The Delano Herald Journal reports on a story of provider collaboration to get broadband to a community that needed, especially in an era of sheltering in place. The innovation at the most local level is great; partnering with incumbent or upstream providers at the early stage is a key piece in making the network work. …
For many people working from home and students participating in distance learning online, internet service is a necessity.
That necessity was in jeopardy for the 240 people in Franklin Township, Independence, and Greenfield who utilize Tiger 4G Internet.
In fact, it appeared as if service was being terminated all together.
Tiger 4G owner Ken Beamish said a change in terms with AT&T prompted an AT&T employee to start shutting off customers’ accounts.
The owner reached out to social media, which helped make the connections he needed…
“Enough people called (Rep.) Joe McDonald and (US Rep.) Tom Emmer, and they got involved,” Beamish said. “(Delano Public Schools Superintendent) Matt Schoen called Tom and Joe, as well.”
McDonald and Emmer are familiar with AT&T’s lobbyists at the state and federal levels and got them connected with Beamish, who was then able to get a hold of the right people at AT&T to restore service.
Those connections in turn helped the community get better connected..
He came up with a solution.
“I worked out a way with AT&T to offer a wireless program,” Beamish said. “I put a modem and wireless router in your house, just like your cell phone pulls it out of the air and your router broadcasts it.”
That results in speeds of 5 megabytes up to 70 megabytes, depending on proximity to cell towers.
He’s looking forward to keeping that service going for years to come.