rise broadbandBroadband wireless provider Rise Broadband issued a press release today noting that it had expanded its network in 10 market areas in conjunction with the FCC’s Connect America Fund (CAF) program. Rise apparently is referring to new buildouts supported, at least in part, by the funding that the company received through the rural broadband experiment (RBE) program, part of the overall CAF program for broadband expansion in rural markets.

RBE was a one-time $100 million element of the CAF program that was designed to bring broadband to unserved areas but also to gain market information to help in shaping the reverse auction planned for the CAF program.

CAF Program for Broadband Expansion
The RBE program awarded funding using a competitive bidding process. Rise was one of the service providers that bid to bring broadband to unserved portions of price cap carrier territories for a relatively low level of support – a lower level than the FCC initially offered the price cap carriers based on a cost model.

Rise won $16.9 million in this iteration of the CAF program for broadband expansion in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Texas — and apparently is using the funding to deploy broadband wireless service using long-term evolution (LTE) technology supporting speeds up to 50 Mbps. Today’s press release details LTE buildouts in markets in the five states for which Rise won RBE funding.

Rise Broadband Ambitions
Rise Broadband co-founder Jeff Kohler told Telecompetitor last year that LTE was driving major improvements to broadband wireless economics and supports broadband speeds as high as 50 Mbps, with the possibility of higher speeds in the future. The company has deployed the technology, which it apparently markets as “enhanced” service, in 40 markets, according to the press release.

Today’s press release  also noted that Rise will deliver both voice and broadband service in the CAF-funded markets. That’s a requirement of the CAF program that potentially could pave the way for the incumbent price cap carriers to withdraw from RBE markets – and ultimately from any markets where the incumbent rejected CAF funding, which instead is slotted to be awarded through a competitive bidding process.

Although we haven’t seen any withdrawals yet, that would seem to be a strong possibility, considering that incumbents will be left offering only voice and possibly low-speed DSL in competition with higher-speed broadband and voice offerings.

In last year’s interview, Kohler told us that Rise was likely to bid in the CAF reverse auction. If so, the company appears well positioned to win some of those bids. The future of the auction is in question, however, now that several states have asked the FCC to let them award the unclaimed CAF money so that awards can be better coordinated with similar state-funded programs.

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One thought on “Rise Broadband Cites CAF Program for Broadband Expansion, Adds 10 ‘Enhanced’ Broadband Markets

  1. It doesn't matter what rise adds or does. They will still suck! They will still be dishonest! They will still charge you "fees" on your bill that they can't explain, and they will still put you on a two year contract without your consent and without any signatures.
    I have personally had several email exchanges with jeff kohler and he's great about telling you how wonderful their service is until things go bad and then, nothing! No response at all.
    The snakes known as rise broadband bought out my internet company and jeff and some other high up guy, richard something I think, were full of awesome promises and rainbows and unicorns. We only had 1.5 mbps service (Yes! that was the only option we had other than dial up) when our company was taken over by rise but, we had unlimited data usage. I was promised 5 mbps speed. Yeah, I know it's not much but it would've been way better than we had ever had before. With the new 5 mbps speed I had to lose my unlimited data option. I agreed to get the promised better speeds.
    I had been getting a steady 1.4-1.5 with the old stuff and after the "upgrades" 1.1-1.4 speeds. Late at night, speed would drop to .4! That's right! I'm serious. rise is really good about not having records of my call in complaints about service and my emails to jeff and richard went unanswered. But they were sure to put us on the 2 year contract without anybody agreeing to it or signing anything.
    Look! The evidence is out there. There are tons of sites where angry, screwed over consumers are blasting rise and telling all of the poop on them! All of the bad reviews they get are totally deserved. Nearly every negative review tells a story similar to mine.
    Research rise before you do business with them and avoid them at all costs if you have any other option. I know that some of you don't and……… be absolutely sure that they don't put you on a 2 year contract without your consent. They put you on it and then tell you that you were supposed to read some terms deal on their website. Yup, nobody tells you to read it. There is NO "If you don't want to get screwed by rise" click here button, you're just supposed to know! I guess you're supposed to use the force or whatever to know that they're trying to screw you and that you should read this seemingly random information. I called in November of 2016 to cancel my service and, big surprise, after I kept getting bills and called them again, in January of this 2017, they had no record of me calling to cancel and……. they only had one of my complaint calls on record. Wow!
    Again, read all of the reviews on these guys that you can. Most reviews on the company have stories really similar to mine and some that are even worse! One wireless internet site I visited ranked them 22nd out of 26 possible companies. Yup, they suck! I really can't imagine just what company might be worse.
    I'm trying to spread the word to hopefully save a few people from the bad experience that is rise broadband.

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