Nextlink teams up with Tarana to deploy CBRS spectrum in rural areas

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Gigabit broadband service is coming to communities and rural areas in 11 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin through a partnership by Nextlink and Tarana. They expect to expand service to hundreds of rural counties over the next several years, covering over a quarter million households. Part of this ties back to the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) licenses Nextlink picked up at auction in 2020. Nextlink bid $28.4 million for 1,072 Priority Access Licenses (PALs), which it’s using as part of its fixed wireless deployment. Tarana also offers a 5 GHz version of its platform, but Nextlink’s first choice is to use the 3.5 GHz CBRS spectrum where it has PALs. Nextlink is trying to do a couple of things with this platform, he said. One is to create competition in areas traditionally served by just one service provider, which could be a cable company or another fiber provider. Another is exceeding its Connect America Fund (CAF) obligations. Nextlink is receiving $281 million from the Federal Communications Commission to deploy 100/20 Mbps broadband to more than 100,000 locations across six states under the FCC's CAF Phase 2 program. Nextlink plans on using a combination of fiber and gigabit fixed wireless to meet its Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) obligations, and Tarana is “uniquely positioned” to help Nextlink deliver on all of its promises.

Nextlink teams up with Tarana to deploy CBRS in rural areas