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High speed Internet coming to more Tamworth residents

September 02, 2010
TAMWORTH — This fall, Tamworth Wireless will bring high speed Internet to 25 households during his beta testing. If all goes well, it will expand its customer base in late 2011.

In front of an audience of about 60 people, Dennis Quinn and John Cleveland, of Tamworth Wireless, presented the implementation plan at the Tamworth Foundation's annual meeting on Monday, Aug. 23. The service is designed to serve those with no access to cable or DSL. There are roughly 400 such homes in Tamworth, said Cleveland.

The plan is to purchase bandwidth from a company called NHVT, which will send it through a phone line to a 10 inch dish on the back of the Tamworth Congregational Church. From there, the signals will be sent to Great Hill Fire Tower, Page Hill, and Bunker Hill and into Internet radios on individual homes and "neighborhood nodes" (distribution points for harder to reach areas).

"We will add customers absolutely as fast as we can, once we get the system up and tested," said Cleveland. "There are constraints, we aren't a heavily capitalized business."

Tamworth Wireless might be able to add 50 to 75 customers in the first year and then add 50 customers per year until they have a total of 250, said Cleveland who is the organization's chairman. Tamworth Wireless will select the first 25 customers based on geographical location and other factors needed to test the system.

Preliminarily, Tamworth Wireless plans to offer four serves ranging from $20 per month to $80 to $200 per month —excluding a $250 onetime equipment fee.

Speed is measured in megabits per second. The "budget" plan would offer upload speeds of .5 Mb and a download speed of 1 Mb. The much faster and more expensive business plan would have over 3 Mb of upload speed and over 6 Mb of download speed. The standard plan would have upload speed of 1 Mb and a down load speed of 3 Mb. A pricing plan for seasonal residents is still being formulated.

In contrast, cable has an upload speed of 1 Mb and a download speed of 5 Mb. Dial up has an upload speed of .007 Mb and a download speed of .053 Mb.

"We're not going to make promises until we test everything," said Quinn.

Selectman Willie Farnum said the high speed Internet would be a benefit to everyone from school children to business people. For example, it would take far less time for a student to do a research report with high speed Internet than it would dial up.

Tamworth Wireless has been in the making for the last three years. In 2007, Gunnar Berg, Brian Forcier and Quinn developed the concept and brought it forth to selectmen the following year. When the former board passed on it, the project went dormant. Then in 2009, Quinn applied for a $100,000 grant from the Tamworth Foundation, which was approved.

Tamworth Wireless founding board members are Cleveland, Lianne Prentice, Jack Waldron. Betsy Loughran, Demirhan Yeningun, and Quinn.

To learn more visit tamwireless.net.

Martin Lord & Osman
Martin Lord Osman
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