PERRY TOWNSHIP — O.O. McIntyre Park District met, Wednesday, at the Gallia Courthouse with JB-Nets, a Gallia wireless internet provider, to share information surrounding a partnership the two organizations have formed to bring wireless internet to the Racoon Creek County Park.
“As a park district, this has been a long time coming,” said Park District Director Paul Covey. “This will give us the opportunity to connect with others while being at the park. It opens up so many more avenues when it comes to hosting events at the park.”
“JB-Nets is my home provider so David was out at our house and I mentioned to him what he think about putting the internet in the park,” said O.O McIntyre Park District Park Manager and Recreation Director Craig Sanders. “Initially, we had thought that might not really be an option for us. David (Burdell) said he’d talk to Steve and Jake and see what they could come up with. They were able to come out in the park in (the spring), checking out things and said they thought there might be a possibility for (internet). I said ‘Hey, we’re really excited for this.’”
Sanders said JB-Nets created a package which worked well with park needs after a JB-Nets tower was able to be found within line of sight on park property.
Co-owner of JB-Nets Steve Kline and WAN General Manager David Burdell said the local company was able to install internet and service at each of the park’s shelter houses at a reduced cost to the county. Steve co-owns the business with his son, Jake. Burdell noted the importance of a wireless connection at the park as visitors may not see cell service in the area.
“We all use that park and it’s important to get communication 0ut there, especially from an emergency kind of standpoint,” said Burdell. “So, that was a driving factor.”
“We lived in a community that didn’t have a lot of access to the internet,” said Steve of JB-Nets’ origins. “My son was interested in it and he developed a need for speed. We got ISDN line to the house and a neighbor realized ours was faster than theirs and we connected them onto our line. The neighbor on the other side decided that was a good thing but they were too far away. So, the technology that Jake went after was to see how could we do this. So, we got into the wireless environment. It’s been expanded through that process throughout the county. Our philosophy is to support Gallia County and we’ve done a variety of projects for that.”
JB-Nets has 45 towers that assist in providing wireless internet to the area as well as around 1,500 customers. The company was started in 2002.
Sanders said the internet connections through the park went live in July. Burdell said that visitors could log into the internet free as guests, as long as they clicked a legal agreement saying they would use the internet respectfully from a gateway login webpage.
The O.O. McIntyre Park District Board is compromised of Gene Wood, Eric Mulford and Mike Vallee. Sanders said the three were instrumental in the project’s forward momentum.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342.