Going Wireless and The Baby Boom
These days, wireless Internet isn’t just a novelty enjoyed by the privileged, tech-savvy few; it’s becoming more and more important in everyday life. Believe it or not, there are still pockets of the metropolitan area with very limited options when it comes to wireless Internet, which includes, perhaps most shockingly, part of Edmond. This lack of provision is something Wavelinx, a local Internet service provider, plans to fix.
“I’m a long-time resident of Edmond. I grew up there, raised my family there and I’m looking to help serve the community in whatever ways I can,” Todd Segress, president of Wavelinx, said. “It’s becoming more a necessity than a luxury when it comes to daily business; if the Internet is down, it just stops business, and the generation that has grown up with the Internet uses it not only for business but for entertainment and social networks. It’s becoming a staple in our lives.”
Devices like computers, mobile phones, video game systems and some appliances are already expected to have wireless Internet connectivity.
“In the future, we’re looking for even more everyday devices coming with wireless connectivity. The medical field is looking at a lot of exciting ways where it can improve the freedom and safety of medical monitoring; so basically; the superhighway is going to interact with all types of devices. There are even cars that will be coming out in the next couple years with WiMAX connectivity. Once you have access to broadband Internet, the content is just limitless,” he said.
Wavelinx serves 32 communities throughout Oklahoma and is currently installing one of the first WiMAX next generation wireless networks in the state. The company started in 1998 as a dial-up Internet service provider. Then, as technology evolved, Wavelinx became one of the first ISPs in the nation to use wireless technology to provide broadband service. Prior to breaking into the public sector in 2002, Wavelinx installed broadband wireless campus networks and point-to-point wireless connections at military facilities, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies.
As content became more bandwidth-intensive, they saw the need for rural and outlying communities to join the club. Their first wireless system was constructed in 2002, under the Rural Utilities Services broadband pilot program, and covered Terrell, Ryan, and Waurika in Oklahoma, and Nacona and Montague in Texas. That system was followed by others in other parts of the state.
As the 21st Century ticks away, access to wireless Internet will become an increasingly valuable resource, which will make it even more important for places with limited or no wireless connectivity-like the patch of land east of I-35, north to Guthrie, south to the Jones area and past Arcadia-to keep up. Wavelinx purchased the network that services this area from another ISP about six months ago, and employees are currently focusing on this vicinity as they expand the system. For more information please contact Wavelinx at 405-602-2447 or visit their website at www.wavelinx.net.
Bella Blu Maternity & Baby
Oklahoma City native Tim Kilkenny owns companies in two of the most unrelated industries imaginable – not only is he president of BellaBlu Maternity & Baby in Edmond, but he also runs the family business, a company that sells semi-trailer and truck equipment in Idaho. But don’t let this unexpected juxtaposition fool you – BellaBlu is perhaps the premier maternity and baby wear boutique in the state, and as far back as Kilkenny can remember, it’s the only one Edmond has ever seen.
“The women who come in are glowing; they’re happy, they’re pleasant,” Kilkenny said. “It’s just nice to be able to assist them in a very joyous time in their life, although sometimes it’s not joyous because their bodies are changing and they don’t feel as happy about themselves anymore. It’s nice to see them get some clothing that they look good in,” he elaborates. “It’s a time when it’s important for them to feel good.”
He said customers often comment on the outlay and selection of the full-scale maternity store, which includes swimsuits, casual or business maternity tops, pajamas, dresses, pants and skirts in brands like Japanese Weekend, Olian and Prego. They also carry baby items like clothes and accessories, diaper bags by OiOi and Nia Bossi and baby bedding by Dwell. Furthermore, they sell cloth diapers, which are back in popularity as a way for many expectant mothers to ‘go green.’ He said many women have asked some version of, “Where were you ten years ago when I was pregnant?”
“They never saw these styles and quality. I guess it was pretty bland for years,” Kilkenny said.
Before BellaBlu, which began as an entirely online entity out of North Carolina before Kilkenny bought the company in 2006. A significant portion of Kilkenny’s business is still conducted online at www.bellablumaternity.com, but the brick-and-mortar shop, which opened in December 2007, seemed like a logical next step.
“I love the people of Edmond and I love the community of Edmond as well,” Kilkenny said.
In regards to how his two businesses compare, Kilkenny said BellaBlu is much cleaner and not as stressful. He claims maternity wear is an interesting retail niche because most of his customers only need to shop there for clothes during later stages of pregnancy and for baby supplies shortly after. But as long as new babies keep arriving, there will be plenty of opportunity for BellaBlu to help new mothers stay stylish.
Info You Should Know
Oak Hills Church, located at 2720 NW 178th, is now enrolling for the Growing Tree Preschool and Mother’s Day Out program. This Christian-based program offers family and child development in a loving, safe and clean environment. Join us for a little people workshop for learning and growing. For complete information, call 341-4673.