July 19, 2010

Clear Channel tower construction knocks E-vergent Wireless customers offline

Customers of a local Internet service provider were knocked offline Monday while Clear Channel rebuilds a tower along 5 Mile Road in western Racine County.

Some E-vergent Wireless customers service Monday for at least the next two weeks while Clear Channel rebuilds a tower that was decommissioned. Original plans called for a second tower to built next to the existing tower, but the project was deemed too dangerous, said Joe Falaschi, general manager of E-Vergent Wireless.

The tower project will leave E-vergent customers without service until Aug. 2, unless storms slow progress. A couple hundred customers are effected, Falaschi said.

"We understand that this is a bad situation and we appreciate your patience," Falaschi wrote to customers in an open letter posted on the E-vergent website. "We are working hard to minimize the impact and inconvenience for you."

E-vergent is an Internet service provider that focuses on areas that are not served by other ISPs. They have a tower on the Racine County Courthouse, but most of their local towers are west of the City of Racine.

The tower in question is a 500-foot tower owned by Clear Channel. E-vergent rents space on the tower at 400 feet. They looked into a temporary structure, but nothing was feasible over about 100 feet tall, Falaschi said.

Clear Channel uses the tower for its V100.7 FM out of Milwaukee. Clear Channel is moving the station's equipment to a backup tower until construction is complete. That option wasn't available for E-vergent because ISPs are site specific, Falaschi said.

Falaschi's letter gave E-vergent customers four options to check the Internet while the tower is down:
  • The Country Rose Bakery located at 19319 Washington Avenue, Union Grove, WI 53182 has a Wi-Fi hotspot where you can bring your laptop. 
  • We will have a computer available at our booth at the Racine County Fair from July 28 – August 1. 
  • You are welcome to stop in our office at 8332 Corporate Drive, Racine, WI 53406, weekdays from 8am to 6pm. We will have a computer available as well as a Wi-Fi hotspot. 
  • We are also offering free dial up as an option for home based Internet access, please contact our office or refer to the letter mailed to your home for the dial-up access number and credentials.