I live out in the middle of nowhere, also known as the Marin-Sonoma coast, which is 60 miles northwest of San Francisco and 20 miles west of Petaluma. We get Verizon service out here and if you're using T-Mobile, their phones work on the Verizon network. AT&T devices only work closer to larger urban areas in Northern California in my observation.
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I found CCNA classes extremely helpful in learning how to manage networks of all sizes. The best part is that you have a budget to buy the stuff you need to practice and the opportunity to play around with the stuff you learn in class. I'm not sure where you're located but this link might help get you started. Good luck! http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/netacad/course_catalog/index.html
I love it! Thanks for all your hard work.