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Shiawassee County Goes Wireless

Customers clamor for high-speed Internet Service

ABC12 News
By Randy Conat

SHIAWASSEE COUNTY (WJRT) - (08/16/06) -- Several communities in Mid-Michigan have wireless Internet newtworks or they have plans to build them. Shiawassee County is among that group.

"Just because they live out here, doesn't mean they should be penalized," said Jeff Tebo, from Invisalink.

That philosophy is what prompted Invisalink to offfer wireless Internet service to portions of Shiawassee County. While many larger communiites are building wi-fi systems, the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce was concerned that Shiawassee County would be overlooked, so Invisilink of Flint was chosen to be the wi-fi provider.

"The response so far has been overwhelming," Tebo said.

Invisalink has three antennas in the Corunna and Owosso area. If you're within ten miles of either city, you probably can pick up the wi-fi signal.

"As the need expands, then they'll be earmaking other areas outdside Corunna and Owosso for that service," explained Tom Petersen, who is with the chamber of commerce.

In just three weeeks 17 customers have signed up, including Malcom Portice, of New Haven Township. The only way he could connect to the Internet was through a phone line.

"You get tired of sitting around, waiting there, twiddling your thumbs, waiting for the connection to come through," he said.

Portice's wi-fi connection should be at least ten times faster than what he had over the phone line. Invisalink charges $249 to install the antenna and cables. Monthly fees run $40 to $90 a month, depending on the level of service.

"They want information now. I guess that's the kind of society we live in," Tebo told ABC12's Randy Conat.

Invisalink will eventually offer voice over internet phone service over its wi-fi network.

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