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Statement from the Founder
is the Blueprint America Project?
Was This Project Initiated?
a Faster On-Ramp
Very Large Backbone
Statement from the Founder
As a child, I enjoyed my upbringing in a small rural community in
South Dakota. I knew that I would have to leave home someday if
I wanted to become "technical" and realize my dreams.
I moved to the Twin Cities and left my family and friends behind.
This was 16 years ago
I am still trying to get back the culture
that I once had enjoyed. I would like to raise my family in a rural
environment so they can also experience that wonderful life! I have
vowed to do everything I possibly can to allow people to achieve
their dreams without sacrificing friends, family, and culture.
Kyle Ackerman, Founder, Xtratyme Technologies back
is the Blueprint America Project?
The Blueprint America Project (Blueprint) was developed by XtraTyme
Technologies Inc. (XTI) of Hutchinson, Minnesota in May, 2000 to
accelerate the growth of high-speed Internet availability in rural
America and beyond. XTI has spent significant time and money to
develop a network that is designed to provide a user (regardless
of geographic location) with high-speed Internet access at a very
affordable price. back to top
Was This Project Initiated?
The Internet has reached a transition point where 56K-dialup access
is not necessarily adequate for the average user anymore. Web pages
are becoming more interactive and graphically intensive. Internet
libraries are offering unbelievable resources. Online shopping is
a reality and E-commerce is becoming as popular as the dollar bill.
The Internet is becoming a necessity, not a luxury, for all businesses
large and small. This growth pattern is very similar to that of
many metropolitan highway systems. The amount of traffic has far
exceeded the capacity of the road system. In the case of the Internet,
the freeways are properly designed to handle this growth, but the
off-ramps cannot keep up. Similarly, in todays Internet, anyone
that is limited to using a 56K or slower dialup modem is caught
in a traffic jam. Surprisingly, many people in the US do not have
access to anything faster than a 28.8K-dialup Internet connection.
These people are becoming frustrated with these traffic jams and
are looking for solutions. Check out this feature article in Mobile
Computing. back to top
Enter a Faster
XTI has developed a solution that eliminates slow off-ramps and
allows Internet users to cruise at "freeway" speeds at
all times. We currently have the ability to offer high-speed Internet
access to homes and businesses regardless of their geographic location.
This has not been the case with any other current technologies including
dialup, ISDN, DSL, cable, or even satellite Internet access. This
solution has already been deployed in businesses, homes, and farms
with high levels of success. Without the inception of this project,
many of these users would still be waiting for an Internet solution
faster than 28.8K.
The Technology. Blueprint is based on the concept that very high
data rates can be transferred from point to point using radio (microwave)
technology. Since radio uses free air space for transmission, the
deployment of this "Internet in the sky" is very easy
and affordable. Communities are no longer constrained to physical
ground restrictions for running copper or fiber. The range of this
technology is such that access can be provided to those that were
normally constrained because of geographic limitations. XTI labels
its technology as "Wireless DSL", or "Wireless Digital
Subscriber Line" (WDSL). You will most likely not read about
this technology any time soon as the general public has yet to understand
its usefulness. XTI is operating on the cutting-edge and has developed
a network that uses a combination of software, microwave radios,
networking strategies, partnerships, and a touch of ingenuity to
provide a network unlike any other in the world. back
XTI is incredibly fortunate to have acquired valuable human capital
that is very "in-tune" with the companys philosophy
and the Blueprint America Project. The founder, Kyle Ackerman, has
a very diverse background in engineering, computers, marketing,
product development, and community development. His childhood experiences
in a small-town South Dakota farming community have given him the
necessary insight required to lead the company in its deployment
of the Blueprint. Mr. Ackerman is a visionary with a track record
of making his visions become reality.
is very privileged to have assembled a management team that not
only believes in the community vision, but is also capable of converting
that vision to reality in a very proficient manner. The management
team consists of personnel that are capable of providing a community
with everything they need to grow and flourish. It is this team
that leads the companys operations and is responsible for
maintaining a "down-to-earth" approach while retaining
a technical edge over its competitors. The management team regularly
couples past experience with business fundamentals and innovation
to create very innovative, efficient, and effective programs and
It is this almost-perfect blend of vision, along with sales, negotiation,
marketing, and technical skills that allows the management team
to reach its goals on a regular basis. This team has fought and
won many battles and is capable of adjusting to any adversity and
situation that may arise in the future. Each member of the management
team has gone far beyond the normal call of duty while employed
at XTI to ensure company survival and success. The teams highly logical approach to everyday situations is instrumental in developing
programs that work.
While the business world is finding that talent comes at a premium
price, XTI has developed a program where talent magnetism is the
companys best corporate recruiter. The companys teambuilding
philosophy recruits players with similar vision and the desire to
lead and excel. XTI has never had a hard time attracting and retaining
premium talent. The company has created an environment of excitement,
technical leadership, creativity, innovation, and potential for
advancement that is not easily duplicated by traditional corporate
We believe that we have developed one of the largest and most unique
scalable, redundant, and effective fixed, portable, and mobile wireless
broadband networks in the world. back
Our active coverage area to date is over 6,000 square miles (almost
10% of Minnesota). This includes 69 towers covering over 105 different
cities and several different counties. We have contracted with current
partners to have over 11,299 square miles activated by the end of
2002. This equates to over 17% of the geographical area of Minnesota.
Click on icons for a larger view. back
A paid subscriber can "roam" anywhere in the Xtratyme
Wireless Network without additional charges or computer reconfiguration.
If you have a laptop computer, you have the ability to get Internet
access at high speeds in any of our connected 100+ communities.
If you are a passenger in a car, you can be "surfing"
the net at speeds of over 800 kilobits per second. That is over
15 times faster than the fastest dialup modem. In some communities,
you can open your laptop in buildings, in parks, restaurants, and
even schools and you are connected at these very fast speeds.
For the first time ever, computers with broadband Internet access
can be used almost anywhere. This fact paves the way for waves of
mobile broadband products that will be launched in the next 12 months.
Some of these will include live GPS position monitoring, real-time
field data acquisition, remote equipment control, field database
access, remote camera monitoring, mobile IP telephony, and more.
back to top
Controls the Performance
We feel that each user should be able to choose a custom and economical
performance package based on needs. We offer the unique ability
to select AlaCarte packages to ensure good Internet performance.
Users will soon be able to customize their daily speed performance
by personally "shaping" their package to perform exactly
as needed. For example, if a user would like megabit service in
the evening, and lower speeds during the daytime, it would be possible
for that user to configure their package to perform exactly as they
have planned. They may want to "turn-down" performance
on weekends when they are gone to save on bandwidth costs. Or, it
will soon be possible to guarantee performance levels on both speed
and latencies to allow a user to effectively use IP Telephony or
professional-level videoconferencing. These AlaCarte options will
all be available by simply logging into the user's personal account
and modifying the performance profile. back
Very Large Backbone
Each of our wireless cells is fed by a wireless backbone that is
capable of delivering between 4 and 60 T-1s. This is a tremendously
large Internet pipe and is capable of providing premium Internet
service to all Xtratyme subscribers. This backbone is configured
to give each user optimal Internet performance and a direct feed
to the heart of the Internet. Compare this to other network providers
that are feeding each of their wireless cells with a T-1 or less.
Those providers often rate-limit their users since they are unable
to handle the loading associated with broadband Internet usage.
We do not feel that this is "true" broadband as the user
is constantly being throttled down below optimal Internet speeds.
for a full image back to top
Our network model is very attractive to car-poolers (passengers)
that wish to use the Internet during their long drive. It is also
very attractive to local public safety personnel that wish to access
criminal reports, etc while they are in the field. Our network coverage
focuses on key highways and freeways so that mobile computing can
become a reality. A very unique feature of our network includes
the ability to start a very large download while roaming from cell
to cell. The download continues and is unaffected by the change
in tower access. Many users like the ability to use their laptop
at both home and work without reconfiguring or subscribing to two
different Internet providers. back
The best way to ensure good quality, fast Internet access to all
subscribers, is to monitor the network closely. We are very good
at knowing how full our "pipes" are so that we can balance
our loading accordingly. We are continually monitoring backbone
usage, network uptime, number of users, bandwidth per user, nomadic
tendencies of the users, peak loading situations, and more. This
monitoring is invisible to the user but is a very important part
of running a quality network. A user is NOT monitored for specific
content activity as this would be a violation of privacy laws. If
we find that one of our "pipes" is reaching capacity,
the "pipe" size is increased or additional "pipes"
are added before the "pipe" is full. This process happens
very quickly and is also invisible to the subscriber. back
Our engineering staff has developed a way to balance our network
to ensure optimal performance at all times. During peak loading
times, "pipes" are dynamically balanced to allow heavier
loads to be "balanced" or shifted to "pipes"
that are not fully used. The nature of our mesh-like network allows
for several balancing permutations to exist at any given time. back
Wireless technology is very sensitive to line-of-site blockages
such as trees, buildings, hills, etc. We have developed an architecture
that all but eliminates this problem for most subscribers. We have
used this network design in heavily wooded and hilly areas such
as Mankato with a very high level of success. Over 90% of the dwellers
in our fully deployed network areas have the ability to receive
fixed broadband services. We have developed various packages and
designs that deal with trees, buildings, and other line-of-sight
obstructions. back to top
Our partners are typically offering our services for $30 to $40
per month for consumer accounts. Businesses are evaluated on an
individual basis and typically range from $50 to $150 per month
depending on the size of the business, activity, etc. We do not
know of anyone that can offer this quality of service for a lower
price. back to top
Latency is the amount of time it takes your "click" to
arrive at the web sites destination. The higher this time,
the longer you wait for your response. Our network is designed to
maintain latencies under 60 milliseconds. It is a requirement of
Internet telephony (IP phones) that latencies do not exceed 125
milliseconds. Our network is fully capable of supporting this technology.
Other broadband providers often have no control over this variable
and are unable to support applications that require fast responses
such at videoconferencing, Internet gaming, IP telephony, and other
responsive interactive web sites. Satellite technology does not
support any of these applications as they are limited by the speed-of-light
and the fact that their satellites are located 22,000 miles above
the earth. It is not uncommon to see latencies of over 1 second
using satellite technology. The impact of this slow response is
noticed even in random web site surfing. back
Internet downtime has been a problem since the inception of the
Internet. Computers fail, fiberoptics are severed, etc. We have
designed a network that will feature several layers of redundancy
so that Internet can be offered to those that rely on very high
levels of uptime and reliability. The primary redundant feature
of our network utilizes a "loop" topology. If any tower
in our interconnected "loop" backbone fails, the remaining
towers do not lose connectivity as those areas remain connected
on the other portion of the "loop". We are adding an additional
source of redundancy in that our backbone is being fed by several
Internet providers in several different locations. This feature
protects the consumer from the very rare situation where our backbone
providers lose connectivity. It is our goal to maintain our uptime
statistics from 99% to 99.9% and possible attain 99.99% by the end
of 2002. These uptime numbers are unimaginable in todays Internet
architecture. back to top
Our network architecture allows for the addition of cells anywhere.
Our network does not need to be contiguous or interconnected. We
are able to expand very rapidly in any location. Our network has
been designed with the foresight that it would be worldwide. We
have incorporated design features into our network that will allow
us to accomplish this feat quickly and effectively. back
team is currently capable of deploying a very high number of cells
per day. At this time, there is not a project that is too large
for us to handle. There are very few network builders that can equal
this rate of expansion. This is important for those that rely on
good quality network for the viability of their business and community.
back to top
Our engineers have designed a network that is capable of supporting
security levels acceptable to almost any kind of business. We use
a technology that is virtually impossible to "hack" when the proper security measures are taken. back
Our engineers ensure that our subscribers get the most direct path
possible to the heart of the Internet. From that point on, the user
is at the mercy of the remainder of the Internet (we lose control).
Within the geographical bounds of our current network, we can ensure
remarkable levels of performance. It is our intention to carry this
high level of performance throughout the United States and the world.
If the Internet was capable of such quality today, we would see
many applications that have only been dreams for many years. Most
of our users achieve speeds faster than even the largest of web
sites on the other end. As the Internet grows and "pipes"
become even larger, our users will see remarkable performance improvements.
back to top
Our network has been developed to support Virtual Private Networks
or VPNs. This allows a business to use our backbone to interconnect
business locations throughout the world in a highly secure manner.
This feature allows for the consolidation of data, redundant backup
applications, toll-free telephony, and more. This model fits very
effectively into telework and telecommuting models being developed
today. Videoconferencing and live camera interaction become a reality
when our network is used effectively. back
The "franchise-like" nature of our Blueprint America Project
allows us to maintain very high levels of local support and service.
This local contact also creates an information channel directly
to our headquarters allowing for feedback and network enhancements
to happen quickly. We have developed a very effective method of
gathering information from our partners to ensure that our network
and performance is nothing less than optimal. back
We have developed a model that is economically attractive to everyone
involved including our subscribers, our partners, and our backbone
providers. It is very important that a network model shows profitability
and stability. We have seen wireless models that are feeding a single
cell with a T-1 that costs $1200 per month. In that model, if a
subscription was sold for $30 per month, it would take 40 users
just to break even on the monthly T-1 costs. If most of those users
decide to use the Internet simultaneously, performance would be
very close to that of a dialup connection. Not only is this model
very hard to economically justify, but it is very hard to provide
a level of service that will attract enough users to break even.
We feel strongly that if a wireless broadband provider is not interconnecting
their wireless cells using wireless backbone, it is difficult, if
not impossible to show profitability. In our model, where all of
our cells are interconnected using radios, we have the ability to
direct a "pool" of T-1s to where they are needed.
If they are not being used, there is not Internet overhead associated
with that cell. This is completely different than the previously
discussed model where $1200 is being charged to the provider regardless
of whether one user or one hundred users are accessing the Internet.
back to top
XTI has developed a network that utilizes a connected cell. This
cell consists of a tower that transmits high-speed Internet to thousands
of people. This cell is designed provide each user with a minimum
amount of bandwidth at all times. Unlike other technologies such
as cable access, XTIs WDSL is designed so that automatic load
balancing ensures that each user has access to high-speed Internet.
XTI has developed a model that allows for the addition of many connected
cells. In rural Minnesota, each small town is considered a cell.
One of the main advantages of XTIs WDSL is that a user can
travel seamlessly throughout any of the cells and remain connected
to a transmitting tower. This connected mobility is a highly unique
feature of the XTI model. back to
©2002 Xtratyme Inc. All rights reserved. Designed by MeshCreative.