FatbeamFatbeam E-Rate plans will help the competitive access provider build out wide-area fiber network infrastructure in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. The Coeur d’Alene, Idaho based broadband access provider won 11 FCC E-rate contracts, which will help fund the construction of an additional 200 miles of fiber.

Once completed, Fatbeam will be able to offer high capacity gigabit fiber Internet connectivity to communities across the four-state area, including in Idaho, where it has signed an agreement with Lake Pend Oreille School District in Sandpoint to build a 49-mile fiber optic network capable of delivering 2-gigabit lit fiber services to the school district’s 13 facilities.

¨We are excited to have them as a vendor moving forward and feel that the fiber contract through E-Rate is a very positive step forward in providing quality education through our 1-to-1 initiative,” Lake Pend Oreille School District IT Director Matt Brass said in a statement.

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The FCC E-Rate program is designed to provide funding for schools and libraries to secure affordable, high capacity broadband connections and services.

Fatbeam E-Rate Strategy
Fatbeam is very active in the federal program, and uses it as a tool to further its business model. Key to the project development process for Fatbeam is signing agreements with school districts that serve as anchor tenants. Once these networks are built, Fatbeam leverages additional broadband capacity to expand network access and traffic to other local organizations and facilities, such as hospitals, banks and local government offices, as well as other broadband carriers and ISPs.

Fatbeam E-rate
Fatbeam Network Map (Source: Fatbeam Website)

Current year 2016 should prove to be a record year for Fatbeam’s business, enterprise and local government business lines as it anticipates adding to its tally of E-rate program contracts, President Greg Green noted. “This year’s E-rate success was a historical best for our organization and further solidifies that our sales organization is continuing to advance in this vertical market,” he said in a press release.

Fatbeam currently operates fiber networks in more than 23 markets, with 338 route miles of fiber. These E-rate moves will add an additional 200 miles.

Fulfillment of E-rate contracts with educational organizations helped lift demand for latest generation IEEE 802.11ac WiFi WLAN equipment in 1Q, IDC reported recently. 802.11ac WLAN products accounted for nearly 60 percent of dependent access point unit shipments among enterprise-scale businesses in the quarter, according to IDC’s latest market research report.

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