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Ericsson, Mediacom Extend Broadband in Rural America

Ericsson and Mediacom Communications are working together to extend broadband services in rural America via fixed wireless access, according to Ericsson.

Mediacom — which Ericsson said is the fifth-largest cable operator in the United States, providing services to 1.5 million homes and businesses across 22 states — is the first major U.S. cable provider to launch a 3GPP standards-based Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) fixed Wireless access (FWA) high-speed internet service using Ericsson 4G and 5G radio access network (RAN) equipment.

The technology will help Mediacom reach new communities, said Per Wahlen, vice president and head of business development for Ericsson North America. “Connecting rural America has been a significant national challenge over the past decade, and our Ericsson solutions will quickly extend the reach of Mediacom’s broadband services and close the digital divide in numerous underserved rural areas,” he said.

The Ericsson RAN solutions allow Mediacom to offer FWA high-speed internet services up to nine miles from each tower location, a statement from Ericsson reads. “In turn, this will allow Mediacom to quickly and cost effectively offer broadband to thousands of new underserved homes in businesses in rural communities across Mediacom’s multistate footprint,” the statement reads. “These efforts demonstrate Mediacom’s and Ericsson’s commitment to support federal, state and local initiatives to close the digital divide.”

The ongoing COVID pandemic has demonstrated that a high-speed internet connection is more important than ever, said JR Walden, Mediacom’s chief technology officer. “We are thrilled to work with a trusted partner like Ericsson to launch robust fixed wireless broadband services in areas of the country that need it the most,” he said.