What's New with Beaver Island Internet
Although the promised high speed NLOS wireless and cable modems from Wireless First have been delayed, there is some very good news for current Island dial-up users: GLE will be stepping in to provide service to BIIP customers beginning September 1st (with the only potential delay being the provisioning of new lines from TDS.) GLE will replace the existing glitch-prone BIIP equipment and the now older, slower modems with all new equipment. The Island POP will consist of a more robust and easier-to-keep-running router with the majority of the equipment on the mainland where it can be serviced. The existing 24 analog lines will be replaced with forty-eight v.90 56k lines. While not the 20x speed increase wireless and cable promise, moving from 33.6 to 56k (with real world speeds in the 40s) will offer a noticeable improvement to most people, with the exception of those with very poor phone lines. And for those who are really desperate for a faster connection, GLEs equipment will support multilinking (using more than one modem to achieve a higher connect speed.) GLE went on to say that all @biip.net email addresses will still work. GLE will also offer extended telephone support, which should be a nice improvement over waiting and wondering when the system will be restored after a storm, for example.
Though a firm date has not been set, GLE also will offer line-of-sight wireless starting some time during the fall for those within a 9-mile radius of the base station if a line of sight can be achieved. Pricing should range from $40.00 a month for residential to $70 a month for businesses.
The other firm competing for business is Tim and Jane Dwyer's BIIC - Beaver Island Internet Company, which also plans to begin service around the 1st of September. The rates are equivalent, so the battle is between a large company with a lot of funds behind it and a small, local company with an on-Island operator. Stay tuned for the results.
BIIC: (231) 448-3172
Wireless First: (231) 922-2367
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