Rural Electric Subsidiary Velocity Taps FWA to Reach Unserved Areas

Coverage Type: 

Velocity, founded in 2018 and located in south central Kansas, is a subsidiary of the Butler Electric Cooperative and serves approximately 5,500 consumer customers. Velocity’s fixed wireless service operates on more than one band of unlicensed spectrum, depending on the loading and density of each tower. However, the organization will be migrating to fiber in the coming months and years. As a nonprofit, Velocity is trying to provide service as close to cost as possible. Velocity’s current fixed wireless pricing ranges from $49 (up to 15/3 Mbps) to $84 (up to 100/10 Mbps). These prices are “all-in” pricing and include equipment, managed Wi-Fi, and parental controls—all from Calix. Incumbent competitors to date, both wired and fixed wireless, have not reacted by investing in their own infrastructure to improve customer connectivity. Recently Velocity received a $10 million Kansas Capital Project Fund grant to provide high-speed fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) internet access to approximately 4,300 rural Kansans. The fiber build is in a signup phase as construction is underway and the first customers will begin to receive service in November. Brownlee says there has been significant interest and signups for fiber service ranging from $72 (up to 100 Mbps) to $124 (up to 2 Gbps). Butler Electric’s grant application sought Kansas Capital Project Funds to provide fiber internet to their entire electric service territory but was only partially funded. Velocity CEO Kevin Brownlee says that they will be pursuing Kansas BEAD dollars to supplement current fiber expansion and praises Kansas Director of Broadband Jade Piros de Carvalho.

CEO: Rural Electric Subsidiary Velocity Taps FWA to Reach Unserved Areas