It has been a good week! Three of our Tower Climbing Team members were hard at work today and finished getting our Maple Hill tower online in the town of Washburn. We can now begin contacting residents in some parts of the towns of Washburn, Bayview, and Barksdale, that will be served from this tower, to schedule testing and installations of High-Speed Internet service.
If you look close, you may notice more equipment at the top of Fire Hill Tower in Bayfield, Wisconsin. On Friday we finished lighting up our new tower equipment to provide high speed Internet on the eastern side of the Town of Bayfield, parts of the Town of Russell, and parts of the Red Cliff Tribal lands. On Saturday our crew installed the first Customer site linked to this tower and measured the link speed at over 800 Mbps at the home. Even though this Customer is subscribed to our Power Plus 75.0 package (75Mbps Download Speed, 15Mbps Upload Speed), our equipment located at their home will enable future speed upgrades with no equipment changes. Local residents say “this is a game changer” for our community.
Bayfield Wireless has started provisioning high speed Internet service to trial customers along Happy Hollow Road and Star Route Road on the Western side of the Town of Bayfield, Wisconsin. Wireless link speeds to the new Star Route Tower have ranged from of 200 to 800 Mbps during testing with equipment installed at customer locations. Customers may subscribe to the service at the speed that meets their needs while knowing they have the ability to upgrade their subscription to fiber optic speed levels as their needs increase.
Bayfield Wireless has completed the initial installation of equipment at the top of the Star Route Tower and has started network validation testing. The complete end-to-end service from equipment installed at a customer location through the new Bayfield Wireless network and to end destinations worldwide on the Internet is included in the testing. Initial testing has resulted in excellent speeds and performance even in less than optimal conditions. Testing will be conducted with select trial customers in the Happy Hollow valley on the western side of the Town of Bayfield over the coming weeks.
One of our many Bayfield Wireless supporters, Town of Bayfield Chairman Tom J. Gordon, visited the Star Route Tower construction site to witness the raising of the new structure into the sky. After months of ground preparation, tower assembly, network engineering, electrical work, and safety preparation, the tower was lifted into the sky in three sections by a 200 foot crane from Superior Wisconsin. Our local Town of Bayfield resident iron worker and tower climber, Cody Bermel, completed putting the 178 foot structure in the sky by bolting on the final two lift sections and releasing the crane at the top.
The winter weather and substantial snow on the hill slowed our progress to a crawl and put us behind our schedule goals by about two months. It was, however, a victory to get the crane in and out of the site before the ground frost conditions caused possible further delays to June. We will now begin the work of cabling the tower and getting the radio gear online so we can begin testing the new Internet service with trial customers on the western side of the Town of Bayfield during the month of April 2019.