IRAP Funding and BC Broadband Association Conference

We got some great news today: Mage was granted IRAP (Industrial Research Assistance Program from the National Research Council) funding today to help us hire a new PhD programmer.  This new individual is going to be developing our new network-design software which we will use for designing our wireless data pipelines, i.e. MagiNet™.  Should make our network design process (and hence our quoting process) go much more quickly as it becomes functional.

Also, we’ll be heading to Richmond BC to participate and speak at the BC Broadband Association (BCBA) on May 1 – 2.  We look forward to seeing, meeting, and supporting our many friends in the rural broadband market!

Revisiting Forgotten Homeowners

A speaker giving a presentation at CanWISP

Hello Folks!

We had a great visit at the CanWisp conference last month, and it got us thinking about the perspective of the Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs).  These folks are typically very technical, and yet also quite creative individuals, especially when it comes to problem solving.  We noticed that most have strong IT and hardware backgrounds, and found their way into the rural wireless broadband market often out of pure necessity; let’s face it, if they’re still in business today, serving rural homeowners with wireless broadband, given all the changes in technology over the years, they really know their stuff.  Several have even given us some new ideas we can use to improve our deployments!

One other interesting factor: they also seem to generally get along well with each other, and see themselves as all being in the same, quite challenging, boat.  The result of this is some degree of respecting each others’ territories.

So this is where things get interesting with Mage, as we present a new kind of technology that WISPs can employ to reach rural areas. How does a WISP grow its business, ideally without competing too directly with a fellow WISP?  Mage has a solution.

It seems most WISPs have a “NO” file.  This is a database of customers that they have not been able to service, or service well.  These are forgotten or rejected homeowners – homeowners that are in their area or near their areas of service, but are in tough terrain or non-line-of-sight (NLOS) areas that are simply too expensive to reach with either fiber or construction of new towers. They are people that have been told, “Sorry, your location is too difficult and expensive to reach, we can’t help you.”

Surprisingly, with trees and ridges, there are about 13 Million such households all over North America.  Every WISP likely has a file of a few dozen or a few hundred customers to whom it has had to say “NO”.

So to the WISPs we say – grab the opportunity to grow your business! Try our equipment – it’s inexpensive, fast to deploy, and will give you brand new customers in all those tough areas.  There’s no big capital investment – you can simply buy enough units to service as few as 5 or 10 customers in a given pocket, and get them up and running.  Send us a map of any areas you have in mind, and we’re happy to provide a free network design and quotation.

You’ve got nothing to lose, and so much to gain!




Kaslo Terrain Test

It’s been a very busy past few weeks, and we wanted to let you know we ran another terrain test, this time with the toughest terrain we’ve seen yet, in Kaslo BC.

The Internet Service Provider there, Kaslo InfoNet Board (KIN), headed up by Tim Ryan, had been quite skeptical of the system before seeing it run for himself.  In addition to being a director of KIN and a member of its Technical Services Committee, Tim also sits on the BC Broadband Association board.

The main issues in the area are mountains and very thick, mixed-species forest.  There is also a lake to one side of the community and fibre cable has had to be run right through the lake, with towers attempting to fill in many areas, but without good sight lines.

Tim and his two technicians ran the test with us. We started the network at an access point beside Kaslo Community Garden, shooting up and onward past A Avenue.  We shot straight through the trees (and this was the part about which Sisso was most concerned, since it was hard to even gage which direction to aim the nodes at with the terrain!). Regardless of that potential difficulty, MagiNet™ grabbed the signal right away, and we were off to the races.  While we had allowed a whole day for testing, by noon, the guys at KIN were convinced, and we all enjoyed lively discussion over lunch at a local restaurant.  KIN intends to do some planning over the next few weeks to re-work their connectivity model for the area, integrating our technology into all the non line-of-sight (NLOS) areas not easily reachable using fiber or towers.

With the terrain test behind us, we also were able to take the time to enjoy the beautiful Ainsworth Hot Springs that evening, and got quite a charge out of seeing so many wild turkeys on the sides of the road during the drives to and from Ainsworth Hot Springs to Kaslo.

KIN is expecting they will be deploying some of Mage’s technology as soon as July or August 2018.

Stay tuned!

Terrain Test in Kaslo BC NLOS


NLOS Wireless Test in Mountains and Forest

Mage Installs First Permanent Network in Taber, Alberta

Mage is thrilled to announce that as of March 26, 2018, the town of Taber, Alberta has installed a MagiNet™ network in its downtown commercial district. MagiNet™ is providing seamless outdoor high-speed WiFi throughout the zone, meaning shoppers, whether tourists or residents, can access free high-speed internet while walking from store-to-store, without having to log in multiple times or experiencing a drop in the signal.

Taber had been the first to respond when Mage Networks invited towns to apply to receive a free MagiNet™ network. “We needed approved pilot locations immediately, and asked them, ‘how fast can you move on this?'” says Mage’s VP Marketing Jacqueline Drew. “Taber’s memorable reply was, ‘faster than you can!'”

True to its word, Taber was able to get council approval, chamber approval, individual business approval, and an electrical contractor selected for the installation in record time, all while their equipment was on order. The installation itself took only a 2 days.

“Once we get our inventory fully stocked, we’ll be able to deploy quickly enough to promote Maginet™ for short-term use, like sudden disaster or emergency zones, or even large events like outdoor festivals,” says Drew.

Mage will be circling back to visit Taber after its first few weeks of using the system to get feedback from council and merchants in the new WiFi zone. With recent flooding in Taber, the town’s administration has been very busy, but their CAO, Cory Armfelt recently relayed his satisfaction with the system, “We’ve had a bit a crazy week. But wanted to touch base to let you know how much I appreciate this new system being brought into town.”

Taber Outdoor WiFi