RYAN C. TUCK: Pilot Broadband -- In on Ground Floor
When you're on the verge of something great, do you always know it?
I've often pondered this question while studying history.
See, I've started this new job as operations manager of The Pilot's newest start-up, The Pilot Broadband.
And I think that we're on the verge of something amazing -- it's not on the scale of a pyramid or anything, but a noteworthy moment in Moore County history at least. Thanks to the foresight of a few people, we're on the cusp of reimagining Internet access in the Sandhills.
Right now, in the downtowns of Southern Pines and West Southern Pines, you can crack open your laptop and connect to the Internet on our WiFi (Wireless Fidelity) network. Aberdeen is coming together now, with Pinehurst, Whispering Pines and Carthage to follow.
This is a high-speed, competent signal that is good for checking e-mail or surfing the Web.
Most newer laptops and cell phones will detect the network immediately. Contact us to get signed on.
Then comes the really fun part. Utilizing the newest technologies out there, we will launch a cable-like, paid wireless Internet connection that will operate anywhere within the system's range.
We will start rolling out this WiMax network in Moore County in March. We'll bundle service to that network with a subscription to The Pilot, all for a lower price than any of the other Internet guys. It's an innovation that will offer area residents the best Internet access available for the lowest price, and that should boost our newspaper circulation numbers.
Since it was announced, the network has been profiled in several trade publications across the nation.
Me, I'm just along for the ride -- I know a good idea when I see one.
The move has taken me away from my more traditional background as a journalist. It's required me to become familiar with tools (my baby-smooth hands will assure you that this doesn't come naturally), to climb roofs regularly and to become intimately familiar with Internet terminology I once referred to as jargon.
But I hope you can see why I'm excited about making the move.
The WiFi network will soon be available for free in all county downtowns -- or "town squares" as we call them. You can get out of that stuffy office, take in the unseasonably warm weather and still enjoy a fast, secure Internet connection.
Starting in March with the WiMax network, you can get the best, fastest connection around -- and a newspaper -- for less than most of you already are paying for Internet.
And it will be available in many areas that previously had been "outside the coverage area."
Right now, a lot of people are working hard to dot all our i's and cross all our t's and make sure that a great idea becomes a great service.
While it's not as epic as a frescoed chapel, The Pilot Broadband should positively impact Moore County and hopefully be remembered as "something great."
Ryan Tuck is operations manager for The Pilot Broadband. Contact him at 693-2493 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about the service.
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