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Posted on July 11, 2013 by GWI

One of the most vexing issues for internet service providers (ISPs) today is providing broadband to rural areas; this is primarily because the per-household costs of providing such connections are much greater in rural areas than in urban or suburban areas. However, broadband  also provides an important pipeline to rural communities, which help bridge inherent geographical divides. Rural broadband access can do much to grow local business; according to the USDA a small Alaska town numbering about …
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Posted on June 26, 2013 by GWI

One of our more interesting fixed wireless broadband applications is for a customer reachable only by a twenty-five mile boat ride from our Rockland office. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages the “Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge” on a small rocky island near Matinicus Island, Maine and uses our services in some interesting ways. In the WWII era, the island was a bombing range and now contains unexploded ordnance. Thus, it’s off limits to …
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Posted on June 20, 2013 by GWI

“Municipal broadband” is rapidly taking a leading role in legislative debates around the country, but just what exactly is it, and why is there such a heated debate? In short, municipal broadband is a broadband internet service provided partially or fully by a local government. There are many states debating legislation which limit the ability of local communities to provide this sort of municipal access; and even more towns trying to implement it. The debate …
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Posted on June 14, 2013 by Trevor Jones

A managed network security service provides your business with a network security appliance that is actively maintained and supported by a managed services provider. Depending upon the level of service you purchase, these services can provide anything from basic firewalling to sophisticated unified threat management. If you’re like most business managers though, you probably just read that sentence and have no idea what it means. So, given that most of us aren’t techies, how do …
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Posted on May 29, 2013 by Trevor Jones

Most people pay a fair amount for their Internet connection, so it can be frustrating when that connection seems to run slow.  To add insult to injury, the first thing most ISP’s do when you call with speed questions is try to up-sell you to their “Turbo” or “Deluxe” plan.  Maybe a higher speed Internet connection is right for you.  Then again, maybe you can do a few things to improve performance without spending money.  …
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Posted on May 24, 2013 by Trevor Jones

I’m not a lawyer, but during my career I’ve invested a fair number of hours in reading, writing and revising contracts for managed services and telecommunications. These documents can sometimes be long.  The language is often esoteric, and no one likes to read them. As a result, both salespeople and purchasing agents like contracts short, sometimes at the expense of clarity. On the other hand, good agreements are an absolutely vital component of doing business.They …
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Posted on May 15, 2013 by Trevor Jones

Hosted PBX features set these cloud-based business phone systems apart from traditional phone systems.   These advanced features provide added mobility, call management, and flexibility to your voice communication.   They help you manage vacation and sick time, respond to disasters and make changes to your setup faster and easier than was possible in the past.  Most importantly, a Hosted PBX gives you access to these features without the up-front costs of traditional phone systems. Below, we …
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Posted on May 1, 2013 by Trevor Jones

  Hosted PBX phone systems offer businesses a number of operational benefits, including low up-front costs, easy mobility, and flexible call handling.  Moreover they’re unparalleled in their ability to handle multi-location deployments and telecommuters.  If you’re sold on the benefits of Hosted PBX, the next question is invariably where to buy it from. There are literally hundreds of Hosted PBX phone system providers out there.  Some of them are little more than online service providers …
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Posted on April 24, 2013 by Brad Dormanen

Internet browsing is part of our daily lives but there are all kinds of risks while doing so. These risks can include exposure of sensitive personal information and infection by malware, which includes viruses, spyware, and adware. Safe browsing means being aware of these online threats and taking the necessary steps to avoid them. It only takes a little bit of effort, a few tools, and some basic information to be safe as you browse …
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Posted on April 16, 2013 by GWI

Way back in early 90’s we had a few less than ideal options for computer connectivity in Maine. There were incompatible dial-up systems such as Compuserve, AOL, and the University of Maine’s mainframe system. These were a toll call in most Maine towns and it was usually cheaper to call the New Hampshire number to use Compuserve or AOL. Alternately, people could transfer messages and files with local bulletin boards using 2400, 9600, or 14.4k …
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Posted on April 15, 2013 by Fletcher Kittredge

Today, we are still in the early days of the Internet revolution.  New telecommunications applications are being deployed over the next decades that will shape every aspect of our future lives, society and economy.   We have touched on those emerging applications in the past, including driverless cars and healthcare robots.  In this post, I’d like to concentrate on the regulatory issues because today’s regulatory regime reflects an earlier era and is unsuitable for the network …
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Posted on April 10, 2013 by Colin Haley

In the last decade, the death rate of cell tower climber’s has risen to almost ten times the rate of construction workers.  In last year’s Frontline/Pro Publica investigation, their researchers found that since 2003, nearly 100 climbers have perished, 50 of them on cell sites.  For those of us who are in the industry of wireless service, this investigation highlights the already apparent need for qualified and trained tower climbers. Recently, two members of GWI’s …
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Posted on April 3, 2013 by Trevor Jones

GWI acquired Midcoast Internet Solutions at least partly for its expertise in using fixed wireless to extend broadband service to unserved and underserved areas of Maine.  In particular, their innovative use of mixed technologies to provide island broadband is both unique and important to extending adequate Island broadband coverage on Maine’s ragged coastline. This week, we’re wrapping up a project on Islesboro that is an excellent example of how the Three Ring Binder, a middle …
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Posted on March 27, 2013 by Trevor Jones

We live in a wireless world. Wi-Fi networking connects dozens of devices in our homes and businesses to the vital Internet services we need for both work and play. On the other hand, network security experts warn us that wireless networks can be insecure and leave our vital data at risk to eavesdropping and intrusion from unwanted guests. That said, Wi-Fi security is not an oxymoron.  There are things you can do to keep your …
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Posted on March 19, 2013 by Trevor Jones

Unified Thread Management (“UTM”) has developed into the default solution for many information technology integrators and managed service providers in recent years.  Simply put, UTM is a network security function which integrates a wide variety of security services into a single device or service.  The promise of UTM for most IT managers is that it can simplify your life and reduce costs by rolling the capabilities of several devices into one. Our own Managed Network …
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Posted on March 13, 2013 by Trevor Jones

If you own a small business, chances are you manage your own IT, have an employee that does it on the side for you, or employ an outside contractor.  It isn’t what you got into business to do, so you’re not an expert.  In fact, chances are when a real geek starts talking to you, everything they say sounds like a foreign language.  You have vital data on your computers including customer information, your accounts, …
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Posted on March 6, 2013 by Trevor Jones

Recently, a business partner asked me how we use fixed wireless Internet in our network – “Is it really something you can use for business?”  It seems that he had a perception of these products as inferior to traditional wire line services.  It’s a common misconception, but as this Tweet from a fixed broadband user shows, there is no reason at all why fixed wireless can’t provide faster connections than DSL or Cable: I like …
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Posted on February 27, 2013 by Colin Haley

During the holiday season I was plugging in my Christmas lights for my tree and the faulty lights blew out my electrical socket.  Now, it was an easy fix with some wizardry in the fuse box, but the socket cover was torched.  Though a seriously minor inconvenience (some would say this is a first world problem), I still had to go to the hardware store and purchase a new one.  But, what if there was …
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Posted on February 20, 2013 by GWI

By Ross Lasley I’ve been in the “website business” since before you could make a living doing that. Back then every single “web” person also fixed computers, or did some other geeky task – but that was a couple of decades ago now. At some point I lost count – I did own a web development company that ran full page ads in the New York Times selling websites at one time – but I’ve …
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Posted on February 12, 2013 by GWI

By Meagan Webb-Morgan Installing Voice over Internet Protocol phone service gives you access to corporate-quality phone features at a cost that is affordable for your small business. TheDigest.com explains, “The low cost of a VoIP phone system, as well as its digital features, can help your business run more smoothly and develop a professional image.” While VOIP is a phone technology many businesses use, it works much differently from your standard phone system. Because of this, …
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