Zirkel Wireless opens store in Craig to better serve Moffat County customers | CraigDailyPress.com

Zirkel Wireless opens store in Craig to better serve Moffat County customers

A new competitor and customer feedback prompted Yampa Valley Internet Service Provider Zirkel Wireless to open a storefront in downtown Craig in July, said Operations Manager Josh Nowack.

He views the competition offered by High Rapid Networks as positive for business and customers.

"It's going to ensure everyone's network is better," Nowack said.

Zirkel Wireless launched their high-speed wireless internet services in the fall of 2001 in Routt County and started serving customers in Moffat County in 2009.

The company is named after the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area, "one of our favorite places and one of the most beautiful spots on earth," states its website.

It has a network of 22 antennas, four towers in Moffat County that cover about 90 percent of the area. Its "fixed wireless broadband" technology connects the signal from the towers to antennas on homes and businesses at a much faster speeds than what is offered by mobile services, said Company President Alan Belvo.

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In addition to the new storefront in Craig, Zirkel Wireless is working with its network, or middle mile, provider Mammoth to create redundancy in its connections between Moffat County, Routt County and Denver. And this fall, Zirkel plans to add TV to its services.

"The goal is to offer local Denver channels, all the network, over-the-air channels that everyone seems to want, but can't get," Belvo said.

The reliability and speed offered by their wireless technology is better than fiber in Nowack's opinion.

"Education is a problem. Information is still going out saying that you have to have fiber, but it's just not true," he said.

He believes that Zirkel Wireless can play a role as Moffat County moves forward with the community broadband plan.

"We would love to participate and help educate the community on how it can be done more cost effectively and timely," Nowak said.

He also believes that government has a role to play in broadband services and said that Zirkel Wireless has been working with Routt County to overcome challenges best met by government.

"I would argue that we don't have a last mile (internet service provider) problem… the true problem for the area is middle mile," Nowak said. "Private industry can accomplish the last mile services, the assistance that private industry will need is cheap towers, cheap tower rent and open lines of communication."

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.