14 May Motorola Canopy Mushrooms to Libertyville, Ill.
With Chicagoland communities includnig Palatine and Waukegan already on the Canopy bandwagon, the Libertyville wireless network is currently being deployed and will become available for residential and business customers throughout 2003.
Owned by Libertyville’s DeBruler family, db3 Broadband is an authorized Canopy reseller that exclusively deals in Canopy service and equipment. Canopy sells to resellers like db3 Broadband, which then pass the equipment and service onto consumers and businesses. Motorola doesn’t sell directly to consumers and businesses, which necessitates middlemen like db3 Broadband.
Still, with security and reliability an enduring concern surrounding wireless, why are Chicago’s communities latching onto wireless networks rather than wired systems like high-speed cable and DSL? In addition to the lack of availability to some communities, db3 Broadband likes other perks to Canopy you won’t find in consumer-grade DSL and high-speed cable.
“One advantage we have over DSL and cable modem connections is that we can guarantee minimum aggregate speeds to our customers even if a lot of users are accessing the system at the same time,” said Dan Belmont, vice president of sales at db3 Broadband.
The company’s first tower, which has been deployed in Waukegan, covers a two-mile radius from the center of the city, according to db3 Broadband CTO Tim DeBruler. He says db3 Broadband will continue to work with officials in Gurnee, Lindenhurst, Grayslake, Mundelein, Lake Zurich, Antioch and Round Lake to bring the service to their communities.
Canopy is known for advertising swift uptimes, which can get a customer going in as fast as 24 hours.
Speeds range from 128 kilobits per second (standard ISDN speeds) to 4 megabits per second, which can range from four to 140 times faster than dial-up access. Pricing with db3 Broadband, which varies from reseller to reseller, starts at $39.95 per month with no added fees for equipment or installation. To a reseller, Canopy prices its equipment with volume discounts.
To be online from your residence, you must install a Canopy subscriber unit, which measures three inches wide by 11 inches high and weighs about two pounds. Units like these will be popping up more and more, as current projections call for 70 percent to 80 percent of the Internet connections to be broadband by 2005, according to DeBruler.
The plans by db3 Broadband call for eventually deploying Canopy to more than 90 percent of Lake County. Belmont added: “Lake County will be one of the most connected counties in America when this large network is fully operational.” DeBruler also added: “Nearly 50 percent of Lake County has no other Internet connection option other than dial-up.”
In addition to other areas and a wide array of purposes, Canopy can also be found at Newark International Airport for use by Continental Airlines. Currently, about 40 Motorola employees work in Schaumburg, Ill. specifically for the company’s Canopy unit.
Adam Fendelman is Editor-in-Chief of ePrairie.com and specializes in telecommunications in the Chicago area. He can be emailed at email@example.com. This article has been syndicated on the Wisconsin Technology Network courtesy of ePrairie, a user-driven business and technology news community distributed via the Web, the wireless Web and free daily e-mail newsletters. They can be found at www.eprairie.com.