Nextlink Internet, a rural-focused internet service provider (ISP), and Tarana, the manufacturer behind the cutting-edge Gigabit 1 (G1) wireless broadband platform, have joined forces to complete a transformative network infrastructure project in Wise County, Texas.
This collaboration has resulted in a significant enhancement of high-speed internet access for rural communities, earning them the prestigious 2023 National Association of Counties Achievement Award.
Harnessing the power of Tarana’s G1 wireless broadband platform, Nextlink has extended last-mile coverage to Wise County, delivering impressive broadband speeds of up to 500 Mbps to over 65,000 residents across an expansive area spanning 877 square miles.
This initiative fulfills the terms of their agreement with the county, which allocated $1.3 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for the expansion of broadband access. Moreover, Nextlink has extended its commitment by providing gigabit fiber service to 20 county offices and establishing a permanent field office, creating 15 full-time employment opportunities.
Wise County Judge J.D. Clark expressed gratitude to the collaborative efforts of federal, state, and local partners, affirming that this broadband investment has enabled the swift and cost-effective provision of advanced connectivity to even the most remote corners of the county. The project’s impact has been particularly felt by residents spanning various communities such as Crafton, Rhome, Greenwood, and Cottondale.
Bill Baker, Founder and CEO of Nextlink Internet, remarked on the company’s steadfast mission to bring robust broadband services to rural regions of Texas and beyond. He commended the partnership with Wise County and Tarana, highlighting the synergy between hybrid infrastructure, fiber optics, and next-generation fixed wireless technology. This combination allows for an accelerated expansion of high-quality internet access to underserved areas, a fact underscored by Nextlink’s swift deployment of Tarana G1 towers, which garnered 1,000 customers within a month.
Basil Alwan, CEO of Tarana, expressed pride in contributing to Nextlink’s commendable efforts in narrowing the digital divide across rural America. Alwan emphasized the complementary nature of the G1 wireless system alongside traditional fiber, noting that their combined implementation delivers unparalleled high-speed internet coverage in record time and at a fraction of the cost of fiber alone.
Residents of Wise County now have access to a range of data plans, including options under the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), enabling eligible individuals to benefit from free 25 Mbps service. The partnership between Nextlink Internet and Tarana stands as a beacon of progress, showcasing how innovative technology and collaborative endeavors can drive substantial positive change in bridging the digital gap for underserved communities.