Courtesy photo
Randy Ewell and Kevin Hayes of Mt. Wheeler Power discuss plans to expand the company’s reach for internet service to other rural areas in the county.

The Ely Times

Living in a small town like Ely, Ruth, McGill, Lund or Baker, internet makes all the different to be able to connect to the rest of the world, whether for education, business or just for fun.

Mt. Wheeler Power has been working to help their customers with this issue, and they did just that by signing an agreement last week with Commnet Wireless to hand over their broadband services to them.

Kevin Hayes, CEO with WestNet, said last October he met with Kevin Robison, general manager. and Randy Ewell, chief executive office, with Mt. Wheeler Power, to discuss and look for a way to improve internet services to White Pine.

Robison, said, “We only served Ely and portions of Steptoe Valley, and we looked at how rural broadband could be expanded in our service territory, what would better the community, and this was a perfect match.”

The project has been re-engineered with a plan to provide a modern broadband service so almost the entirety of Mt. Wheeler’s customer base is served.

Commnet Wireless is the parent, Westnet is the Enterprise services company and the retail service is called Choicesplash but the old name is Atomsplash whose website is still the site to reference.

They will begin launching services first with the customers who have been on the waiting list. Current customers will have their equipment replaced with current equipment and new customers will receive new equipment as well.

At the end of this project, it’s estimated that half a million dollars will have been spent to complete this project.

“We want to cover the gamut and make sure that White Pine County has a high quality internet service,” said Hayes. Prices for internet service start at $30 a month with plan as much as $89.95. There are different price packages for residential and business.

The service was launched in Baker this past Monday, and has been quite effective in Eureka as well. They anticipate starting the delivery of services in October for customers in the main part of Ely, followed up by service in McGill, Cross Timbers, Blue Diamond, and Ruth.

Their hope is to have service in all areas by the end of the year. Mt. Wheeler Power is working on a cohesive transfer of services, and will be providing information to all of its customers in the monthly billing statements. For more information visit their website at