Fixed wireless broadband provider Nextlink Internet said it has purchased Iowa-based Xtreamair, another fixed wireless provider. The Nextlink Xstreamair purchase will expand Nextlink’s footprint into western Iowa, and Nextlink said it will expand the Xstreamair network so that subscribers will be able to get download speeds of 100 Mbps.

Nextlink was relatively unknown until 2018, when it was one of the biggest winners in the Connect America Fund CAF II auction, which awarded the company $281 million in support to bring broadband to unserved rural areas of several states.

Since then, the company has pursued growth in numerous ways, including:

  • Purchasing Connecting Point, an internet service provider serving parts of Nebraska
  • Joining the Microsoft Airband rural broadband initiative, which aims to bring broadband to unserved areas of multiple states, primarily using fixed wireless
  • Received an investment from broadband and video provider Cable One, which now owns 10% of Nextlink
  • Was one the top spectrum winners in the recently completed CBRS auction, measured by the number of licenses won
  • The company also applied to bid in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) rural broadband funding auction under the name AMG Technology Investment Group

Like the CAF II auction, the RDOF auction will award funding to providers that commit to deploying service to unserved areas for the lowest level of support. And considering Nextlink’s performance in CAF II, the company would appear to have an excellent chance of winning additional funding — perhaps considerably more funding – in the RDOF auction, which has eight times the budget of CAF II for its first phase, scheduled to start in October.

In the meantime, the company’s CBRS license winnings should be a valuable asset, as it should enable the company to offer fixed wireless services that support higher speeds and greater capacity.

The terms of the Nextlink Xstreamair deal were not disclosed.

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