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NATCO Tech Training Employees On Satellite Internet
September 2005
Russell May, Brad Wiseman, and David Carson
Internet by Satellite Comes to Rural Areas

Employees of Northern Arkansas Telephone Company (NATCO) recently were trained to install WildBlue Internet service via satellite in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri. Shown are three of the six who were trained: (from left) Russell May, Brad Wiseman, and David Carson, who is outside plant supervisor. For more information, contact NATCO at
1-800-775-6682.

Employees of NATCO Technologies have received training to install high-speed Internet service by satellite. NATCO is one of 280 rural telephone and electric companies nationwide that will provide wireless Internet service through WildBlue, a Colorado company, and the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative.

"The first Internet customer of WildBlue and NRTC received service in Strasburg, Colo., and we are just waiting for more equipment to get our satellite Internet customers online." said Steven G. Sanders Jr., vice president of NATCO Communications, the parent company of NATCO Tech.

The satellite Internet service is about 30 times faster than dialup Internet. Its speed is comparable to the NATCO Tech DSL Internet service now available to some customers, but not all, depending on their distance from telephone switching equipment, Sanders said. The download speed will be up to 1.5 Mb at the top tier of service.

NATCO employees who completed the training are: Russ May, David Carson, Brad Wiseman, Eddie Duke, Jamie Ward, and Mike Worley. Carson and May had hands-on training in Albert Lea, Minn., while Wiseman, Ward, Duke, and Worley had hands-on training in Little Rock. All completed a three-part online training course as a requirement and are now certified.

Sanders, of NATCO, said customers will receive the "always on" Internet service like NATCO DSL customers do. No additional phone line is necessary.

WildBlue satellite Internet service was established to provide broadband access to the Internet in smaller cities and throughout rural America. WildBlue CEO Tom Moore said when the first customer received service in June, "This is a truly historic moment as we make affordable broadband available to virtually every home and small office across the U.S." Moore said the company is helping to "begin smashing the digital divide in rural communities across the country."

NRTC President and CEO Bob Phillips stressed the economic benefits to rural America. "If we want to attract people and business to rural America, we need to ensure that rural America is totally connected, just as it was in the days when our members first brought electricity and telephone service to rural areas."

Nationwide, NRTC members, such as NATCO, will offer three basic service packages to consumers and small business with graduated speeds and monthly rates. Customers will receive the WildBlue equipment and professional installation for a "market-leading low price of $299," which is a savings of nearly $180 over nationally advertised installation prices, Phillips said.

For more information, contact NATCO and NATCO Tech toll free at 1-800-775-6682 or visit the Web site at www.natcotech.com. NATCO, or Northern Arkansas Telephone Company, is a family owned and operated independent company providing telephone service in six exchanges: Bull Shoals, Flippin, Diamond City, Lead Hill, Omaha, and Pyatt.
 

 
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