Those who live in cities and even suburban areas take their Wi-Fi, and connectivity in general, for granted. We expect to get a signal every time we log on. Those who live in more rural areas have no such expectations (or hope), but that’s about to change.
Verizon (News - Alert) announced October 15 that a program it launched five years ago has fulfilled the vision of a first-ever rural, 4G enablement program.
The plan, known as LTE (News - Alert) in Rural America, or LRA for short, has successfully launched in 21 designated areas.
According to the company, it set out on a simple but ambitious plan: to help rural wireless companies across America drive innovation through advanced 4G LTE technology. If all went according to plan, wireless companies in rural areas of the country would get access to Verizon's 700MHz spectrum, leverage the company’s core networking technology, gain from the expertise offered by its engineering teams, and forge mutual roaming relationships. That plan has now been implemented in 15 states.
"The LRA program has positively impacted the lives of Americans from Maine to Alaska, and we're very proud to be a part of that," said Philip Junker, executive director of strategic alliances at Verizon and a leader of the LRA program, in announcing the milestone. "Verizon has always been a responsible steward of spectrum resources. We had a vision of partnering with the rural carrier community … and we delivered what we promised for our customers."
In a release, Verizon listed the goals met:
- 225,000 square miles of Verizon's spectrum leased by LRA participants across 169 rural counties in 15 states;
- 1,000+ 4G LTE cell sites have been activated, covering an area larger than Colorado;
- 2.7 million people are covered by those cells sites;
- More than 50 wireless devices have been certified, including smartphones, tablets and connected devices.
To date, participants in Verizon's LRA program have certified over 50 wireless devices, including smartphones, tablets and connected devices.
Edited by Kyle Piscioniere