Last week Nonprofit Internet provider MVTV Wireless completed the installation of five new wireless access points throughout five different towns in west central Minnesota — Spicer, New London, Wabasso, Jeffers and Windom — that represent an estimated 1,500 new subscribers.
Considered phase one of four, the federally funded ARRA project is aimed at upgrading the network’s entire existing broadband infrastructure from 20 meg to 100 meg back hauls and installing 34 new WiMax access points to serve new communities covering approximately 8,000 square miles in west and south central Minnesota. The organization currently has 66 access points spanning approximately 12,000 square miles; when all is said and done, plans are to provide last mile service to an additional 53,000 Minnesotans, 479 business and 200 critical care facilities.
The new access points will be 802.16e WiMax in the 3.65 GHZ frequency, distributed through the Alvarain Extreme purchased from St.Paul’s PCS Technologies in mid-September. “These base stations provide coverage up to 15 miles if you have line of sight and four to five miles non,” according to MVTV President Dan Richter, noting “we’ve tested these at 6 MB Down / 3 MB Up.”
The member-owned cooperative sells residential Internet access for between $44.95/month (768k) — $58/month (up to 2.5MB) and commercial Internet for $48/month (768k) — $93/month (up to 3MB).
“Its all about getting Broadband to underserved communities, and we’ve got a job to do!” says Richter.