During the USDA Reconnect round one in the summer of 2019, we took the opportunity to try our hand at building a concept we had been considering for years: using a novel design approach, taking in lessons learned from Sedanka and a patent we had filed on a concept tower, we designed a terrestrial wireless backhaul down the Alaska Peninsula from Unalaska to Homer, Alaska.
The system used all solar power and a new tower design that is resistant to ice buildup to deliver 4 Gbps of microwave capacity. The engineering and design was challenging but the hardest part was actually going through our first formal audit. We had never been through the process so there was a learning curve and we couldn’t get started on the plan until after it had been completed. We passed the audit leaving only 45 days to compile what would become a $56 million project.
Ultimately the application and project were not successful due to placement of a designated wilderness area that would have blown up the project. It was another lesson learned. This was a great team building activity and showed us that we could come together and do an extremely thorough business plan on a complicated project in a time limited way.