A Bird’s Eye View with Atlas Networks’ Install Technicians
Standing on top of the Paramount Theater in the early summer, enjoying a 360-degree view of our gorgeous city, was a personal privilege. I was amazed by the combination of old statuesque buildings and sleek, modern skyscrapers that surround this iconic space. Seeing the city from this perspective was special – and while it may have been unique to me – it was just another day for Atlas Networks’ Install Technicians, Chad Cameron and Michael Quezada.
“Rooftop views are the best part of the job,” says Chad. “Though it can make your heart beat a little faster, we truly get the best views of the city.”
Boots on the ground with Atlas.
Providing commercial, industrial and residential facilities with access to high-speed Gigabit internet is no easy task, and while it’s certainly a team effort, our Install Technicians play an incredibly important role right from the beginning. Atlas installation technicians spend their days installing the infrastructure that runs our metro-Ethernet network. This includes installing fiber optic cabling, microwave point-to-point radios, and structured wiring in buildings to connect our customers. “We’ve installed wll over 400 rooftop radios across Seattle,” says Chad.
Once the installation is complete, Atlas technicians need to ensure a strong signal is present between radios on proximal buildings. To do this, one installer stands on top the original (upstream)building’s roof and the other stands on top of the building they are “turning up” (downstream). At the same time, an Atlas Network Engineer participates in a 3-way call between both installers monitoring the radio signal between buildings and advising the techs on slight radio adjustments to secure a strong and stable connection.
This is a delicate process, as technicians need to get the beam just right and avoid other buildings, especially those that may act as a mirror, reflecting the beam back to the original radio. “This process can take anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours depending on the complexity of the space and project,” says Chad. It’s like aligning the tips of two pencils from hundreds of feet to several miles apart.
On top of The Paramount
The priority with today’s project was to add and align a new radio on top of The Paramount and get a new Atlas building (located on Minor Avenue) online. This required the install techs to clean up and label the buildings existing low voltage cable, check the existing mast condition for quality assurance, replace and older model Atlas building router with a new higher-performance router, mount a radio to a new mast configuration, and align the radio signal between buildings. All-in-all, the project took about 5 hours to complete.
The sky's the limit.
I was grateful to visit them on top of The Paramount, a 9-story low-rise building downtown (I’m afraid of heights!) and enjoyed the view. Keep in mind, I spend my days writing articles, blog posts, and handling our social media accounts so it was a bit of a shock to experience what my coworkers do daily. For Chad and Michael, that was peanuts. “I love heights,” says Michael, “but I will say I feel more secure when there is a barrier or half wall built around the perimeter of the roof. Sometimes there’s just a small lip around the building and that is freaky – we pull out the safety harnesses in those scenarios.”
Imagine being rooftop on The Mark, a 48 floor, 660 feet high skyscraper. To date, that’s the tallest building Atlas techs have had the pleasure (I use that term loosely) of scaling. “I love not being stuck behind a desk all day,” says Chad. “Every day is a new and different task that challenges me both mentally and physically, I enjoy being out and interacting with the people in this city – they are awesome!”
Wave Broadband recently announced its acquisition of Internet Service Provider (ISP) CascadeLink – it’s 22nd such acquisition since 2003.
Another one bites the dust.
Atlas Networks is now one of the only truly local and independent ISP's left in Seattle; and depending on your perspective, we might be the last.* That distinction places us a step above the rest and only strengthens our resolve to serve the local community by staying local ourselves.
To put it simply:
We are customer centric.
Our priorities are our customers, not the next dollar, not the cheapest fix, but the relationships we form by remaining available and keeping your needs at the top of our list.
We are relevant.
Our CEO and most of our employees live within the city we serve. We aren’t a phone call away – we actually live just down the block. As a locally based company, we are hyper-focused on the needs of our community, one community, not 100 spread across 3 states. Our efforts contribute to the betterment of the greater Seattle area, because we believe in investing in our people and our community.
Proximity comes with perks.
Our Belltown headquarters gives us built in flexibility and naturally lends itself to personal interaction. We can be anywhere in a heartbeat and understand the broadband demands of our customer base in Seattle and its surrounding regions better than any out-of-state ISP ever could.
Our price has always been right.
The pricing plans of both Wave and CascadeLink are similar, so the recent acquisition isn’t likely to bring about significant rate changes, but can we let you in on a secret?
Our internet pricing models have generally always been better than both competitors. Since 2008, we have provided our community with incredibly fast, reliable, and affordable internet.
Trust that the importance of being present and personal in our community will only strengthen as we continue to grow and evolve as a company. Our dedication to local programs, such as reduced pricing packages for low income housing and free public WIFI hotspots throughout the city, will never get pushed to the wayside in the name of prosperity.
So now the secret’s out. There’s real value in trusting a local company that puts their back behind their community and believes in Seattle first and foremost. That’s us. We value being real, affecting change, and pursuing greatness. We wear our heart on our sleeve - and it is in Seattle.
*To the best of our knowledge, the couple of other local/independent ISP’s we are aware of do not have their own AS# https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous_system_(Internet)
Privacy in Retrospect: The Atlas Stance
The House voted on Tuesday in favor of blocking internet privacy rules passed by the The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) last year. These rules prohibited internet service providers (ISPs) from collecting and sharing “sensitive user data” without establishing customer consent and disclosure first. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) generally describes sensitive data as a user’s social security number, financial standings or personal health information, but the FCC expanded that definition to include website browsing data and app content/usage. The FCC ruling also applied to phone services treating call content records as sensitive data as well.
The bill passed the Senate last week and with recent House approval, the Congressional Review Act (CRA) is now in motion. This allows Congress to undo recently passed regulations and prohibits those agencies from passing similar rules in the future. Analysts expect the bill to pass soon, anticipating President Trump’s signature of approval.
Activists and consumers strongly opposed the bill, and its passage is a win for large ISPs. We feel this is a good opportunity to look at how Atlas Networks has approached consumer privacy since our beginning in 2008.
Our stance is simple.
Atlas Networks has not, does not, and will not ever collect and/or share any kind of data, sensitive or otherwise, from our customer’s internet usage. How you use the broadband we provide is your business and not a sellable commodity.
The only data we collect about your internet usage is the IP address assigned to you, which is required to comply with the DMCA - Safe Harbor rules and notices. Sharing customer information under subpoena is a legal obligation, not a choice. Selling customer data for profit is a choice – and not one we believe in. There is a difference.
We believe that your online privacy is of the utmost importance. Your internet connection should be treated no differently than any other home delivery service. You count on Postal Service, for example, to deliver packages to you on time and untampered. If you discovered that your postal carrier was looking inside your packages, you would be right to be confused and outraged. You would never trust that delivery service again. Internet service providers are no different: It is our job to deliver Gigabit speed internet to our customers, not retain or benefit from any user data generated.
Further, we do not put artificial broadband usage caps on any of our commercial or residential internet services, and we are strong advocates of network neutrality. Unmetered and unmonitored internet usage is Atlas’ way.
The other side.
These FCC rules were written in response to the questionable data collection practices many of the larger ISPs participate in. Many rely on customer usage and behavioral data to drive targeted advertising campaigns and fuel data driven marketing firms that function based on the web history of different demographics.
Those in opposition of the FCC regulations say they would subject ISPs to restrictions that websites such as Facebook and Google do not have and it is a question of fair and equitable regulatory action. This is particularly dangerous to user privacy when you see companies that dominate the search world buying and building internet access companies. The thin veil between access, content and search completely disappears.
To us, it's about trust.
We keep the water clear here and leave nothing up to question or interpretation. As the local internet service provider and telecommunications alternative in Seattle, our customer relationships are based on trust. We live in the community we serve and believe in individual privacy protection from the outset.
To us, the FCC regulation and its probable repeal is a non-issue – we never participated in questionable data collection in first place and won’t, ever. Our clients can feel secure and confident, knowing that with Atlas, you not only get the fastest internet in town at affordable rates, but peace of mind as well.
The New Atlas Website
Our new website is here and built just for you.www.gigabitseattle.com
Atlas Networks is excited to release a new and improved website that makes customer interaction easier than ever before.
With clean lines and a user-friendly interface, learn more about the services we offer and how Atlas can help you get connected fast.
Our New Website Features
Detailed descriptions of internet, telephone, and television packages customized for:
- Multi-dwelling units such as apartment complexes and condos
- Marina friendly options for live-aboard residences
- Specialized packages for businesses and office buildings
- The Atlas Cafe Express package tailored to restaurants, coffee shops, and public spaces
- Permanent and temporary connection packages for hotels, event centers, and public spaces
Learn more about technology trends and how Atlas really works with our new blog.
Through this interactive platform, we will publish posts that feature:
- Worldwide, national, and local technology issues and how they impact you.
- Posts sharing how we operate as a company and what being a local service provider means.
- More technical explanations of our internet and telephone service (like WHY we are cheaper than other providers and HOW we do what we do.)
- Community engagement posts that highlight the great things our customers are doing in and around Seattle.
- Comments and discussion threads will be welcomed and encouraged!
An updated FAQ Section
We’ve revamped our FAQ Section FAQ section to be more informative and helpful. In it, we’ve answered questions about:
Billing (process, cycle, accepted forms of payment)
Support (how to use the customer portal and get your questions answered fast)
DirecTV (how to get DirecTV service through Atlas and seek additional assistance)
The Installation Process (how long it will take and how best to prepare your space)
Additional Website Features Coming Soon:
Selecting the right internet and phone package can be complicated. Atlas wants to simplify that process for you with the package wizard. This application will help clients identify their business and residential needs in a user-friendly fashion, providing instant feedback.
With smart phones in the hands of many, high quality photos of our beautiful city are everywhere. We plan to showcase user-submitted photos of Seattle on the website, crediting the photographer. Get ready to share your artistic side with the Atlas community soon!
Don’t Forget About the Atlas Customer Portal!
Seek assistance quickly and stress free using the Atlas customer portal. Go in and issue/manage tickets with the click of a button. You can also pay your bill online, view your ticket and billing history, as well as modify any Atlas services you receive. Our goal is to always be available and responsive to your needs, the Atlas customer portal helps us streamline that process and get you back on track without breaking a sweat.
Please welcome the following buildings to the Atlas Gigabit Network!
The Traveler’s Building
The Commuter Building
Burien Town Square Condos
2 Lincoln Tower
Studio 7 Apartments
Atlas Has Moved!
Atlas Has Moved!
A new year means a new space for Atlas Networks! Our continued growth as Seattle’s local internet service provider means we’re busting at the seams in our current headquarters. It’s time for an upgrade!
It's time to roll up our sleeves.
We like to do things our way. That's why we are designing the entire space ourselves (our CEO Ryan Maloney has a background in Architecture as well as data center design!) and plan to build out the space from the ground up. Everything is going to be custom built and designed by Atlas employees. Desks, lamps, tables and counters, you name it, we are building it. With a modern and unique "steampunk" theme, this space is going to be one-of-a-kind.
Our New Address
As we build out our new headquarters, we will be located in a temporary set-up just across from our permanent location at Northwest Work Lofts. Our new mailing address will be the same in both the temporary space and permanent location.
3131 Western Ave. Suite M330
Seattle, WA 98121
While our address has changed, our contact information will remain the same:
Customer Service: (206) 395-7222
Follow Our Progress!
We will be posting photos, video feeds and articles about our construction progress as we go. For an inside look, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.