Last updated: June 01. 2013 7:51AM - 855 Views
James Howell
Staff Writer
jhowell@civitasmedia.com



Story Tools:

Font Size:

Social Media:

Carolina West Wireless continues its initiative to insure an increase in wireless coverage to rural North Carolina, including Ashe County.


Two months ago, Carolina West Wireless, the largest rural wireless provider in North Carolina, received $20.7 million federal grant from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to improve wireless coverage in our areas of the state still lacking access to mobile Internet.


“We are still in the planning stages for this project,” said Jackie Mallory, the Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Carolina West Wireless.


Carolina West was one of 33 winning companies and subsidiaries that competed in America’s first “Mobility Fund” auction, which gave nearly $300 million to mobile service carriers to expand wireless Internet coverage.


“This project will take place over two years - we’re talking about a lot of coverage,” said Mallory.


Several counties covered by Carolina West Wireless are among what the FCC estimates to be more than 1.7 million Americans that have no wireless access of any kind, over hundreds of thousands of road miles across the country, according to a press release sent by Carolina West Wireless.


“The goal of this grant is to bring these areas up to speed with the rest of the nation over the next two years,” said Mallory.


According to the release, Ashe County has more than 1,300 residents with no current access to wireless Internet coverage along nearly 100 road-miles.


The grant is being offered through the new Mobility Fund auction, which marks the first time in history the FCC has made universal mobile service a priority universal service goal.


“Up to 83,000 new U.S. road-miles, on which millions of Americans live, work, or travel, will gain access to advanced mobile networks that significantly enhance opportunities for jobs, education, health care and public safety,” read the FCC’s website.


Of the 83,000 road-miles that will be impacted by the Mobile Fund auction, Carolina West covers 594 road miles in the surrounding area, all of which will receive a boost in wireless Internet coverage, according to statistics submitted by the FCC.


“We are thrilled to have secured this grant as it was a very competitive process with nearly 900 bids submitted from 38 companies including ours,” says CWW CEO Slayton Stewart. “The grant will help us reach our constant goal of expanding our 3G coverage and improving customer experience. Wireless coverage is crucial to economic growth, and it is very fortunate that the FCC is making universal mobile service a priority.”


This auction is just the first step in the Commission’s new effort to provide support to accelerate mobile deployment. The Commission will provide an additional $50 million in one-time support to Tribal Lands and $500 million annually for ongoing support to mobile services in Phase II of Mobility Fund. This funding all comes from savings from last year’s Universal Service reforms.


“As a result of the auction, new mobile infrastructure deployment will begin in 31 states with areas that currently lack access to 3G or 4G mobile service,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. “People in affected areas will soon have greater access to the job, education and health-care opportunities of America’s world-leading mobile economy.”


This auction is just the first step in the Commission’s new effort to provide support to accelerate mobile deployment. The Commission will provide an additional $50 million in one-time support to Tribal Lands and $500 million annually for ongoing support to mobile services in Phase II of Mobility Fund. This funding all comes from savings from last year’s Universal Service reforms.

Comments
comments powered by Disqus


Featured Businesses


Poll



Info Minute