As one of the two largest high speed internet providers in the nation, Charter Spectrum provides internet access in urban, suburban, and some outlying rural areas. Via a new filing with the FCC, it appears the company is looking to expand that rural reach without wired infrastructure necessary by testing wireless internet in some rural areas.
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“Charter is currently testing in the 3.5 GHz Band in rural communities to determine the most effective means for deploying in this band, and already has determined that it can provide speeds of at least 25/3 Mbps at significant distances,” the company wrote in a recent FCC filing. The company did not provide specific distances. “Charter plans to continue testing in rural communities to investigate further how to expand the speeds and services it delivers.”
Indeed, Charter hinted that—based on the results of its tests—it may well rely on wireless technologies to expand its overall coverage area.
“The 3.5 GHz Band remains an important component of Charter’s wireless strategy,” the company wrote. “Charter is currently conducting trials in this band to confirm that wireless access technologies at frequencies such as 3.5 GHz could be suitable for rural broadband and providing wireline-like broadband connectivity and speeds. The adoption of appropriate rules that encourage deployment and investment by new entrants will also be a critical element of Charter’s evaluation of 3.5 GHz licenses as part of its overall wireless strategy.”
Rural internet access has been a problem in some areas of the United States, causing a disparity in educational and workforce opportunities in a world that is increasingly dependent upon being online. If new wireless technologies can help to lessen that gap, it will be helpful not only for rural Americans, but for everyone.