and the future of Internet accessibility by mirit35

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									                                                                                                                                                        SIUSLAW NEWS              •   PROGRESS EDITION 7                •    SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2007                    5



                                                                                        Oregonfast.net
                                                   and the future of Internet accessibility
                                                                        George Rogato on the potential for fiber optics in the community.
                            STORY AND PHOTOS BY DENISE RUTTAN         said George. “The speed, the ease      tomers, together with their personal     makes home-based Internet more           that’s willing to invest in a long-       of money,” said George. “I specifi-
                                    Progress Special Writer
                                                                      of use and the efficiency are all      interest and involvement in the area,    independent, and wireless means          term endeavor that doesn’t have a         cally want to target small business-
                                                                      benefits of Wifi, and the coast has    can afford to be more innovative.        people can access the Internet any-      quick      profit,” said   George.        es to invest in VOIP.”



                              O
                                          regonfast.net president     that.”                                    “We didn’t go into this business      where in the area through mobile         “Sometimes in the business world             As part of his commitment to
                                          George Rogato says he          Wireless connectivity, especially   to make a lot of money,” said            applications, said George.               the smallest companies will create        connecting the coast to the most
                                          is a next big thing         in more remote, rural areas, has       George. “Our goal is to bring better        “Fiber allows people to have          their own path.”                          advanced telecommunications out
                            junkie. And Rogato wants to see           become a recent national priority.     connectivity to the area. We’re          choice since it is not controlled by        But he said they would not be in       there, George has been active on an
                            fiber as the next big thing for the       The Federal Communications             involved in the community and            any single company,” said George.        that position without community           FCC committee that brings together
                            Florence community.                       Commission (FCC) has been lately       we’re going to be here for the long      “I think fiber is the future of          support.                                  ISP providers and small businesses
                                Back when Oregonfast.net start-       supporting the idea that telecommu-    term.”                                   Internet access.                            “One of the keys to our success        as well as a variety of other entities
                            ed in 1999, when George’s sons            nications accessibility should reach      George said the final piece of that      “It will allow people to relocate     has been our customers and the            to testify before the communica-
                            Michael and Patrick bought                rural as well as cosmopolitan areas    overall better connectivity is fiber     to Florence, to continue benefiting      community supporting us,” said            tions regulatory commission on a
                            Florence’s original ISP, Winfinity,
                            fiber was an expensive endeavor,
                            wireless was the next big thing and
                            56k was a fast connection.
                                “I was connected to a dial-up
CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK




                            modem, and I would come over to
                            their house for their T1 line,” said
                            George. “I wanted to figure out how
                            I could connect to their line and still
                            get fast service.”
                                George was an electrician before
                            he’d ever heard of wireless and
                            broadband. He had owned George’s
                            Reliable Electric Service for 10
                            years. Even then he was keeping an
                            eye out for anything modern and
                            innovative. How could he do his job
                            better and more efficiently to pro-
                            vide more convenient and afford-
                            able service for his customers? That
                            commitment to customer service is
                            evident in his work today with
                            Oregonfast.net.
                                “I started learning about telecom-
                            munications and connectivity,” said
                            George.
                                He consumed everything he
                            could about the industry. Wireless
                            was still a futuristic idea, but he
                            wanted to see total connectivity for
                            the central coast. He wanted people
                            to have options and choice, even if
                            that choice was not Oregonfast.net.
                                Back then fiber was more expen-
                            sive than wireless, so they did not
                            pursue it as a viable option.
                                “Fiber was extremely expensive
                            when we started. The components
                            on the ends of fiber are the expen-
                            sive parts,” said George.
                                But the key influencing factor
                            between then and now in fiber
                            affordability, said George, was the
                            decreasing cost of glass.
                                “There’s a falling price of glass
                            and an increase in the purchase of
                            it,” said George. “The components
                            on the end of fiber connections are
                            now commonplace. Their prices
                            have come down considerably,
                            making fiber today much more
                            affordable.”
                                When the Rogato family started
                            Oregonfast.net, their first concern
                            was getting wireless connectivity to
                            the area. First they took baby steps.
                                “We experimented with wireless                                    The faces of Oregonfast.net. Clockwise from top left: Patrick Rogato and Travis Virili; George Rogato; Michael Rogato.
                            from the ISP at Michael’s house to
                            my house and it worked pretty
                            well,” said George.                       across the country. George said        access.                                  to our city and creating jobs here in    George.                                   regular basis. George has visited
                                When using wireless there’s no        Florence, Mapleton and surround-          “The idea behind fiber is to bring    a new industry. It will add hi-tech to      And they retain that community         Wash., D.C., a few times and has
                            third party such as a telephone com-      ing areas on the Oregon coast are      the newest and most advanced             Florence by bringing affordable          service by providing personal serv-       personally met Michael Powell,
                            pany to deal with, said George. The       ahead of the game in that respect.     telecommunications options to our        connectivity to the area.”               ice on a consistent, local basis, said    head of the FCC and son of
                            wireless customer can be independ-           “A lot of communities around the    area at prices and speeds that are          The idea of fiber is old hand to      George, always keeping affordabili-       Secretary of State Colin Powell;
                            ent.                                      country are trying to find a way to    affordable and the most efficient for    George, who as an experienced            ty and efficiency at the top of the       Powell’s big push has been getting
                                Wireless connectivity in the area     make wireless accessible to their      people to come here and set up           electrician has 30 years’ experience     equation.                                 behind charting the future of the
                            started out in the woods at Sutton        area,” said George. “People in         shop.”                                   putting wire in the ground.                 “We provide dedication and loy-        telecommunications industry.
                            Lake Road.                                Florence have had wireless connec-        Oregonfast.net’s immediate goal          “As an electrician I did a lot of     alty to our customers,” said George.         George calls himself not only the
                                Today over 1,000 premises in the      tivity for seven years. We have        is to bring fiber access from their      underground wiring,” he said.            “Every day we’re helping people           president but the “chief evangelist”
                            area, from small businesses to            taken the lead in terms of what        office in Kingwood Street and the           “Tomorrow’s world will be fiber       understand their computers and            of Oregonfast.net, and efficient,
                            industry to private residents, are        other communities are looking at.”     industrial area in that part of town     at home and wireless access outside      connect to the Internet.”                 reliable, affordable Internet access
                            connected to the central coast’s             Wireless starts in small towns      out toward Ninth Street. They want       of the home. The dual system of             Along with fiber access, George        is his company’s priority.
                            broadbrand infrastructure.                and with small businesses that have    to see fiber extend out to the inter-    fiber and wireless will work togeth-     said that Oregonfast.net plans to            Oregonfast.net can be contacted
                                There are over a hundred Wifi         a deep investment in their local       section of Highway 126 and               er. That’s where I see the future of     offer voice-over IP (VOIP) tele-          at 902-1566. The business is locat-
                            hotspots in the area and Wimax is         communities, said George. Large,       Highway 101.                             telecommunications.”                     phones with enhanced 911 func-            ed at 1735 Kingwood Street Suite A
                            becoming a significant presence as        national companies get stuck in tra-      Ultimately, George’s vision is to        George said Oregonfast.net is the     tionality, according to new FCC           in Florence.
                            well.                                     ditional ways of thinking. Small       see the power and accessibility of       company to bring that future to          regulations that modulated what
                                “We’re nearly the most advanced       businesses, with their ready-made      wireless coupled with the independ-      Florence.                                was provided through VOIP access.
                            wireless area on the West Coast,”         user base of loyal community cus-      ence and convenience of fiber. Fiber        “What it takes is a company              “I think this will save people a lot

								
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