Internet to be broadcast by Eau Claire-based company - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Internet to be broadcast by Eau Claire-based company


Eau Claire (WQOW) - Speed and convenience; two things consumers want out of high-speed Internet. An Eau Claire-based company hopes to deliver with a unique approach.

"Anyone who was within the coverage area, if they haven't signed up already, would be able to see both of these signals," said Steve Allingham, High Speed Country Vice President.

This is a familiar scene for those who use wireless devices. You find which network to use, enter a password, and log on. But one of the options here is not like the other.

"What we developed is a broadcast Internet, which is open so even if you don't have Internet you can connect and sign up. And then you're allowed to connect to the secure network," said James Carlson, High Speed Country Systems Administrator.

If you already have wireless Internet at your house, you log onto your own personal network through a wireless router.

"The problem is while you might be able to get to your driveway and still use your wireless devices, that ends pretty much where your router ends. And so as you drive to work, or as you drive to a coffee shop, and you want to continue to use your wireless device, you can't," Allingham explained.

That means you are back to using 3G or 4G Internet on phones or from a mobile hot spot.  High Speed Country says its broadcast Internet speed is five times faster than 4G.

"It's just like your wireless network at home, and you can see the same speeds as you can at home," Carlson added.

That means all that high speed country needs is something tall to send their signal out.

"We have an antenna much like you're broadcasting for television, there's an antenna at the top and obviously a little transmitter at the base. Based on height is the distance we can achieve, much like any other broadcast signal out there," said Dave Barrett, High Speed County Concept Designer.

"These exist already, and they're a minimum of 500 feet tall. So 500 feet would give us probably about 30 miles of coverage, maybe more. 1,000 feet would give us 60 miles," Allingham said.

So what about the cost for the consumer? The company says $49.99 a month, and the wireless network could be used by up to three devices. The company hopes to have its first few antennas in place next spring.

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