Two aim to speed up Kitsap Internet access
June 11, 2008 · Updated 3:04 PM
"With the addition of two new Internet services, Kitsap County hopes to become a faster place to surf the web.Sprint and Telocity, Inc. each announced its plans last week to offer Internet services that will go beyond the 56K connection to which most people are accustomed. Telocity, Inc., a California-based broadband provider for the home, announced a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) for western Washingtonians in Bremerton, Seattle, Bellingham, Tacoma and Olympia. DSL can handle higher bandwidth than regular phone connections because of its digital technology, and since DSL does not tie up a phone line, it is always online.A statement from Telocity said DSL connections are up to 125 times faster than 56K modems. But it's not cheap - the Telocity service will cost $49.95 a month.Sprint, on the other hand, is shooting its signal through the air. The Seattle metro area, which includes Bremerton and environs, was one of 45 markets nationwide targeted by the Kansas-based telecommunications giant for Sprint Broadbased Direct service. The service, already available in Tuscon and Phoenix, Ariz., is a fixed wireless broadband service that will be available to homes throughout the Puget Sound region. The wireless service works with Internet signals beamed out from a tower, most likely to be built in Seattle, to receptors attached to homes. The signal connection speed can range from one to five million bits per second.Sprint spokesman Brad Camp said the footprint of the signal is 35 miles, which puts most of Kitsap County well within range.Homes must, however, have a line of sight to the tower to receive the signal. In other markets, wireless providers have set up multiple towers in order to reach customers not within sight of the main tower. Camp said Sprint is unsure whether or not it will install more towers in the future to reach more homes and businesses.The service costs $39.95 a month in Arizona, which Camp said likely will be the price once it reaches Seattle. Although there is no launch date yet for the service and many of the details of the project remain tentative, Sprint officials are sure the Federal Communications Commission will approve the appropriate licenses. Sprint spokesman James Fisher said the applications are more of a formality to insure signals do not overlap and that the prognosis for the project being approved is good. It's something we expect to be approved without a problem, Fisher said. "