Spectrum Sharing Creates New Business Opportunities for Rural Telecoms

  • CoBank Knowledge Exchange

DENVER — The Citizens Broadband Radio Service spectrum sharing will create new opportunities for rural telecom operators to offer carrier-grade fixed wireless service that will improve broadband coverage in rural America, according to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division. CoBank is a $138 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America.

The availability of the unlicensed mid-band spectrum suitable for rural use, scheduled to go live this summer, is expected to reduce the barriers to entry for new wireless internet service providers, rural local exchange carriers and electric distributor cooperatives to deploy carrier-grade fixed wireless without having to invest in licensed spectrum. According to the report, widespread adoption of the band by tier one wireless operators will create a robust ecosystem of hardware and software, which will help operators reduce deployment costs while creating a better, faster experience for consumers in their coverage areas.

A Platform to Expand Fixed Wireless Coverage in Rural America
“The shared nature of the CBRS band and the amount of data capacity it can support offer some intriguing business models and a platform to expand fixed wireless coverage in rural America,” said Jeff Johnston, lead economist with CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division. “Rural operators should deploy the technology where it’s not economically feasible to deploy fiber, and in doing so will help bridge the digital divide by expanding their footprint.”

A video synopsis and the full report, “Spectrum Sharing Shows Promise for Broadband Access in Rural America,” are available at cobank.com.



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