A?Pendleton-based Internet provider rolled out some new infrastructure earlier this year, creating a major upgrade over the company's old wireless system, according to owner Byron Wysocki.

"Basically it's cutting-edge technology,"?Wysocki said. "The new system has really allowed more data to be pushed through for less cost."

Wtechlink, Inc., founded five years ago, serves close to 1,000 customers in Pendleton and surrounding areas, many of them local businesses. Wysocki said the company spent in the "low six figures" to install new towers in March. And after working out some kinks, the upgrade boosted speed and power to customers' Internet service.

"It's just added more capacity, and that's definitely helped out a lot,"?Wysocki said. "It is literally 10 times faster than their old service."

By next month, Wtechlink also plans to expand the new system to Adams, Athena and Helix, Wysocki said. It's now available in Pendleton, Pilot Rock and Mission.

Here's how the new system works:?A series of towers emitting a wireless broadband signal in and around Pendleton that allows users to jump online through an installed antenna. The technology allows for higher bandwidth - the amount of data that can pass through the connection - and lower latency - the delay of the connection - than a cable or DSL Internet setup, Wysocki said. The faster connection is a particularly attractive feature for some, he added.

"That's one thing the gamers really like about our service,"?he said.

For residential customers, the setup costs anywhere from $33 to $60 per month, depending on payment schedule and service type. A business' wireless Internet hookup runs between $54 and $110 per month.

Wysocki said his company has grown steadily since its start, mostly through word-of-mouth advertising - a trend that's continued even as the recession grips other businesses and other industries. High-speed Internet, it seems, is somewhat recession-proof, he said.

"It's going to be strong for the forseeable future,"?Wysocki said.

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