Columbia POE Trip

I was remotely upgrading some routers at various sites. These routers are notorious for not coming up again upon reboot. Before the upgrade, I made sure to have the company car reserved to run on site if one didn’t come up. Fortunately, they all came up.

The next day, one of the people who oversees the port of entries (POE) asked me if I could test one of our 819 cellular routers at the Columbia POE. They had tried it in the past and couldn’t get it to work so they wanted me to put a second set of eyes on it. Lo and behold, I still had the company car and not a whole lot scheduled for work in the office, so I was able to make a quick and impulsive trip to go there later that day. Shortly after talking to him, I hit the road for the Columbia POE, which is right by Laredo.

When I got there, it was definitely warm, but the Laredo area is known to be an oven.

The booth we are using is an old Custom’s booth. It even had a holding cell in it.

The tests ended up being unsuccessful. I guess one of the biggest challenges of the border is getting an American signal. Right now, we have roaming turned off to avoid roaming charges, but in this specific place the signal from the American towers was pretty much non-existent for both AT&T and Verizon. I did get a clear signal with my AT&T phone, but it was on Telcel, so I knew I was hitting the Mexican towers. I do have roaming for Canada and Mexico as part of my plan, but since we don’t have this for the work plans on our routers, this is one challenge we do have when putting these cellular routers at the border.

After doing the tests, I went to the La Quinta Laredo Inn & Suites Laredo Airport. I was definitely able to have a nice supper at their happy hour.

The breakfast was also good.

The next morning, I fueled up, and headed back to Austin as the sun rose.

This trip was pretty impulsive, but quick and easy. It was too bad this router failed, but I am currently working on a solution with Verizon. Hopefully I can figure something out, because it would be good to having a working router there.

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