Chamber of Commerce breakfast is venue for wireless Internet information

The possibility of wireless Internet in the Tyrone area was brought to the forefront yesterday morning at the Tyrone Chamber of Commerce’s monthly breakfast meeting at LaScalla’s Restaurant in Vail.
The presentation was offered by two, high-ranking officials from the Winbeam company, a high-speed Internet service provider based in Altoona. Presenting the information was John Bunce, president, and Rob Jodon, chief marketing officer.
The discussion centered on the possibility of bringing the high-speed wireless connections to businesses first, then possibly reaching into the residential sector.
“As times and technology move forward, people are beginning to realize how much of an asset wireless Internet is to their businesses,” said Bunce. “A year ago, we lit off Altoona, and now, we want to expand throughout the state. Tyrone is next on the list.”
According to Bunce, the wireless Internet would provide ten times the speed when downloading, logging on or transmitting data.
“It’s really remarkable when you compare what this can do compared to cable access or dial-up,” said Bunce. “First off, it’s fast. Faster than you could beleive. Second, there’s always a lot of jamming on the dial-up networks and if your neighbor, with cable access, is downloading a two-hour file, you will see the effect on your own system.
“That’s where the advantages of wireless connection really stand out. Our group (Winbeam) is frugal. We own the spectrum on which the wireless Internet is set, and what that means is each individual connection will be operating in that spectrum and that spectrum only. No one else will be there.”
According to Bunce, Winbeam’s attitude toward its customers is unique, when comparing with other Internet service providers.
“We are a local company and we’re in favor of the family and family environment,” said Bunce. “We have provisions to filter Internet pornography, spam and viruses buily right in.”
Jodon agreed. He said each of his customers have his cellular telephone number, his home telephone number and his e-mail address – just in case there’s a problem.
“People who have, for example, AOL or Charter, have too dial something like 1-800-KENTUCKY or 1-800-TENNESSE for assistance,” he said. “We operate on the warm and fuzzy feeling thing. We’re all about our relationships with our customers.”
According to Jodon, the primary goal of his company is to attract businesses in Tyrone to sign on with the service. He said once that goal is accomplished, he’d hope the residents would see the benefits of the service and also acquire the hook-up.
Jodon said that 80 percent of his customers in the Altoona area are in the “A market,” which reaches comapnies holding between three and 10 personal computers for operation. The “B Market” encompasses the larger company, such as the Altoona Curve and Holiday Inn Express.
“We’d really like to be in Tyrone as the next part of our expansion,” said Jodon. “The businesses could really benefit with the services that we offer.”
Anyone seeking more information is asked to contact 940-1960.