their own native services may be unavailable, more expensive, and/or have spotty coverage. Services available while roaming are dependent upon the agreements in place between the cellular companies involved.

Looking for a Local Wireless Hot Spot in Black River Falls?

There are several establishments in Black River Falls that offer internet access to their guests or customers:

  • Flying J's has WiFi wireless internet access available, and you can pay by the day or month. Flying J's is located west of Exit 116 (I-94) on Highway 54, near Wal-Mart.
  • Burger King and McDonalds (both across from Flying J's) have free WiFi wireless internet access available for their customers.
  • Days Inn, Comfort Inn, Super 8 Motel, and Best Western Lodge all have free WiFi wireless internet access available for their guests. All are located on Highway 54 near Exit 116 off I-94.
  • The Black River Falls Public Library (South Third Street, downtown) has internet workstations available for public use.