Keweenaw County, Pasty.Net reach agreement | News, Sports, Jobs

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Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette
The communication tower between the Keweenaw County Courthouse and the county jail was erected for the use of 911 communication antennas. Jointly owned by 911 and the county, the tower will also house internet equipment.

EAGLE RIVER — A second amended license agreement between Keweenaw County and Pasty.Net has been accepted by both parties.

The county owns an antenna tower at the former Air Force radar base at Mount Horace Greeley (referred to in the agreement as the “HG Tower,” along with the building on which the tower is mounted (HG Building). A second county-owned, free-standing tower, KCSO Tower, is located between the Keweenaw County Courthouse and the Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Office.

Pasty.Net currently has 11 antennas mounted on the railing on the top of the HG Building as well as support equipment inside of the building, and three antennas mounted on the KCSO tower.

Charlie Hopper, Pasty.Net general manager, has told the county he wants to change the type of antennas mounted on the KCSO Tower, and to increase their number from three to four once the changes have been made. Steadily increasing customer demand for high-speed internet service in the county compelled Pasty.Net to upgrade its equipment.

However, the towers have become popular with governmental agencies who are competing for space on them. The tower in Eagle River is jointly owned between the county and the Michigan State Police Negaunee Regional Communication Center (911). The tower, in fact, was erected for 911. AT&T has communications devices mounted on the HG Tower.

At the regular January meeting, Hayden Henderson came to the board on behalf of NOAA regarding space on the railing of the HG Tower. NOAA maintains a series of critical weather measuring stations around the Great Lakes, including one at Stannard Rock. Henderson expressed hope that an antenna at HG would establish a better means of communication with weather sensors in the lake if it could be mounted higher up on the tower and the handrail would provide this.

The agreement between the county and Pasty.Net states that currently the internet provider has one or more devices mounted at the top of the Eagle River tower. It also states that when the governmental licensee is scheduled to install its equipment on the KCSO Tower, Pasty.Net must either move its antennas to a lower location on the tower or remove the antennas and install replacement devices at lower locations on the tower with Pasty.Net antennas not being higher than 72 feet above the ground.

Pasty.Net will continue to provide internet service to the county offices and the Sheriff’s Office but under the new agreement will pay monthly license fees, which will begin on the first day of the month once Pasty.Net makes the required changes on the tower at Eagle River.

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