Rural residents in parts of Hancock County can now get faster, video-capable Internet connections through ConnectGRADD after upgrades to services at two key sites. Expanded services in the areas of the Highway 1389 water tank just south of Hawesville and the Boling Chapel water tank in southeastern Hancock County were announced this week.
“We’re extremely happy to be able to offer faster speeds in several parts of Hancock County,” said Phil Lambert, General Manager of Q-Wireless, provider of ConnectGRADD services. “We’ve had requests for quite some time for upgrades, and we’re pleased to finally be able to increase speeds and improve Internet services in many places.”
Customers near the upgraded sites can now get more than double the speeds previously offered, enough to stream video smoothly, and no caps are placed on usage. To provide faster speeds from the Highway 1389 and Boling Chapel sites, other parts of the network were upgraded as well, improving performance off the Indian Hill Road tower that serves southern Hancock County, and the Weberstown tower on Moxley Lane. Additional improvements are planned in other parts of the county to increase speeds in more areas.
“These days, the Internet is about video,” Lambert continued. “The equipment the original ConnectGRADD network was built with pre-dates streaming services, and we recognize how much demand has changed. It’s taken longer than we’d like for rural wireless technologies to begin to catch up to that demand, and we’re very excited that new equipment is finally making better speeds possible.”
Until recently, available technologies could either provide video-capable speeds, or penetrate trees in the uneven terrain of this area, but not both. Now, radios utilizing frequencies cleared in the move of television broadcasts to digital signals are being used for the first time to provide faster Internet speeds in rural areas.
“This is technology that has just come available in the past year and ConnectGRADD already has the largest deployment of this new equipment in the U.S.,” Lambert noted. “We’re excited to be on the leading edge of this new technology, and to use it to bring faster speeds to our rural customers.
“Our ultimate goal is to offer video-capable services from all of the 70-plus towers we have in the ConnectGRADD network. We’re working to improve services across the GRADD area, and these additions in Hancock County are a big step toward that goal.”