News from the countryside

Where is Eaglemount?

Welcome to Eaglemount Broadband, a community organized effort to bring a stable, locally owned and controlled high speed internet to rural Jefferson County, Washington.

As a rural resident of Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula for many years, and a user of internet resources, I am intimately aware, as we all are, of problems rural residents face regarding poor or nonexistent bandwidth availability.

The major Internet service providers (ISP’s) cite unprofitably as a reason for lack of service, due to low population densities, broken terrain, impediments to line-of-sight transmissions, and expense of providing facilities such as cable , fiber, etc.

Connecting remote areas up with reliable broadband service is seen as a major problem as well as a priority across the country.   There are currently efforts by government and private concerns (NOANET, etc, Bill Gates, Mark Zukerberg, Elon Musk, et al.) to provide broadband services to all rural areas in the country.

If the large ISP’s saw reasons for expecting profitability in providing service in these remote areas, it seems reasonable that they would have provided quality service already, and they have not and apparently have little interest in doing so.

If rural areas are to receive broadband services, it seems it will be from formation of small, low overhead neighborhood Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) that take the form of small businesses or as cooperative efforts.

It is my intention to explore acquisition of broadband in our area.   Stable broadband service, ample bandwidth, at competitive pricing are the objectives and I fully expect to find means of accomplishing these goals.

Why the optimism?   Because small startups have been successful in our area and in others. Kitsap, Clallam, Mason County and San Juan county PUD’s have successful startups in operation.

We can do the same!

Here is the plan:

We have set up this website to introduce the concept to prospective users: Eaglemount Broadband.   The URL is located at http://www.eaglemountbroadband.com  where you will see the website in its initial stage. As the project goes forward the website will be updated to provide a timeline of our experiences, and will hopefully help other prospective startups in their initial efforts.

We are asking local neighbors who are interested in stable, competitively priced broadband service to sign up on the webpage with their contact information so we can use GPS coordinates to make line-of-sight measurements for optimal repeater locations.

At some unknown time in the future, fiber may be brought into the area but until that time, we will depend on Wi-Fi. This will entail radio transceivers, repeaters, antennas and additional hardware to connect and distribute the signals. If good used hardware can be found our startup costs will be greatly diminished.

Initially, we will be looking for a couple of dozen, or more, strategically located households.   ‘Strategic’ refers to optimal line of site locations from households to repeater locations on power poles.

Pockets of households will act as ‘mesh’ networks. These meshes will interconnect within themselves and act as redundancy in case of vandalism or mechanical failure. The meshes will interconnect with the main repeater network located on power poles, and with other meshes.

We will continue to collect information and given enough interest, we will begin to seek sources of funding, and equipment. We will prepare a map showing strategic households and an optimal repeater network that will provide for the needs of the neighborhood.   As mentioned, this will include redundancy, and provide reliable dedicated broadband service, initially, to a couple of dozen households.   Further expansion into other areas and additional households will happen as it becomes feasible to do so.

At this time we are asking interested individuals to sign up on the website and provide contact information so an initial network may be established. We will keep everybody updated as we proceed.

We attend PUD meetings regularly on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of every month at 5:00 PM at the Hadlock PUD office, where we are able to give public testimony. Your interest, attendance and thoughtful comments would be of benefit at these meetings.

Best of luck to us all !   Cheers!

Norm Norton
751 Old Eaglemount Rd
norm@eaglemount.com