Fixed Wireless Access Cellular Speeds

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Fixed wireless access (FWA) speeds are fast for those close to a transmission tower but slower as the distance increases. According to speed tests from a Verizon tower in a suburban county, the closest locations are getting 300 Mbps, while customers just over a mile out are getting around 75 Mbps, and by the third-mile radius, speeds have dropped a lot closer to 25 Mbps download. However, the Federal Communications Commission map of the county shows Verizon reporting two speeds—300 Mbps or 50 Mbps. I have some major concerns about cellular FWA technology related to the upcoming Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) grants. A major concern is that state broadband grant offices that accept the claimed Verizon speeds in the FCC mapping might not award any grants where a fast FWA speed is claimed, denying customers speeds of at least another 100/20 Mbps broadband option. It’s also possible that Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and others will try to win BEAD grant funding using this technology. 


FWA Cellular Speeds