A data pole for wireless internet was installed at the Hallieford Post Office on Saturday.
David Mower, managing partner for Northern Neck WiFi of Kilmarnock, said it could be a week to 10 days before the electricity is hooked up, radio antennas are installed on the pole, and the signal from a feeder tower is aligned with the data pole, but the equipment will eventually enable Hallieford residents to have internet speeds of up to 40 megabytes per second.
Before installation can proceed, said Mower, the crew has to be satisfied that the signal strength at the data pole will be enough to receive the signal from a taller feeder tower, such as the one at Cobbs Creek Post Office.
Low power radio signals (a maximum of 10 watts) are used for wireless internet, he said, and the signal can be weakened or even blocked by foliage, so a line-of-sight is needed to make sure the signal will transmit.
"In town, you can have a mesh-type operation from building to building," said Mower. "But up here, a couple hundred feet won’t get you out of most people’s yards."
He said the weather also plays a big part in determining when pole installation is completed. "We don’t climb in lightning storms," he said.
In addition, if weather damages an existing data pole, repairing that equipment takes precedence over installing new equipment.
"We take care of existing customers who are paying money to be online before installing new equipment," said Mower.
The next pole installation will be at Callis Wharf sometime toward the middle of August, said Mower, with a third scheduled to go up after that at the site of the proposed new YMCA at Hudgins.
Best in Sight and Sound and Franktronics will be installing the equipment.