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Put-in-Bay To Upgrade Cell And Internet Service

Technology is great! More people than ever use the Internet and cell phones, including those of us on the island. Among those at the Put-in-Bay meeting to help with islander Internet needs were Tom LaPlante and Bruce Sundman from Megabits, LLC, who presented a new high-speed, wireless Internet service coming to the island. The Put-in-Bay Village Council was also approached in the October News by Sundman, who talked about their Ohio company formed by three independent businessmen who recognized the need to bring high-speed broadband Internet service to Ohio’s Put-in-Bay and the Lake Erie Islands.

Two partners, Tadd Schwarz, and Tom LaPlante, are third-generation Put-in-Bay property owners. The third partner, Sundman, brings 40 years of wireless communication experience to the project. Megabits, LLC is seeking a long-term agreement with the Village of Put-in-Bay to allow the placement of antennas and transmitter equipment on the Village water tower, Village structures, Put-in-Bay Docks, and properties. This equipment will allow Megabits, LLC to quickly expand its new wireless Internet Service network, which will provide fixed and mobile broadband Internet services on the Island.

Megabits also sought permission to investigate where the Village could utilize valuable high-speed internet connectivity within all departments so that we may offer and negotiate a service proposal to the Village. The company is prepared upon the Village’s request to propose paying an industry-competitive site rental fee for the use of the Water Tower. Megabits have additionally negotiated 20-year agreements with American Tower Corporation to rent space on one commercial tower on the island and two on Catawba Island.

An additional building will be located at the Bay Lodging Resort, owned by Mark Mathys. These towers will be used for the radio link to connect to the island. Megabits would install multiple antennas on the unused antenna mounts below the base of the ball of the water tower. These antennas would allow Megabits to provide extremely high service to the Village, its businesses, and its residents. This new equipment should eliminate many issues experienced with slow speed when Put-in-Bay Hotels are at capacity and in high demand. The equipment and frequencies used are all regulated or licensed by the Federal Communications Commission. As such, they will not adversely impact any other wireless services

The Federal Communications Commission has defined “broadband” Internet as a fixed Internet connection that provides 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. This level of service is not dependably available from any service provider on the Islands. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration stated, “Broadband connectivity is essential to the nation’s economic growth and social advancement. It is the conduit for economic and social opportunities for U.S. households and a gateway to increased productivity, growth, and market access for businesses of all sizes.”

Last fall, the Megabits partners began meeting informally with residents, business owners, government, and public safety officials to develop a plan that will best support the islands’ needs. They are pleased to announce that they will begin construction on the Megabits Island Internet (Mi2) wireless network this fall!

The Mi2 network is engineered using multiple tower sites and the latest dependable carrier-grade wireless technology. Internet Service Subscribers can select symmetric service from 25 Mbps to 100+ Mbps starting at $49.00 per month. The Mi2 network is engineered to support 10 Gigabits (Gbps) of traffic and is connected to a 100 Gbps fiber optic business-only Internet network. The Mi2 network will support VOIP telephony, CCTV cameras, security systems, public safety communications, and mobile data. Megabits will be full-time on the island for installations, service, and technical support.

Megabits will build an expansive wireless network to serve fixed and mobile users at homes and businesses. In addition, they will install hundreds of Wi-Fi access points across the Island. This subscription-based Wi-Fi network will simultaneously serve 1,000’s users at most public and business venues, campgrounds, and marinas across the Islands. Once the backbone system is active, Megabits will begin installing equipment for customers that sign up for service now.

Megabits are looking forward to furthering discussion and the opportunity of providing high-speed Internet services to the Village. If you want more information about Megabits, LLC, and their service, their address is P.O. Box 324, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456. Their email is Sales@PIBWiFi.com, and their phone number is 888-Mi2-3456 (888-642-3456). Their ad is on this page of this issue of the Put-in-Bay Gazette News. It looks like we will have a much faster Put-in-Bay 2019

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