HomeTechnologyInternetExeter High grad behind startup offering affordable high-speed internet

Exeter High grad behind startup offering affordable high-speed internet

HAMPTON – An Exeter High School alumnus and his business partner have created a start-up company that offers high-speed internet at a much lower cost.

People who live in Hampton Beach can pay between $40 and $85 a month for Internet via Airwave Networksrun by East Kingston native Al Datillo and his friend Trent Linville.

The two, aged 22 and 21, met in college at the Florida Institute of Technology when Linville was just launching Airwave. Now they are on a mission to help customers get out of their cable and internet bundles that can cost people over $100 a month.

“Seacoast residents and businesses have been waiting a long time for someone new to the market to deliver the speeds they pay for, all at a reasonable price,” said Datillo.

How does it work?

Air wave uses radio frequencies to provide cheap, high-speed internet service. At the moment, they said they can only offer their service on a hyperlocal level. The service currently extends near the Hampton Beach Police Station on Brown Avenue to just north of Boar’s Head.

Airwave isn’t the first company to offer wireless service over radio frequencies. They said the Starry company offers a similar service on a larger scale, in boroughs like New York and Boston.

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Airwave a product of engineering students

Linville started the company in his home state of Indiana, where he also provides services in the southeastern part of the state. Now that they’ve finished college, the duo decided to expand to Datillo’s home area on the New Hampshire Seacoast as well. They found a spot on top of an Ocean Boulevard apartment building and have been up and running for about eight weeks now.

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Datillo said winning customers involved significant retraining since so many people are used to paying high prices for cable bundles that offer internet, phone and television. He said many people have been convinced by cable companies that leaving will lead to poor service.

According to the US Cable & Internet Market Size and Household Spending Report, the average monthly cost for cable internet bills was $116 per month in 2021.

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No contracts, just high-speed internet

Datillo and Linville claim that their service does not include contracts, allowing for monthly service. Chuck Rage, commissioner of the Hampton Beach Village District, also a selectman and beach hotel owner, said the service will help many people who live on the beach only part of the year.

“I think what’s fun about it. It’s something you don’t have to have permanently. You can do it seasonally,” Rage said. “That will help people who have condos.”

Airwave is currently working to extend coverage to Ocean Boulevard along the North Beach seawall. Growth outside of Hampton Beach is unlikely in the near term, they said, as they want to make sure they can maintain quality.

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However, they said they could contribute to the service they provide the beach by working with local officials. They said they plan to meet with the city to discuss new priority access for venues to improve service.

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Rage said he plans to talk to them about providing the Internet for the Seashell Stage, where the Village District holds nightly concerts in the summer. Datillo also said they could look at ways to provide free public Wi-Fi by working with local officials.

“We look forward to building a relationship,” Linville said.



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