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A 2002 High-Tech Telecom Launch!

The town of Marysville, Kansas had reason to celebrate on July 15, 2002. On this typically hot mid-summer day, this county seat located 100 miles northwest of Topeka and with a population of 4,000 stepped onto the fast lane with wireless Internet provided by The Blue Valley Telecommunications. A co-operative telephone company encompassing 10 regional exchanges during more than 40 years of service deployed wireless technology from Advanced Radio Cells based in Campbell, California.

Chan Stowell, Marketing and Public Relations Manager, described the meaning of this day in human terms. "Even though we're a small town, our customers still need to fill prescriptions and complete banking transactions—daily activities that are gravitating online more and more. Our businesses and residents need to access the Internet just like anyone else. Just because our roads are a little narrower doesn't mean we don't need to be traveling on the information superhighway."

Further, Stowell indicates that "We chose technology from Advanced Radio Cells because we can offer more services over the same infrastructure, and anticipate providing dial tones for voice-over-IP service in the near future. We've got our main transmitter set atop the water tower, and strategically placed six antennas in pie-shape fashion surrounding the tower. Our biggest problem is the hilly landscape filled with oak trees, which are gorgeous, but the leaves have caused interference. For each potential customer, we send out a technician to meter the location to see whether the signal can be received, and we must be very innovative as to where we place the antenna. The hills and trees tend to limit our range from three to five three miles, while the flat surfaces have a signal reach of five miles."

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