Ottawas Wireless To Be Metro Wide
JAMESTOWN TOWNSHIP — If all goes well, Broadbreeze Communications could turn a 15-square-mile pilot project in Ottawa County into a broadband Internet service for the entire West Michigan area.
With only a 120-degree transmission from atop the Hudsonville city water tower, the
“This will revolutionize the way we provide broadband to not only rural areas but all areas,” Knudsen said. “When we started our wireless initiative, we had no idea something like this was even available. I think most localities that are looking at wireless broadband aren’t aware of this.”
Unlike most other wireless Internet technologies, such as Wi-Fi, 3G does not require direct line of sight, is purely mobile and has an exceedingly long reach. Commonly associated with cellular phones, 3G is short for third-generation technology, identifying it as the successor of cellular and PCS technology.
The primary competitor of Wi-Fi, its barriers to entry have traditionally made it the playground of large telecommunications companies. As such, service models incorporating the technology are generally more expensive, for slower speeds, than comparable landline services. Unlike Wi-Fi, it uses a radio frequency licensed by the FCC, seldom available on the open market.
Broadbreeze, a wholly owned subsidiary of SourcIT, the information technology division of accounting firm Hungerford, Aldrin, Nichols & Carter, obtained an unused frequency from
“We went out and did our homework,” said Broadbreeze General Manager Bryan Blackburn. “We discovered this frequency and inked an agreement with them a year ago.”
The Plainwell frequency is a significant asset for the company, one unheard of outside of the large telecommunications firms. The license applies to not only Ottawa County, the company’s initial priority, but also most of the West Michigan region — a full 70 miles north-to-south and 35 miles east-to-west, spreading from Battle Creek to Grand Rapids, Portland to the Lakeshore.
“Right now, we’re concentrating on the 564 square miles of
Blackburn said that the company will have no involvement with the city of
The monthly cost for a basic residential subscription of 200kb is $14.99 per month, plus a $5 equipment rental fee. A basic business subscription of 756k is $69.99 per month.