Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hey look - what's that?

Customers.  Well a customer.
In the shorter term, LiftPort has been casting around for ways to apply the technological building blocks of the space elevator scheme to more grounded pursuits. Laine said his company already has a client for the technology: Lightspeed Broadband, a wireless Internet access provider based in Port Angeles, Wash.

"These guys are actually going to pay for this system now, under development," Laine said.

Lightspeed's president, Jamie Aggen, told that his fledgling company hoped to use balloon-lofted signal relays to weave meshes of wireless Internet and voice-over-Internet services — initially across the Kitsap Peninsula, and eventually in other areas as well. Aggen said the system also could be used to facilitate "quick, early response to disaster areas," with last year's Hurricane Katrina devastation serving as a prime example.

Aggen said that Lightspeed currently has fewer than 200 subscribers in western Washington for its antenna-based wireless broadband services. But he shared Laine's hope that the technology currently being tested would set the stage for the company's expansion.

"He has a vision of going to space, and now we have a vision of deploying telecom," Aggen said. "We think it's totally achievable."

To harken to another pop reference . ..
So he picks up the boy and carries him through the compound, down semicollapsed hallways and over settling rubble-heaps and between dead Nipponese boys to that big staircase, and shows him the giant slabs of granite, tells how they were laid, one on top of the next, year by year, as the galleons full of silver came from Acapulco. Doug M. Shaftoe has been playing with blocks, so he zeroes in on the basic concept right away. Dad carries son up and down the stairway a few times. They stand at the bottom and look up at it. The block analogy has struck deep. Without any prompting, Doug M. raises both arms over his head and hollers "Soooo big" and the sound echoes up and down the stairs. Bobby wants to explain to the boy that this is how it’s done, you pile one thing on top of the next and you keep it up and keep it up—sometimes the galleon sinks in a typhoon, you don’t get your slab of granite that year—but you stick with it and eventually you end up with something sooo big.
It might end in tears or it might end with a something sooo big - but this is the way you do it.
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