We launched the first iteration of the OptimERA Hotspot in Akutan, Alaska in 2006-07. With a lot of manual labor and help from the local community, we connected Akutan to Unalaska via a 35-mile microwave backhaul. We combined our network services with VoIP over Wi-Fi handsets to provide more phone lines to folks at the plant and provided access to the internet throughout the plant and parts of town. This project was a success but eventually became obsolete with the introduction of cell phones.
The backend and website were completely built in-house. The per minute charging along with the data plan charging, including a call-in credit card charging system were built by Jester Purtteman and Leon Templin (RIP). We didn’t realize how forward thinking this concept was at the time, since smartphones had not hit the market and the only real data plan was through AT&T and was not fast.