Well, the external antenae is up on the roof and it's pointed directly at the cell tower which is about 4 kilometers away. The hub signal strength light is green but the performance sucks!!! I've run many speed tests over the past week and it's clear that the actuall speed you get at any given second is basically random. The fastest I've seen is about 2.5 Mbps, but that is extremely rare. Even when you do get a burst of fast speed it typically only lasts a few seconds and then it just stops. There will be delays and stops and starts as it sputters along. Most of the time the speeds are in the range of 0.1 to 1.0 Mbps. This combined with the sputtering starting and stopping mean that our connection is absolutely useless for any kind of streaming audio or video. We can forget about using Skype or watchin YouTube videos. It's just an exercise in frustration.
The fact that we can get reasonably good speed on occasion tells me that signal strength is likely not the problem. I would guess that this kind of performance would be caused by some type of traffic management or signal multiplexing problems. I know basically nothing about 3G technology so I can't really make much of a guess about this. Perhaps someone that knows more about this can comment on likely causes of this type of traffic problem.
So complaints to Bell have resulted in a "escalation" to their "network team" which may just be their way of putting us on indefinite hold. Speaking to one of the phone support agents I learned that there are quite a few people in our area (even closer to the tower than I am) complaining about performance problems. I will continue to nag them to provide the performance that they advertise and that we are all paying for. If anyone has suggestions on how to get Bell to respond to these problems please let me know.
I will continue to report on this issue as it develops. Cheers.