According to today’s estimates, nearly a fifth of American households are underserved by broadband. Various options are still being explored to close the gap in broadband availability. In rural Virginia, for example, a fixed wireless-broadband service has been launched as part of a demonstration by DISH and nTelos. Using spectrum in the 2.5-GHz range, it delivers speeds ranging from 20 Mb/s to more than 50 Mb/s.

This trial differs from previous broadband services because it relies on installed rooftop devices at customers’ homes. These devices are able to deliver more significant speeds than inside-the-home antennas. The system also uses BandRich ruggedized outdoor routers, which have built-in, high-gain antennas capable of receiving 2.5-GHz Long Term Evolution (LTE) signals.

This trial follows DISH’s and nTelos’ joint announcement about their intent to co-develop a fixed wireless broadband service. Two wireless tower tests have been activated in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Waynesboro and Afton, Va. Equipment and installation assistance have been provided by Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent. Details as to the duration of the trial or further plans have yet to be released.