Hawk Networks, also known as Althea, has received a revolving line of credit from Connect Humanity, a non-profit impact fund focused on digital equity. Hawk builds and operates networks serving underserved rural and low income communities in ten states.
The investment will provide “working capital for Hawk Networks to scale its footprint,” according to a press release. Funding initially will support network rollouts in Dallas and Atlanta.
Hawk provides an “end-to-end service to build and run broadband networks, including equipment, build support and its ‘Althea’ software platform, which offers an innovative system for routing network traffic and billing,” the press release explains.
Billing options include “pay as you go,” which lets people pay only for the data they use, and an “always on” tier for subscribers under financial pressure. The latter provides a baseline level of access so customers are never without connectivity altogether.
The platform also supports microtransactions, enabling network operators using the platform to pay to use towers, silos and other network resources. The platform also can support precision agriculture applications
The goal of Althea (its flagship platform and former corporate name) and related tools is to reduce deployment barriers for low-income communities and to enable those communities to drive the buildout and participate in the economic benefits those networks generate. The company supports cooperatives, public-private partnerships and universities approaches.
“Just as every community is different — every community’s digital needs are different.” Hawk Networks Found and CEO Deborah Simpier said in the press release. “Our networks are built to meet communities where they are, no matter their terrain or their economic reality.
“These new internet builds will bring lasting revenue, jobs, and opportunities that will improve life in these communities and other underserved neighborhoods. With Connect Humanity’s support, we’re ready and able to partner with other cities across America that want to build community-centered networks that keep revenue and control in the local area.”