Neighborhoods connect to the internet through gateways – high-speed connections that usually come from expensive centralized towers. From there, local neighborhoods can expand their network through wireless antennas and repeaters. Watch this quick video to see how it all works, and read more about Althea here!
Our internet Co-Ops operate on the Althea platform. This platform tracks data usage on a per-gigabyte rate plan (the average user can expect to pay around $40-$50 per month). The more traffic you generate, the more you are billed. However even when your account runs out of funds you’ll always remain connected to the internet (just at a slower, but still functional, speed). This means that you can pay as you go and will never receive an unexpectedly large bill. Our customers will never get disconnected or sent to collections. Althea modems accepts all major debit cards. Read more about our billing model here.
Owned and operated by your local community
Our internet Co-Ops operate by providing a high-speed internet backbone connection and working with the community to build a decentralized mesh network of customer owned internet relays. Each relay operator helps grow the coverage area by connecting their neighbors to the network. Relay operators are paid in real-time for the bandwidth they help serve to surrounding customers, keeping subscriber fees inside the local economy. Read more about this in our informational brochure.
Simple, Fast, and Secure
Mesh networking is very different from your typical ISP, and a little more involved. However, tech-savviness is not a barrier of entry for this system. The Althea platform provides each user with a device similar to a modem that handles all the ISP-like functions internally without user interaction, and provides a fully private and encrypted connection to the internet at symmetrical speeds of 50mb/s to over 250mb/s. Our admins maintain the critical stuff, so you don’t have to worry about fixing any network issues, and our team of local technicians provide a community friendly face for all customer support needs. Read about other communities already enjoying community powered broadband!
We are an organization of senior systems, network, and software engineers and veterans of the corporate ISP / telecommunications industry. We’ve taken our combined experience and passion for technology and decided to focus it on a place where our skills can have the greatest impact on the communities we live in: working to close the digital divide. With over a quarter of rural america struggling to access broadband our nation is facing a crisis that requires a solution. With our unique combination of skills, the cutting edge and revolutionary Althea platform, and support of the communities that are in need of fast and affordable broadband we can provide rural America with this vital lifeline service.
Our organization is actively planning and building networks throughout the Pacific NW region, targeting rural communities that are most in need of modern broadband service. At present we are taking pre-registrations for our the following networks in Montana and Washington:
The Pacific Northwest Rural Broadband Alliance is a non-profit organization and registered 501c3 (EIN: 85-1859193)