The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Internet service provider expands business


By Diana Zimmerman

When Steve Carson, the owner of Computer Link NW LLC, moved to Skamokawa in recent years, he hoped to continue to provide service to his customers outside the area, but he soon realized he would need better internet service to do that.

Fortunately, he had the expertise to make that happen, and with it came a happy blessing, he was able to improve internet service for his neighbors as well.

Thus began Skamokawa Internet.

He had no idea what it would become.

“I thought it would be cool to help a dozen people on my street and now it has definitely expanded,” Carson laughed.

If there is a need, Carson seems to have a willingness to actually step up and fix it. Because of that drive toward service, he has since added customers up the Skamokawa Valley, the Skamokawa downtown corridor, Little Cape Horn, and out to East Sunny Sands on Puget Island.

At the end of last year, the owners of Smoky Waters Internet service came knocking.

“They were interested in getting out of the internet business and wondered if I could take over without a lapse in service,” Carson said. “After a bit of research and negotiations, it seemed like it would work for Skamokawa Internet to purchase their facilities and begin to offer customers on Smoky Waters network service through Skamokawa Internet.”

He’s not exactly sure how many customers he’s adding.

“If you are out there listening, and you are a customer of Smoky Waters, please contact Skamokawa Internet,” he laughed. “We sent out letters to everybody who has been getting invoices, so hopefully as people check their mail, they will call or fill out the online form so we can get them hooked up.

"We’re not going to turn anybody off on Thursday. People will continue to have internet. Eventually we will be calling people and saying you need to sign up and get on to our plans.”

“The nice thing is, their equipment is almost 100 percent compatible with my networking equipment,” Carson said. “It’s going to be seamless for the customers on April 1. They won’t know anything has changed.”

The bandwidth will be doubled at what will now be the Skamokawa Internet office on 3rd Street in Cathlamet, after Carson took over the lease.

“There may be some trickledown effect to customers immediately,” Carson said. “I’m not guaranteeing that everyone will immediately see twice the speeds because there are other bottlenecks on Smoky Water’s systems.”

Carson said that in coming weeks some customers will be able to change out their Smoky Water equipment and connect to the Skamokawa Internet network, which should show them a minimum of a five fold increase.

As he strengthens the backbone of Smoky Water’s network, he expects to see gradual increases over time.

Carson provided web hosting, web development, consulting, and programming through Computer Link NW LLC. He also repaired computers. He hopes to continue to provide those services at the new storefront, as well as provide some minor inventory for customers.

“If there is a need, I’ll start stocking it,” Carson said.


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