Visionary Hosts Unique Data in its Fiber Hotel

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Visionary Communications continues to attract unique data customers to its fiber hotels, located in rural Wyoming.

Visionary Communications hosts unique data servers in its fiber hotel in Gillette, Wyoming. Visionary's flexibility enables its customers to house highly-customized web and data storage devices with the company. As a result, Visionary finds itself host to data most people would not expect to originate from a rural community.

Customers that have placed servers in the Visionary data center include AgTerra Technologies, a company that allows farmers to track and monitor crop production, such as sugar beets. AgTerra combines GPS technology with extensive database functions to project crop yield while the farmer is in the field, and allow crop growers to plant with data at their fingertips. Growers can overlay production on AgTerra-provided maps and perform calculations that maximize crop yield and tailor seed requirements around the farmer's specific field.

eSkyWorld is another example, operating a server that provides virtual flight training and an air traffic control school, allowing members to train and carry out virtual flights on its servers. eSkyWorld matches experienced pilots with student pilots to grow its membership, who can then work with member air traffic controllers to operate virtual airlines that fly between gates at virtual airports. The server integrates with Microsoft's Flight Simulator, adding more depth to the computer game.

"A third customer of ours hosts their data here, even though they have an operation in New Mexico," states Brian Worthen, President of Visionary. "This customer tells us the infrastructure in our neck of the woods is better than Albuquerque, a town of 500,000 people. We're still not sure we should believe him."

Visionary's fiber hotel is located in the remote town of Gillette, connected to the internet via fiber and a redundant microwave radio connection. The data center is placed in what many would consider the least-used path to the internet, a north-south fiber route traversing Montana and Wyoming that is underutilized and primed for traffic.

"We'd like to say we planned our location around fiber availability and this great fiber path to the world," says Jeremy Malli, Network Engineer. "The truth is, we grew up here, and we built our network to serve businesses in our home state."

Visionary's slogan, 'we have geeks', holds true to the way it operates its business. Visionary often pursues a solution first, then places a dollar value on the service. The company's home-grown approach to customer service has attracted customers with unique needs, a perfect match for both parties. Most hosting companies would focus on a high-volume of customers with common needs. On the other hand, Visionary does not automate its hosting services, relying on a plain old telephone call to take care of the customer.

Alan Telck, President of AgTerra Technologies commented on Visionary's approach. "They wouldn't even let us put our server in their facility until they drove up and met us. It's nice to see old-fashioned customer service like that."

AgTerra is the premier data manager for maximizing crop and livestock production. Through the use of the Internet, GPS and handheld computers, and other mobile solutions, AgTerra delivers high-tech, yet practical, solutions to farmers and ranchers throughout North America. Their web site is at http://www.agterra.com

eSkyWorld is one of two companies nationwide that allows its members to establish virtual airlines and operate virtual flight routes. Pilots and air traffic controllers on the server can earn rank as they gain experience, and CEOs of each airline at eSkyWorld can strengthen their virtual airline through operation of successful gates. Their web site is at http://www.eskyworld.com

Visionary Communications is Wyoming's pioneering broadband provider, offering DSL and wireless broadband in 33 Wyoming communities. The company provides internet services in more than 90 towns and cities in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming, and operates two data centers in Casper and Billings.

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Brian Worthen
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