Linda Hardesty

Wind Talker creates mesh wireless networks to extend existing broadband infrastructure

Wind Talker Innovations is a five-year-old startup whose software creates a mesh network out of wireless devices such as smartphones and tablets. Company executives say they don’t want to compete with wireless carriers, but rather they want to extend existing networks and make them more efficient. “The focus point for us is to partner with telcos and ISPs because they do have this infrastructure in place” such as macro towers, small cells and fiber backhaul, says CEO and Co-founder of Wind Talker Matt Perdew.

Small wireless carriers feel squeezed on multiple fronts

Small wireless carriers expressed dissatisfaction and concern about several aspects of their business at the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) Annual Convention. They’re concerned that digital-divide money will all go toward fiber, that Universal Service Funds (USF) are drying up, that their spectrum needs are being ignored, and that they’ve missed the boat on private wireless.

Verizon’s current fiber rollouts are all connected to 5G

When you think of Verizon and fiber, you tend to think of Fios, which is a fiber-based brand in the Northeast US that bundles connectivity, voice and video. But Verizon has other fiber as well, including long-haul routes, and the company is currently deploying lots of fiber as part of its 5G roll-outs. As part of its 5G/fiber rollouts, Verizon is also looking to help close the digital divide. And it sees fixed wireless access (FWA) as a technology to help with that.

Emergency Broadband Benefit still has $2.7 billion out of $3.2 billion available

According to the Federal Communications Commission, of the nearly $3.2 billion in available funds for the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program only $378 million has been allocated so far. That leaves more than $2.7 billion still available to help low-income households get broadband service at a reduced cost, according to the FCC tracker page.

T-Mobile asks the FCC’s permission to keep using unlicensed 600 MHz spectrum

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, T-Mobile wrangled additional 600 MHz spectrum from a number of companies and from unused spectrum held by the Federal Communications Commission to bolster its capacity for Americans during a crisis. On July 27, T-Mobile filed a sixth application with the FCC f

Fiber ecosystem gets stoked about the infrastructure bill

People involved in the deployment of fiber in the United States are getting pretty excited about the potential $65 billion for broadband in the bipartisan infrastructure bill. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will develop the program to manage and dispense the funding, with consultation from the Federal Communications Commission.

Cox fights municipal private wireless in Tucson

Tucson, Arizona has built a private wireless network to provide broadband to low-income households for free.

T-Mobile sees 2 categories of fixed wireless opportunity

Both T-Mobile and Verizon appear to have excellent timing in regard to their fixed wireless access (FWA) initiatives. They’re advancing FWA right when the US government is poised to spend billions to close the digital divide in America following the pandemic. In terms of the types of communities that are ripe for FWA, T-Mobile is targeting underserved areas of rural America, remote areas with challenging geographies, and lower-income neighborhoods in urban and suburban areas.

Providers dread ‘overbuilding’ to close the digital divide

While the Biden administration’s infrastructure bill could provide as much as $65 billion for new broadband infrastructure in the US to close the digital divide, incumbent telecommunication providers are wary of what they call 'overbuilding.' Roger Timmerman, the executive director of Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) Fiber, said service providers and their lobbyists created the term overbuilding to make new competition sound like a bad thing. “You could describe the same thing as a new competitive offering in the area,” Timmerman said.

Frontier extends fiber past more than 300,000 sites in Texas and Connecticut

Frontier Communications is advancing its fiber deployments in pockets of the US. The company said that as part of the initial phase of its multi-year expansion efforts it’s deploying fiber broadband connections past an additional 280,000 consumers in Connecticut and an additional 24,000 consumers in San Angelo (TX) in 2021. Frontier is positioning its fiber service as an alternative to cable, saying it provides “uploads up to 25X faster than our cable competitors," and plans to double its fiber network to ultimately cover more than 6 million homes and businesses.