Wireless broadband comes to Williams<br>

Prescott Valley-based internet service provider Comm-SPEED is adding equipment to one of the existing towers on top of Bill Williams Mountain and will begin offering broadband wireless Internet connections in Williams within 60 days. The tower in question is third to the last on the right, with the large, circular dishes immediately to its left

The term “broadband” refers to any number of higher-speed Internet connections — other than the typical dial-up service — such as cable or DSL. At 512 kilobits per second, the wireless broadband connections CommSPEED provides are at least 10 times faster than regular 56k dial-ups and will cost, on average, anywhere from $15-$20 less than other broadband connections.

“There’s a tremendous desire for broadband services out there, and we’re very pleased to be meeting that need,” says CommSPEED’s General Manager Mark Davis.

New equipment on Bill Williams Mountain not only satisfies CommSPEED’s desire to increase its subscribership after landing in Flagstaff in August 2003, but also allows for a secondary loop that will keep service active if the signal path between CommSPEED’s Mingus Mountain tower and their Flagstaff tower fails.

CommSPEED’s arrival in Flagstaff and subsequent arrival in Williams is due largely in part to the efforts of Vern Reed, the Greater Flagstaff Economic Council’s Director of Telecommunications for northern Arizona. One of GFEC’s main roles is to improve the economy of the entire region of northern Arizona surrounding Flagstaff — not just the city itself — by helping to develop the infrastructure necessary to attract outside businesses. A very important part of that infrastructure is Internet service.

“The key here is a need for broadband. It is an enabler for economic development,” explains Reed.

He pointed out that businesses being enticed to come to northern Arizona would want the same “bells and whistles” that larger metropolitan areas have — such as broadband availability.

Reed began talks with CommSPEED about a year ago and after being convinced to install equipment on Mount Elden, the company started offering Flagstaff users the wireless choice in August of 2003.

According to both Reed and Davis, the next logical choice — which came with some prodding from Williams’ city manager Dennis Wells — was the town of Williams, since Bill Williams Mountain could be easily seen from Mount Elden.

Once service is available, CommSPEED will offer its connections at a monthly price of $39.95, but will also be offering special setup promotions. Davis encourages those interested in the service to start signing up now, as any promotional deals will be on a first come, first served basis. To sign up, simply call CommSPEED’s Flagstaff office at 233-1111

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