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Altoona Internet provider expands broadband into northern Blair

An Altoona-based Internet service provider is expanding its coverage area for broadband service to include Tyrone, Tipton and Bellwood.
Winbeam currently services about 300 customers in Blair County. The expansion is being accomplished by placing additional equipment on its tower at a repeater site located on Wopsononck Mountain.
According to its web site, Winbeam is a broadband wireless Internet service provider serving business customers with high-speed access, web hosting and other broadband Internet services throughout the greater Altoona area.
“This is our initial entry into the northern Blair area,” said Rob Jodon, the chief marketing officer for the company. “We are excited about this as that area grows with the I-99 corrider.
“We are going to cover from Riggles Gap to the Warriors Mark area with a total approach including broadband, dail-up and even roaming,” said Jodon.
“We are partnering with Reclamere for installation and are happy to have them be our first business partner since we started operations,” Jodon told The Daily Herald.
Winbeam, Inc. was incorporated in January of 2000, as a Pennsylvania “C” corporation. An investment partnership of Quaker Capital Management along with a group of its investors and principles invested the initial stage venture capital into the company.
The company was in the development stage in the year 2000. During that year, the company made license filings and refined its business plan. Also during 2000, Winbeam signed definitive purchase agreements to acquire MMDS spectrum passing approximately 2 million households, mostly in Pennsylvania and contiguous regions.
MMDS is short for Multipoint Microwave Distribution System, also know as Multi-channel Multi-point Distribution System and wireless cable. MMDS channels are transmitted from an omni-directional or directional antenna having extensive line of sight in all directions.
During October of 2001, Winbeam launched its first operating system in Altoona. The company introduced a new high-speed wireless Internet service and a host of other enhanced data services to Blair County businesses.
By using a group of MMDS licenses from the Federal Communications Commission, Winbeam was able to provide fixed wireless broadband service that is free from outside interference. Unlike traditional unlicensed Internet Services, these licenses are protected by the FCC which allowed the company to provide consistent high-quality service. In its company profile, WinBeam, Inc. describes its self as a start-up company that is developing broadband wireless in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and Ohio.
WinBeam is headquartered at a 3,800 square foot office building on Union Avenue in Altoona near the major Internet backbone providers along the rail line in Altoona.
The company’s facility houses state-of-the art servers and is connected to the Internet backbone with a capacity of 12Mb. The company operates its wireless microwave transmissions from a 265 foot tower situated atop Brush Mountain delivering high-speed, licensed wireless services located throughout Blair County.
The company also maintains an office in Greensburg, Westmoreland County.