Local Internet provider to dock in Indian Head
PeakeNet begins first phase of Maryland operation
Indian Head residents struggling with slow or unreliable internet access may soon have an opportunity for better connectivity, as PeakeNet Broadband is coming to the town in an attempt to provide service to rural areas of Maryland.
PeakeNet is a locally owned and operated internet service provider with roots in assisting areas of limited or nonexistent online access. Members of the team previously worked on a project in Swaziland, providing internet access to the rural African nation. This led co-founder Nick Steward and his team to
launch a similar venture in Mar yland utilizing similar practices and equipment to improve and revitalize forgotten communities.
“Employers look for internet as a factor when they’re looking at investing in a company, it’s also a matter of quality of life for residents,” Steward said. “Even small businesses, they’re the driving force in our economy.”
The group is still finalizing its negotiations with the town council, but PeakeNet is scheduled to begin installation by the end of the summer. Internet services should be up and running by October, and the team is planning to be able to reach every home by April.
PeakeNet offers a pair of residential packages: the Family package for $65.99 per month and the Peake package for $95.99 per month. There is also a one-time installation fee for $150. Both plans promise unbundled broadband, local customer support and no termination fees, with the difference in the two being faster speed.
Steward explained that while their prices may be middling, they offer something not many providers can boast. Not only does PeakeNet serve previously ignored areas, it also offers symmetrical speeds, namely 50/50 megabits per second (mbps) for the Family option and 100/100 mbps for the Peake choice. The congruency between the upload and download speed means users will always have the fastest possible service. Companies who do not have this feature may offer a fast upload speed, but the slower download speed will compromise the overall effectiveness of the ser vice.
“We’re not necessarily the cheapest on the list, but our product is better than theirs,” Steward said. He added that while other companies may provide more services than PeakeNet, the Maryland-based group doesn’t have add-ons like equipment rental fees, data caps and certain taxes.
The town council views PeakeNet as an opportunity to make Indian Head more appealing to businesses and investors, as well as residents.
“We want to make the town attractive,” said Vice Mayor Ron Sitoula.
Sitoula and Mayor Brandon Paulin are most focused on the Village Green area and Slavin’s Dock, as these are two of the most popular hangout spots in town. Drawing additional citizens to these places could have an economic reverberation, helping local businesses and vendors.
“A lot of Charles County doesn’t have access to highspeed internet [in these types of areas],” Paulin said. “If we get them here, they get something to eat, it has an economic benefit.”
PeakeNet is seeking to set up multiple hot spots in park areas to combat the large crowds. The town has many wooded areas that will not have a direct line of sight to PeakeNet equipment, but they have that covered too. Houses or buildings without direct access will receive the signal from structures that do, without any degradation of the quality.
And for those concerned about international spies? All of the technology is encrypted, and even if someone were to catch the signal they would not be able to breach the data. PeakeNet holds on to some information, but only for accountability purposes.
“We only keep the minimum amount of data to show we’re doing what we’re supposed to,” Steward said. “Privacy is very important to us.”
PeakeNet packages will be on sale in August. Steward and his staff will be present at upcoming town meetings for those interested in signing up or gaining more information. Additional details can be found on the website at https://www.peakenetbroadband.com/.