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County Internet underway

A month after officially launching, Decatur County’s wireless Internet project with Main Street Broadband is operating and expanding, county officials said Tuesday.

According to County Finance Director Carl Rowland, “well over” 100 customers have signed up for the service, which aims to provide high-speed Internet wirelessly to homes, primarily in areas that didn’t have high-speed Internet options before.

Giving an update on the service’s rollout at Tuesday morning’s county commissioners meeting, Rowland said Main Street currently is using telecommunications towers at the Decatur County Jail and another near the Vada community to deliver the service.

A third tower is being installed off Spring Creek Road, about seven to eight miles south of Bainbridge, and a fourth is slated for installation near Attapulgus, Rowland said.

Main Street is awaiting official agreeements with Brinson, Climax and Bainbridge regarding installation of wireless Internet transmitters in those places, he said.

Main Street is pursuing other sites around Decatur County and hopes to continue adding new ones at a rate of about one to two per month until virtually the entire county is covered, he said.

Commissioner Russell Smith asked about the status of bringing the service to southwestern Decatur County, to the area between Faceville and Recovery.

Rowland said those areas are included in Main Street’s plans but said he could not give a specific date for them to receive service.

Main Street representatives previously said their intention is to make wireless Internet service available in all areas of Decatur County, where technically feasible. The service relies on technology similar to cell phone signal broadcasting, with each tower equipped with a transmitter able to cover a small area. In most cases, homes only need to be provided with a device similar to a cable or DSL Internet modem with an antenna that connects to a computer or router.

Even in situations where trees or low elevation make it difficult for homes to receive signals, Main Street can position receivers similar to miniature satellite dishes to help out.

To register interest in Main Street’s service, visit Decatur County’s official Web site at www.decaturcountyga.org and look for the “Wireless Broadband Service” link on the right side of the homepage.