rural internet service

News: Four Free Networks to be Awarded

Mage to Award Four Free Rural Broadband Networks

Mage Networks Inc., has just released a technology called MagiNet™, a novel wireless network concept that enables reliable high-speed broadband service in remote areas for a fraction (1/10 to 1/3) the cost of existing technologies. To prove its reliability, Mage is now inviting Internet Service Providers and rural communities across southern Alberta to apply for one of four free pilot networks, valued at $8,000 – $18,000 each. The networks can serve to cover remote no-service zones, or give free outdoor WiFi to high-traffic areas.

“Actually the true value of the networks we’re offering would be well over $200K, if you had to build them using cellular towers or fiber,” explains founder, Dr. Sayed-Amr (Sisso) El-Hamamsy, a telecommunications veteran of over 30 years.

MagiNet™ offers up to 50 Mbps upload or download speed, and uses proprietary firmware built into standardized hardware to keep costs low. “Most rural areas rely on a high tower with a long sight-line, where speed gets slower as you move further from the tower,” he explains. “Ours uses multiple small nodes placed low to the ground, needing only sight-lines between them to create a data pipeline. This gives coverage around terrain, trees, and long distances without losing speed.”

Mage recently shot a video and test in the community of Nanton, where a high-speed network was built from an origin point in town to a ranch 10 km southwest, all in about 6 hours. The company also recently demonstrated the technology to dignitaries from around the world in Fauquier County, Virginia.

“Rural communities in Canada should be very excited about this technology since it’s so affordable, needing only about 3 subscribers to justify deployment,” says El-Hamamsy. “So they can use it to give free outdoor WiFi downtown, or hook up remote areas of poor coverage within days.”

That said, the company’s aspirations go well beyond Canada. “There is nothing like MagiNet™ out there now. And with over 4 billion people across the globe without Internet access, plus emergency zones needing communication as situations arise, this is a technology with limitless potential,” El-Hamamsy says.

Communities and ISPs wishing to apply should reply to jdrew@mage-networks with answers to the following questions.  We will announce communities awarded in the coming weeks.

FOR COMMUNITIES (Southern Alberta only):

1. Provide a map of your downtown area, with number of businesses, and foot traffic during summer months. Ideally, we are looking for a continuous area of about 600m, but it can be any shape.

2. Business relationships: Do you have local businesses who are willing to allow the nodes (about the size of a baton) to be affixed to their buildings?  These will be 3 – 4m from the ground.  The merchants must also provide power to these units (estimated cost 30 cents/month).

3. Your local philosophy: Is your municipality keen to be the first to deploy new technologies? Any examples of this?  We would like a location where the local leadership is excited to facilitate and promote the network.

4. Access point:  Do you have any location with at least 50Mbps from which we can pick up the signal for the network?  What is the speed at this location?  What is the maximum speed to which it could be upgraded?  If it is insufficient, are you willing to cover the cost of upgrading this speed from your ISP?

5. Testimonials:  Are you willing to informally your townspeople as to their satisfaction with the service before/after the installation? Provide a written testimonial from town leadership? Accept referral calls about the network from other towns?

FOR ISPs (Southern Alberta Only):

1. Map: Show us your desired area for pilot service– pointing out areas of poor service, and estimated number of subscribers there. (The selection of customers is up to you).

2. Subscriber base: What is your approximate number of subscribers in your geographic operating area?  Do you have a lot of areas into which you’d like to grow, but are limited by technology or terrain?

3. Your philosophy: Are you keen to be the first to deploy new technologies? Can you give us an example or two?

4. Your industry involvement: Are you active in ISP industry associations?  Would you be proactive about providing references as to the quality of MagiNet™?

5. Your team: Are you able to supply the installation of the pilot network? Can you also support with a marketing effort to bring the 10 new subscribers on board?  How long do you think this would take to achieve?

6. Promotional Support: If the pilot deployment meets or exceed your expectations, would you actively promote it to other communities? How so?

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