Broadband Internet Comes To Rim Country

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If you are used to getting a cup of coffee or maybe doing your nails while you wait to get connected to the Internet, there is a new, faster choice available.

Canyon Broadband, which has been gearing up to bring a faster Internet service to Payson, became operational last Wednesday night.

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Robert Bratter, left, and Bill MacNamara of Canyon Broadband are excited about having their fast connect Internet service up and running for Payson residents. Equipment needed to make use of the service is the small antenna Bratter is holding and the radio receiver MacNamara has in hand and some cable.

"Part of our agreement with the town -- for using its water towers for our antennas -- was to be operational by Oct. 1 and we met that deadline," manager Bill MacNamara said. "They say they are able to connect twice as fast as before. The casino says they're connecting twice as fast too."

The casino is using the service provided through the antennas on the Tonto Apache's water tower.

Canyon Broadband also has antennas on several of the town's water towers already and has access to several others as the need makes it necessary.

"We're here," Robert Bratter, senior partner in the company said, "We felt it was in our best interest to use local people, so, we imported our trained people from our Big Sky Internet in Butte, Mont., and they interfaced and trained local residents. We will be using about four on a regular basis. We want to utilize the fantastic talent base that is here."

MacNamara said he worked closely with Scott Flake of the Payson Regional Economic Development Corporation and Payson Town Manager Fred Carpenter setting up the business here.

"We want to be where we're needed and there is growth potential," he said.

"One of the things needed for many businesses is consistent, reliable high speed Internet," Bratter said. "And with no cable breaks, we can provide that."

Canyon Broadband is an Internet Service Provider, working with antennas on water towers around town and small, box-like antennas attached to a customer's residence or place of business. The tower antennas and site antennas are aligned for the best signal. Cable goes from the site antenna into the residence or business and connects to a radio receiver. The customer then has the option of a direct connection to the radio box or a wireless connection, MacNamara said.

"It's the latest technology," Bratter said.

"We have programmable equipment," MacNamara said. "We don't have to go to the customer site to do upgrades, it is all done through the computer."

"We are able to monitor the system to make sure it operates smoothly," Bratter said.

"Every 15 seconds, we ping out over the network to see if we get a customer (computer) call back. It is a very secure network," MacNamara said.

Canyon Broadband starts at 256K for $39.95 a month.

"As our customer base expands, we will bring in more broadband width," he said. "We have had a great response from Payson residents."

The necessity of line-of-sight between the tower and site antennas is a problem Bratter and MacNamara are working on.

"We have about 72 to 85 percent coverage," MacNamara said.

Bratter said they are exploring technologies that will overcome the geographical obstacles of doing business in a mountain community.

"There is technology out there, but we want it to be cost effective for our customers," Bratter said.

And while the hills in Payson present some problems, MacNamara said the clear air is a joy, providing terrific signal carriage.

"Our customers are really excited," MacNamara said. "We are very excited about being here and very excited about our product."

This is not the first venture Bratter and MacNamara have made into the broadband business. They have operated their Montana business for more than a year and have between 500 and 600 customers there and 100 percent up time, Bratter said.

For more information, call (928) 468-6898.

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