When Windstream decided to accept federal funding under the FCC's CAF-II program, it was clearly not going to be sufficient to expand fiber networks to all underserved rural areas. Instead, the company has been using fixed wireless technology to fill in those gaps.
As THIS STORY in Fierce Wireless points out, Windstream has been using Radwin fixed wireless equipment to cover 9,000 households in Oklahoma and another 200 in Argyle, Iowa, and unincorporated town in the southeast corner of the state. They are apparently planning to use similar fixed wireless technology to reach an additional 34 communities in Iowa with 6,500 households through next year.
Windstream is offering a 25 Mbps package for $50 a month in those areas, with up to 100 Mbps speeds available at $70 a month. While those speed levels and prices seem very competitive, the line-of-sight nature of fixed wireless will limit reach in some areas. Also, there's no word on whether Windstream plans to retire its copper network in these areas - something that other large carriers have announced that they plan to do.
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