The rural broadband gap in the U.S. is real and can’t be ignored. It’s estimated that millions of Americans in rural communities lack broadband internet access, or at best they are underserved with limited connectivity below the Federal Communications Commision (FCC) definition of broadband. This broadband gap is affecting various aspects of rural community’s life style that ranges from lack of internet in schools to less attractive investment opportunities, and lower standard of living.
Charter, being a leader in broadband connectivity, found in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band a good opportunity to provide rural broadband internet access cost effectively up to 40 miles away from its Fiber network service area.
In the past two years, Charter conducted extensive field testing and studies on CBRS and 5GHz for Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) in different markets to cover varieties of terrain, and environmental impact on the signal propagation. The testing conducted in an end-to-end setup from Customer Premisis Equipment (CPE) to the core network.
In this paper FWA field testing results, best practices, and some techniques to help expand the coverage for rural FWA are presented.