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Any early Christmas present for our customers

Thanks to all of our wonderful customers, Siuslaw Broadband continues to grow leaps and bounds directly from your referrals and the wonderful word-of-mouth advertising you provide. You have nominated us 3 years in a row for the Excellence in Customer Service Award through the Chamber of Commerce and we hope to be nominated again (and win!) this year.

As we have continued to grow, we have begun to push the limits on some of our network segments. This was experienced by a number of our customers when one of our radios on our main tower failed a few weeks back and performance was significantly degraded until we were able to climb the tower and swap the failed equipment. We have a number of radios on the tower and when one of them failed, the load was too much for the remaining radios. As such we are tripling the capacity on our main tower this weekend, December 6th and 7th.

In addition, we are installing some of the “next generation” of wireless equipment, which, if one believes the marketing hype, can bring a three-fold increase in performance. Unfortunately, it is not (yet) backwards compatible with our existing equipment and since the technology is still in its infancy, we’ll be slowly testing the gear to ensure it meets our high quality standards.

The network upgrades are currently scheduled for this weekend, Saturday, December 6th pending weather. If it is raining cats and dogs or too windy, our fallback day is Sunday, December 7th. During the upgrades, we’ll be adding new equipment which will not be service impacting for any customers. Once the new equipment is up and running, we’ll move some of our customers over to that new gear which may cause a roughly 30 second blip in connectivity while that change occurs. The existing equipment we have in service will be removed and upgraded with new equipment. After all of the equipment is in place, the system will start to load balance all of our customers across our system at which point you may see another 30 second or so blip in service.

We greatly appreciate everything that our customers do for us and love when we’re able to make new and exciting changes to improve the internet for our existing customers and others in Florence. We expect the interruptions to be very brief this weekend and hopefully not too noticeable. As always, should you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to email or call us.

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The Wind Strikes Again

As shocking as it is to most Florence residents, we had a pretty decent wind storm a few days after Christmas that knocked out power for nearly the entire town. We had a similar event the last week of November but the outcome was pretty different.

The power outage in November ultimately took our tower down at roughly 3am as the backup generator system was not functioning yet. After a hard days work with our tower operator and other cell tower operators on site, we were able to get the tower for our operator up and running. With this power outage last week we incurred no down in our systems. Both of our primary locations ran perfectly on their backup batteries until the generators were able to be powered on.

Siuslaw Broadband had nearly 90% of its customers without power, but maintained internet services for the entire affected area. Below is a graph of our internet traffic for the time of the outage. As you can clearly see, we had a major drop in traffic shortly before 5pm and saw little to no traffic while the bulk of the town was without power.

There were a few isolated spots that still had power, mostly south of town surprisingly enough, that were able to access all services which attributed to our very small volumes of traffic during the outage. As expected, once the PUD began restoring service across the city, everybody started using those new iPad’s they got for Christmas to get online again.

 

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And so it begins

And so it begins

For better or worse, when I get an idea stuck in my head it starts to fester. Fairly quickly, I’m unable to fall asleep and thoughts of my new idea occupy my mind. I zone out when I’m running, again, with this new idea in my head.

For about the past 18 months, the idea of starting a WISP (wireless internet service provider) in Florence has been weighing heavily on my mind. We’ve done an incredible amount of due diligence, have our financial projections and business plan completed, and have solidified our advisory board. What started out as just an inkling of an idea has turned into a full fledged business.

I have a passion for technology and love to find ways to use technology to improve peoples lives. Over the next month or so, we’ll be making the final preparations to launch Siuslaw Broadband into western Lane county and focus on serving our customers with a reliable internet service with tremendous customer support. Look forward for some more posts about life on the internet, the in’s and out’s of being an internet service provider, and random rumblings from a Duck fan.

 

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