A Visit to Mid Missouri
Recently I took a trip to our OTELCO offices in Pilot Grove and Sedalia, Missouri. In our Pilot Grove area, we operate much the same as our locations in Alabama, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, and West Virginia, in Sedalia we add fixed wireless Internet access to our product portfolio.
I had the opportunity to spend most of my time there with our Director of Wireless Operations, Rick Lashley. Rick’s tenure with OTELCO’s i-land wireless dates back to its actual inception more than 22 years ago. To say the least, he’s an expert in the field. In true Missouri ‘show me’ fashion, I had Rick show me around our service area while providing a great mini education in fixed wireless Internet delivery.
What is fixed wireless Internet?
Basically, fixed wireless provides point to point broadband internet access through radio waves. The signal is transmitted to and from antennas on towers and buildings. This delivery method eliminates the need for phone or cable lines but has its drawbacks.
Fixed wireless requires line of sight, meaning that geology, large buildings, and even trees can obstruct the signal. In Mid Missouri, where the terrain is relatively flat and farming dominates the landscape, fixed wireless Internet is a great solution to serve even the most rural locations.
OTELCO Missouri Fixed Wireless Internet by the Numbers
25 Mbps +
Square Miles of Coverage
Fixed Wireless Internet Partnerships
We’ve talked about public/private partnerships in depth where broadband delivery is concerned, particularly with fiber. In a suitable geography, fixed wireless partnership opportunities abound. From municipal tower sites, to water towers, to privately-owned tall buildings, fixed wireless providers such as OTELCO have the opportunity to locate equipment and ultimately expand networks through mutually beneficial partnerships.
Fixed wireless, in certain applications, can be a valuable partner to more traditional fiber broadband deployments. As providers strive to serve the rural populations, the ‘last’, last, mile where there may only be one or two premises per mile, it can be cost effective to employ fixed wireless rather than building fiber infrastructure – assuming conditions provide the required line of sight.
An Ever Expanding Network
Just as OTELCO continues to expand our fiber infrastructure, we also work to grow our fixed wireless Internet network. Our newest tower is located in South Eastern Pettis County and can serve a 5 mile radius from that location. You can expect us to keep up with the ever changing landscape of higher speed devices such as: LTE, 5G and Millimeter wave network technologies.