FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Beverly Fox,
Economic Development Office
High Speed and Wireless Come Together in Fort Myers
Fort Myers, Fla. (December 11, 2000) – High speed wireless Internet technology has arrived in Fort Myers with one of the latest information technology (IT) companies to join the local industry, a startup called AirLink. The company, which is already changing the way southwest Florida does business, is also planning for nationwide expansion.
As reliance on the Internet increases, many businesses find they are already outgrowing the technology. They need information faster, and they need it to be available anywhere their business takes them. AirLink’s answer to these dual needs, speed and availability, lies in one of the latest developments in Internet technology – high-speed wireless Internet service. AirLink is the first wireless Internet service provider (WISP) to set up shop in southwest Florida.
"Nobody is doing what we are doing," says Herb Dorsett, president and CEO of AirLink. "If you take someone like a web designer, who spends a large portion of their time downloading graphics, and give them the opportunity to access the office network from home with faster service and a broader bandwidth, you suddenly have a happier and more productive web designer."
Airlink offers the technology to do this – and more. The company positions itself as a turnkey provider, developing technological solutions designed to fit each customer. In addition to high-speed wireless, it can act as a server co-location, application service provider, off-site backup and data service, custom application programmer, and mobile data service.
While Airlink is the only IT company specializing as a WISP in Lee County, Jim Desjarlias, technology recruiting specialist for the Lee County Economic Development Office, says it is one of more than 300 IT companies of various kinds that form an IT cluster in the area. The office attracts new IT companies to Lee County. The county’s demographics, infrastructure and existing IT cluster are some of the county’s natural appeals to those in the industry.
"The Economic Development Office’s consultation was very valuable in choosing a base of operations," says Dorsett. "The explosive growth in this area is outrunning all alternative means of communication. We wanted to establish our high-speed wireless technology here, where the business community is ready for it. Then we can use it as a model to expand all over the country."
"Airlink currently employs nearly 30 people in Lee and Collier Counties, and the IT industry as a whole employs more than 6,000," says Desjarlais. "As the company and its partners expand, so will the jobs they provide and the capital they invest in the community. IT is a high paying and environmentally friendly industry that makes a welcome investment in Lee County."