Wise County Texas sign

Nextlink Internet and Wise County, Texas, have reached a $1.3 million agreement that will improve broadband available in the county.

The agreement calls for 95% of households in the county to get services at 100 Mbps to 500 Mbps. The press release does not say what technology will be used to reach the residential areas, which have a population of about 65,000 people.

The agreement also calls for provisioning of gigabit fiber-based Internet services to 18 of the 20 county offices and gigabit fixed wireless for the other two offices.

The project will be completed in seven months and a permanent office with 15 full-time employees will be opened.

“Today’s agreement will help bridge the digital divide in Wise County and provide rural families with reliable and fast broadband connectivity,” Nextlink Founder and CEO Bill Baker said in a press release. “Nextlink is proud to consistently deliver high-speed internet access in underserved areas in Texas and across America.”

Nextlink has about 87,000 customers for its high speed Internet and phone services in rural areas of Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska.

The company has made its presence felt in two of the biggest auctions held in recent years. It won $281 million in the Connect America Fund II (CAF II) auction in 2018.

Nextlink also was the winning bidder for $429 million in funding in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction. However, the FCC has not yet released that funding due to concerns about whether fixed wireless can support gigabit speeds.

In May, Nextlink said that it had achieved speeds of 1 Gbps downstream and 500 Mbps upstream using fixed wireless equipment in the 6 GHz band. The speeds were reached using a 160 MHz channel over distances of two miles.

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