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  In 1997, technology-savvy neighbors in the Taylor Farms subdivision of Springville, Utah, installed a two-mile outdoor Ethernet network that provided high-speed Internet service to homes in the neighborhood.  New technology was developed—a novel combination of wired and wireless data technology, and was subsequently named “AirSwitch”.  The new technologies that were developed enabled the installation of high-speed networks in a harsh outdoor environment, including lightning and static protection, corrosion resistance, UV resistance, ground differential protection, water submersion, multiple-point fault protection and live re-routing, extreme operating temperatures and extremely large network management.

In three years the network grew to pass tens of thousands of people in three cities.  In 1999 it was the largest layer-two Ethernet network in the world.  Customers could subscribe to full 100-megabit Internet service for only $19.95 per month, matching the price of a lot of slow dial-up services being offered at the time.

In 2000, a majority ownership of AirSwitch was sold to tycoons in Utah and California, and the company was renamed to SwitchPoint Networks to eliminate confusion with wireless technologies.  The new owners’ strategy was to position the company for an IPO, and they led the company in a new direction as a developer and manufacture of innovative broadband technologies and a supplier and licensor to infrastructure companies.  SwitchPoint's customers included many large private and public corporations, including Enron, WorldCom and Qwest, and SwitchPoint was in a strong position to supply the next generation of broadband-enabling technology.

However, by the Fall of 2001, most of SwitchPoint’s clients had filed for bankruptcy and the industry was turning upside down.  After the attacks on 9/11, the telecommunications industry collapsed.  SwitchPoint struggled to find a market for its products, and then was dissolved in 2003.

BackFence Network was created by the original founders to operate the prototype neighborhood network that was left behind, and to assume operations of the data center, IT support and broadband services that were provided by Anderson Research up until this point.  The name refers to the roots of the AirSwitch/SwitchPoint projects in that the broadband network was installed along the back fences of the homes to which service was provided.

BackFence provides 100-megabit Internet service to 250 homes in the Springville, Utah area at a basic rate of only $25/month.   BackFence also provides the back-office support for Anderson Research and hosts over 2000 domains for clients worldwide, including email and web.  BackFence has access to 3 gigabits of fully redundant bandwidth, disaster-safe facilities, and full power conditioning with long-term power outage tolerance via natural gas generators, and 24/7 monitored racks.