About 281 Internet
Tim MoczygembaPresident, Sales, Tower, and Support
Leda and TimzinhoCustomer Service
Adilson and TurnerTower, Installation, and Support
281 Communications Corporation Inc. was founded in October 1998 by Tim Moczygemba and Ken Hering with the words, "We ought to start our own F@%$|&$ Internet" over frustrations with the only game in town at that time, Tstar kicking you off after 3 hours, no matter what. Even with that frustration of driving from Austin to Marble Falls, I owe my life's work to Butch Kemper for bringing Internet to the Highland Lakes.
Those words were uttered in the summer of 1997, and while at a Marble Falls Chamber of Commerce mixer, were repeated that night, and before we knew it, we had a hundred people asking when we would do it. So Tim went back to school for Cisco routers, and Ken started calling GTE headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to get us some T1s, and 281.com was born. It took a little over a year to coax GTE (one of the "Baby Bells") to run the copper to our server kitchen (converted apartment kitchen in the back corner of C&D Home Products Studio called C&D TV and Appliance back then). 281's NOC is still housed here today.
A lot has changed in the Highland Lakes since those early days of dial-up Internet and Email being the primary reason to get connected, and all of the change has been reflected in the changes to 281 Communications Corporation Inc. over the years. Today, 281 no longer has dial-up, no longer repairs computers, and no longer relies on telephone companies to provide their service. Around 2000, one of the longtime cornerstones of the community, James Crownover, put up a lot of capital to found a new broadband service called Zeecon, which is still around today under different management a couple of times over. He brought the first fiber connectivity over once-dark fiber under the lakes owned by the LCRA. This was the beginning of the end of dial-up Internet for the Highland Lakes. 281 and Tstar soon started deploying broadband (128-256K circa 2000) to compete with this new upstart. Back then, there wasn't even any equipment for what we were doing, and each company had its invention of equipment made for desktops and laptops converted and weatherproofed to work outside. Fortunately, within a couple of years, several products started hitting the market to be installed on roofs and towers. Today, we have wireless technology using mmWave 5G equipment with speeds of 10 Gbit and latency lower than fiber connecting 281's towers. It has become an arms race to get enough bandwidth to customers, especially at peak times during the evening, as everyone is cutting the cord and using their Internet to watch TV. 281 now offers client Internet speeds meeting the FCC definition of broadband of 25 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload, 100 or more times faster than the highest broadband speeds back in 2000 when ISPs around the Highland Lakes started launching broadband service.
The industry and what clients want and need from their Internet keeps changing, and 281 has tried to stay one step ahead along this miraculous journey. Today, we are the first Texas Hill Country ISP to deploy mmWave 5G technology to bring enough bandwidth and lower latency to the areas where it is not economically feasible to run fiber, which is the vast majority of the Highland Lakes. 281 Communications Corporation Inc. is helping make living in paradise possible for those who must have Internet access.
UPDATE MARCH 16, 2020 COVID-19 OUTBREAK
281 Communications Corporation Inc. and all WISPs throughout the U.S. have been designated critical communications networks by the Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) National Communications Coordination Branch (NCC) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.