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Local Business Faces Bandwith Battle Over Internet Signal

Pathfinders and Clearfork wireless provides internet service to 200 customers around the Big Country, but last week a large interference prevented his customers from being able to browse the web.
It's a battle over bandwidth and Sidney Kleinpeter is at the front line against a power company.

"I've never seen anybody with the audacity to say well its an unlicensed ban, were going to take it whether you like it or not," said Kleinpeter. 

He owns Pathfinders and Clearfork wireless which provide internet service to 200 customers around the Big Country. 

But last week a large interference prevented his customers from being able to browse the web.

"It has been hell on earth for me the first eight days," he said.  "We had a two day spell where everything was working and a again they hit us.  Another day and a half to turn everything off and then again they hit us again."

American Electric Power Company has smart meters- or wireless meters that will allow them to read electric usage straight from a computer.

A software upgrade from an outsourced company on those meters however is causing major interference with signals from two towers that Kleinpeter leases.

A spokesperson for AEP says they're trying to resolve the situation.

"We have not encountered the problem anywhere else except West Texas so we're trying to identify the reasons that we're having this problem in this area," said,  "The work is going to continue and in the meantime we've discontinued broadcasting of the firmware update signal so that should resolve the problem in this area completely for now."

Many of Pathfinders customers live in Hawley and Clyde and have no other options for internet service providers. 

"My customers walk away, my livelihood walks away," said Kleinpeter. 

The seven year business owner says hes already lost ten customers this  week and hes afraid it could be more. 

"My customers are just livid," he said.  "I mean they're being affected with the things that they normally do in day to day activity." 

Four other providers experienced similar problems as they share unlicensed bandwidth- which is all fair game. 

In the meantime, Kleinpeter says just he just wants everyone to play nice .

"We don't want to interview with users and that's called being nice," he said.  
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