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Published May 27 2010

I29 Web service upgrades to WiMAX

I29, the wireless Internet service operated by Forum Communications Co., has been upgraded to provide access via WiMAX technology.

In addition, the switch to WiMAX will provide I29 subscribers better connections, greater mobility and new device options including USB and desktop modems, netbooks and soon smart phones, said Paul Amundson, FCC vice president interactive.

WiMAX is a wireless digital communications system intended for wireless “metropolitan-area networks,” according to its website.

“Consumers are going to be able to buy computers, phones and other devices that have WiMAX built into them. The idea is to continue to offer more services that customers are demanding,” Amundson said.

The cost for the service starts at less than $20 per month, he said.

The WiMAX wireless digital communication system upgrades I29’s former proprietary system that required subscribers to have a special modem, Amundson said.

I29 is in the process of upgrading current modems to accommodate WiMAX, he said.

“WiFi only covers a couple hundred feet. WiMAX is like WiFi but covers miles,” Amundson said.

The WiMAX signal is transmitted from towers covering Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo and the surrounding area.

Amundson said he expects the WiMAX upgrade to attract more home users, businesses and other consumer groups.

“We’re giving them more offerings. I think there’s going to be a lot of demand,” he said.

For information about the new service go online to www.i29.net.

Readers can reach Forum Business Editor Craig McEwen at (701) 241-5502