by Marissa Lorenz
Residents and businesses of Kremmling will soon have a new option for high-speed internet service, as long-time telecommunications company Visionary Broadband plans on “launching a brand new internet network that the town deserves and has been waiting for.”
This last is part of the enthusiasm expressed by Aaron Macarelli of Visionary Broadband, as he discusses the service and the opportunities that the company hopes to bring to Kremmling. “We want to bring a wireless model that offers a solid mechanism for delivering high speed internet that is reliable and flexible.”
Macarelli began discussions with Town Manager Dan Stoltman after Middle Park Health chose to contract with Visionary for upgraded fiber-based internet services across the organization, including their Walden, Granby and Kremmling facilities. An opportunity was recognized for more widespread services and Visionary began assessment of Kremmling as a possible recipient for wireless-based internet, similar to networks the company provides in other small towns across Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana. So in April, Macarelli approached the Kremmling Town Council and proposed renting space for an antenna on the Town’s water tower located north of 21st Street.
On June 5, the Council voted unanimously to enter into a 10-year lease with Visionary, leasing space on the tower for $200 a month with the option to substitute internet services in lieu of payment.
The antenna will be one of two in the community, with the second one to be located on the new Middle Park Health Wellness Center. Engineering assessment and modeling has already been done and the company feels confident that it will be able to well-serve most all of Kremmling.
“We’re in our 25th year,” explains Stacie McDonald from Visionary. “And we’re really known for helping smaller communities get high-speed internet. We like to work in partnership with those communities. And this is what’s going on here, the community coming together with Visionary to work through coverage points to provide better service. What we’re doing is helping people connect and that’s what’s so fun to watch — when people say, ‘I can Skype my grandkids,’ or ‘I’m taking on-line classes that are going better than ever,” thanks to those faster connections.”
The company will offer several options with speeds up to 250 megabits per second (Mbps), though Macarelli says that 50 or 100 Mbps plans are the most common packages. “The wireless service allows you to have more devices. Each user can stream their own shows. It just gives a great platform for the whole family. Streaming TV or movies or watching sporting events– it will seem amazing if you’re not used to those speeds. And for gamers — that’s what the higher speeds are for.”
Preliminary response from the community is positive and excited. Of their partnership with Visionary and their support of helping to bring the new service to Kremmling, Rob Wissenbach, IT Director of Middle Park Health, noted “Internet access is important and we are more than happy to help out in bringing quality, accessible service to Kremmling. We think it is really beneficial for a competitor to come in. And we think the increased ability for telecommuting and other work options will just make Kremmling an even greater place to live.” MPH Public Relations Director, Tiffany Freitag agrees, “We want to be a great community partner in any way we can.”
Questions have been raised about wireless reliability, in particular, in what can be Kremmling’s inclement weather. But Macarelli assures that their services have proven reliable in windy, snowy, remote communities across their network. In addition, “We’re really well-known for our excellent customer service and locally-based technical service,” says McDonald. “We are prepared to respond to technical issues on weekends or to service towers in heavy snows. — The ideal scenario is when you don’t notice your internet service, because it’s just working reliably in the background.” “Another exciting thing about the wireless model is how quickly it can be deployed,” she notes. And this would seem to be evidenced by the service’s upcoming launch date, the week of July 29. The company is excited to sign up new customers and is anticipating 50 Mbps packages to cost around $60-per-month. They are also offering a free installation promotion, that will allow residents of Kremmling to switch their service without having to worry about what can often be high setup costs.
More information can be found by visiting Visionary Broadband online at www.vcn.com or calling their customer service line at 1-888-682-1884
by Marissa Lorenz