Installation of FCC Microwave link, and connection speeds to 100Mb/s.
It’s up and running. Doe Bay Internet Users Association is online.
After months of delivery systems research, technical evaluation and cost analysis, the Doe Bay Internet Users Association (DBIUA) is pleased to announce its efforts have paid off; the Doe Bay community-owned internet service is up and running.
According to Chris Sutton, head geek of DBIUA, there is now an installed test base of five homes in diverse locations. “They’re all receiving microwave transmission from Star Touch, our off-island internet provider,” said Sutton. “There have been no surprises. Radios are in position. Some trees have been strategically pruned, and we were given permission to remove a few others. Except for the environmental challenges, nothing technology-wise has caused us heartburn.”
DBIUA is using existing public-frequency wireless transmission. “It’s not as though we’re starting from scratch, trying to cobble something together,” explained Sutton. “The technology is proven. Hundreds, if not thousands, of other communities use similar wireless networks.”
There are approximately 200 homes in the Doe Bay area. DBIUA estimates 25 percent of those are likely to be interested in high-speed internet. The remaining households, if they use only email, may decide their current DSL service is adequate.
DBIUA membership and equipment costs will be approximately $250 per member. Monthly service charges initially will be in the $90 range. Once start-up loans have been paid back, monthly charges will be reduced.
“What makes this possible is that Doe Bay residents have embraced the idea of a community-owned internet service,” said Chris Brems, DBIUA board member. “It entails allowing us to place a small radio, or antenna, on private property – up in a tree or on the side of a barn. It needs to be in line-of-sight with a neighbor’s radio, so a signal can be moved on down the line. Today’s technology makes it pretty simple.”
Tom Tillman, another DBIUA board member, summed it up by adding, “This year’s Independence Day parade theme of ‘Neighbors Helping Neighbors’ is fitting for what we’re doing in Doe Bay, where community is alive and well.”