Kwikbit is a network operator with a unique business model. The company focuses on providing fixed wireless internet service to manufactured home communities, more commonly known as trailer or mobile home parks.
On a recent “Fiber for Breakfast” webinar from the Fiber Broadband Association, Kwikbit CEO Joe Costello noted that most of the 6 to 7 million manufactured homes in the United States—which house 20-25 million people—are underserved or unserved by broadband.
“If the mobile home community was a state, it would be the third largest state in the United States, just behind California and Texas and ahead of Florida,” said Costello on the webinar.
Most people in these communities rely on mobile phones to connect to the internet, and fiber network operators often skip over mobile home parks as they build out fiber networks. Fiber can be tricky and expensive to install in trailer parks, and residents may not be able to pay as much as traditional homeowners.
Costello believes that fiber is the technology of the future and encourages fiber network operators to build out trailer park networks if they can. But when the economic and technological challenges of bringing fiber to manufactured homes are too great, Kwikbit offers a solution.
Branching off a local fiber backbone, Kwikbit uses next-gen 60 GHz fixed wireless broadband technology to offer high-speed internet to mobile home residents. Kwikbit offers 1 Gbps symmetrical upload and download speeds via a wireless connection, with a single installed transceiver at each manufactured home.
Mobile home residents are sometimes skeptical of promises of better internet, so Kwikbit offers a free month of service, a price of $50 per month, no data caps and no contract, and a guarantee that the price will not change for two years.
Kwikbit isn’t the first broadband company to see opportunity in mobile home parks. Another fixed wireless provider, Starry, won Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) money to deploy fixed wireless to mobile home parks lacking service. But the company defaulted on its winning bids when it encountered financial difficulties last year.