News Column

From Council Grove to Alaska ; Wireless company mainly serves rural communities in U.S.

August 3, 2014

Jan Biles; Jan Biles jan.biles@cjonline.com

COUNCIL GROVE -- A Council Grove business serving rural communications companies recently helped extend wireless broadband coverage to a remote mountainous area of Alaska to enable commercial fishermen to connect with the Internet.

t3 Wireless Inc. recently completed an upgrade for Alaska-based Cordova Telephone Cooperative in the Prince William Sound area, adjacent to the Gulf of Alaska, that added capacity to its Global System for Mobile cellular network.

Cordova's service area, which is solar-powered, now has fourth- generation, high-speed broadband to offer its customers.

"It's an extremely remote area, and boat and helicopter are the only ways in," said Dave Kirk, president of t3 Wireless. "Broadband is the lifeline to these small communities and helps them compete on a global stage."

In addition to helping with engineering and integration, t3 also trained Cordova workers so they could maintain the system on their own. Joe Reed, sales engineer for t3 Wireless, said the area receives about 120 inches of snow in the winter and about 100 inches of rain in the summer.

"Previously, (some workers) went in for the installation, but the helicopter couldn't get out for two weeks," Reed said.

Kirk said t3 Wireless, which incorporated in January 2013, works with rural telephone companies and electrical cooperatives throughout the United States, but mostly within the middle one- third of the country. The company helps build wireless networks for its clients to use to support their customers.

"It's a challenging time right now for small-town America, and it has never been more important to rural providers to provide their local businesses, schools, hospitals and residents with quality high- speed broadband and voice," he said. "Our clients are quietly supporting so many of the critical revenue streams and backbones that keep life in rural America connected to the rest of the world."

Kirk said his customers have seen high growth in the areas of Wi- Fi (indoor wireless) and LTE (long-term evolution high-speed mobile broadband) to handle the demands of smart phones and tablets.

"Most every kid has an iPhone in their pocket anymore, and legacy networks won't support them," he said. "Advances in areas, such as E- Learning, is requiring high-quality bandwidth in the schools to support testing, etc. We believe rural America has to keep up and stay connected and are devoted to coming up with those quality solutions."

Kirk said t3 Wireless has 10 employees who work in its Council Grove headquarters, plus remote employees in Texas, Minnesota and Florida.


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Source: Topeka Capital Journal (KS)


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