Tag Archive for: Fiber

Fiber – Want to stay up-to-date on all of GeoLinks’ latest news and the world of telecom? Check out GeoLinks’ blog by visiting Geolinks.com/NEWS


Battle for Best Business-class Internet: Fiber Optic vs. Fixed Wireless

Business Internet Comparison Fixed Wireless vs. Fiber-optic

What is the best Internet service for business?

Internet is the lifeblood of modern business – an essential component of day-to-day operations, whatever those may be. It’s not enough to just have connectivity either. When selecting the best Internet service for business, most organizations require Internet connectivity that’s fast, reliable, and high-quality in order to operate with efficiency. And that’s not all—or at least it shouldn’t be. Businesses should consider other factors when choosing the right Internet connection because seemingly small differences can significantly impact operations, uptime, and the bottom line.

The top 5 factors to consider when choosing business Internet:

  1. Capability – Performance plays a major factor when selecting an internet service, which often means a lot more than just Internet speed.
  2. Cost – While many enterprises can afford big-budget Internet connections, small and midsized businesses looking for quality Internet service may be a more complicated sourcing decision.
  3. Ease of Deployment – When an organization is under time constraints or needs connections in multiple locations, easily-deployed Internet can make all the difference.
  4. Uptime – Dealing with Internet downtime can be painful to businesses of all stripes. Some Internet services have redundancy built-in to make sure you always stay online.
  5. Availability – Most Internet technologies require some infrastructure to be available in your area, so sometimes options are simply unavailable or limited.

Fixed Wireless Internet

Fixed Wireless vs. Fiber Optic

Fixed Wireless and Fiber Optic Internet are two of the best Internet connectivity options, with each offering unique benefits that businesses can leverage, depending on their needs. Let’s evaluate the two technologies.

What is Fixed Wireless Internet?

Fixed Wireless Internet allows for the transmission of data between two fixed points. Fixed wireless providers use towers, antennas, and an express line of sight (LoS) to deliver high-speed broadband Internet access to a business location in the form of radio waves.

The Pros of Fixed Wireless Internet

  • Upfront Costs – Compared to fiber’s high initial cost of installation, fixed wireless does not require an intensive setup. Businesses only need an antenna installed with network access.
  • Fast Installation – Because fixed -wireless-only requires an express line of sight (LoS) to a location and an antenna to receive the signal, installation is incredibly quick – especially compared to fiber. For example, a GeoLinks’ ClearFiber™ Fixed Wireless installation can be completed in just 7-10 days.
  • Uptime – Companies like GeoLinks have fixed wireless Internet networks with multipoint redundancy built into the service, which means each circuit installed has at least one additional fixed wireless backhaul for always-on connectivity.
  • Unlimited Bandwidth – Some fixed wireless services – like GeoLinks’ ClearFiber™ – offer businesses unlimited bandwidth without the throttling or capping employed by other internet providers.

The Cons of Fixed Wireless

  • Limited Speed – Providers like GeoLinks can deliver speeds up to 10Gbps with fixed wireless, while a GeoLinks’ fiber connection can reach speeds up to 100Gbps.
  • Line of Sight (LoS) Dependency – Fixed wireless requires a direct LoS, meaning that trees or buildings can potentially interfere with the signal. Also, proximity to the tower can often play a factor in signal strength or even the ability to use fixed wireless at a business location. Fixed wireless is less widely available than fiber. See if GeoLinks ClearFiber™ is available in your area.

What is fiber-optic internet?

What is Fiber Optic Internet?

Fiber optic Internet refers to an Internet connection that transfers data through fiber optic cables. Within the fiber optic cables, data is converted into light signals that pass through thin glass wires inside the larger protective cable. Transferring data in this way (by light signals) is what makes fiber-optic Internet incredibly fast.

The Pros of Fiber Optic Internet

  • Connection Quality – As previously mentioned, using light signals to send data makes for an incredibly fast connection and one of the fastest broadband options available. GeoLinks’ Flexible Fiberoptic™ fiber-optic Internet is available at speeds up to 100Gbps. Distance also does not degrade the connection like in other wired connections, or especially wireless ones.
  • Scalability – Fiber allows for bandwidth to be increased or decreased nearly on-demand, which is useful for businesses whose needs might change quickly.
  • Security – Although modern fixed wireless solutions are highly secure, fiber is generally considered the more secure technology.

The Cons of Fiber Optic Internet

  • Upfront Cost – Unlike fixed wireless, fiber optic cables are incredibly costly and usually require trenching to run the cables to a business location.
  • Slow to Deploy – Because the provider has to physically run fiber optic cables to a business location (trenching), they often require installation permits. Between the labor and permitting process, fiber can sometimes take longer than a month to install.

Compare Other Business Internet Provider Solutions

Both fiber optic Internet and fixed wireless Internet are considered some of the best in business-class Internet, but how do they stack up against other internet options? Here’s how GeoLinks’ ClearFiber™ Fixed Wireless Internet and Flexible Fiberoptic™ Fiber Optic Internet compare to cable, DSL, and satellite:
Compare Internet Services

Which Internet is best for your business?

Depending on what your needs are, fixed wireless and fiber optic are excellent choices for business internet. Chat with one of our in-house experts to see if GeoLinks ClearFiber™ Fixed Wireless Internet or GeoLinks Flexible Fiberoptic™ Fiber Optic Internet is right for your business. There are no high-pressure sales tactics here – we promise. We treat you like we would want to be treated.

Request a Quote

Need Internet for Your Business Now?

Talk with a GeoLinks Internet Specialist Now.
Call 888.225.1571

Call GeoLinks

GeoLinks Recognized as a Most Promising SDN Solution Provider by CIO Review

CIO Review recently released its rankings for the Most Promising SDN Solution Providers for 2020 and GeoLinks was featured prominently in the results.

The editors at CIO Review sat down with GeoLinks Chief Strategy Officer, Phillip Deneef to learn more about our company history, mission, carrier-grade Service Level Agreement and enterprise continuity solutions.

Highlighting GeoLinks’ SD-WAN solution, which provides seamless inbound failover when paired with ClearFiber™ fixed wireless and terrestrial fiber, the magazine recognizes GeoLinks as a premier provider of truly redundant network solutions with rapid installation timeframes (7-10 days). Also emphasized were GeoLinks’ efforts to close the digital divide, including our $88 million award from the Federal Communications Commission through the Connect America Fund to bring internet to underserved rural areas in California and beyond.


ClearFiber™ – Enterprise-Grade Internet Delivered in 7-10 Days

What to Expect in a ClearFiber™ Fixed Wireless Installation

Not sure what to expect from a fixed wireless installation?

Let’s start with an overview of fixed wireless technology. Simply put, fixed wireless provides high-speed direct Internet access using radio waves to create a point-to-point link from a wireless network tower antenna to a dish with a radio on a building roof. Because there are no underground connections involved, fixed wireless technology is deployable in a fraction of the time and cost of a standard terrestrial fiber connection.

It takes 30-60 days to install fiber and that’s only if your business location is already lit (i.e. connected to fiber). If you need to fiber to be deployed to your building, construction can delay your installation to 90-120 days and sometimes longer.

When you sign up for our award-winning ClearFiberTM fixed wireless Internet, you can get high-speed Internet service with speeds up to 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps) in as few as 24 hours, but typically five to 10 days.

How can we install ClearFiber fixed wireless so quickly? We’ve broken down our installation process into five easy steps, so you know what to expect before you sign on the dotted line.


Step 1: Qualify Service Availability

Your service request is sent through a serviceability qualification process wherein GeoLinks’ staff verify that ClearFiber fixed wireless service is available in your area.


Step 2: Order & Contract

Once serviceability has been confirmed, an official order request is sent to GeoLinks’ Quotes Team to prepare contracts for e-signature.

Once contracts are signed and returned to GeoLinks, an in-house project coordinator is assigned to your account and will follow-up with the following documents:

  • Roof Access Form
  • On-site Contact
  • Site Readiness Questions


Step 3: Pre-Installation

Once all documents are completed and submitted, your order is moved to our engineering department, where the circuit is designed to fit your business needs, based on the specs laid out in your contract.

Then, your order goes to the fulfillment department, which makes sure that we have the equipment (e.g. radios and dishes) required for the installation. The fulfillment department also pre-configures or programs the radios for your installation.

Next, our dispatch department will reach out to your on-site contact with the soonest available date time of arrival for installation.

We’ll work to meet your scheduling needs, but installation date from order confirmation is typically between five to 10 business days. We usually schedule multiple installations in the same campus on the same day. Separate locations typically are scheduled and rolled out one at a time.


Step 4: Installation

On the day of the installation, GeoLinks’ project coordinator will call 30 minutes in advance of our team arriving. When our in-house technicians arrive, they will meet with your point of contact and confirm that we have access to the server room and roof and secure approvals to proceed.

GeoLinks’ technicians then transport the weatherproof fixed wireless radio dish – usually two- or three-feet in diameter –to the top of your building and secure it to the roof.  To do this, we use a non-penetrating, flat mount with rubber matting between the mount and the roof to protect the roof. The mount is weighed down by bricks to keep it stable. Weatherproof CAT-5 cabling is strung from the radio dish to the handoff inside the building. We’re typically able to drop cables through the ventilation system, so that we don’t need to drill.

We take care to position the mast and dish low so that it is not noticed by passersby on the sidewalk at ground level.

The installation typically takes two to four hours. Once installed, our technicians take pictures of the radio and share them with you, so that you’re aware of the radio location without having to climb to the roof. We then conduct a speed test with you live in-person to verify the installation was successful.

Before GeoLinks’ technicians leave, we obtain a signature indicating your approval that the deployment is in working order.


Step 5: Post-Installation Follow Up

Following the installation, our project coordinator will send you IP information with confirmation of the successful installation. Our customer service representative will contact you to verify there are no issues and our billing department will then invoice for the installation and first month of service.


Contacting Support

From here on out, if you ever have a need to contact customer support, simply submit a trouble ticket at the form available at our Support page and we’ll get back to you in four hours or less.

If you have an immediate need, and support can’t wait, call us at 1.888.225.1571 to speak with a GeoLinks’ representative.


Ready to Get Connected Fast?

Contact a GeoLinks ClearFiber solutions specialist



Read entire original article on JuicedSystems

There’s no doubt that the world has become increasingly smaller and smaller. The physical distance among different countries and continents seems to matter less as one can communicate and even engage in commerce, wherever we are, all with just a click of a few buttons. The development of the internet is already a feat in itself, but humanity’s insatiable quest for better and more efficient ways of conducting life activities has led us to another accomplishment: the discovery of fiber optics.

Fiber-optic technology uses light pulses to transmit digital data through thin long glass fibers that are bundled as cables and usually installed underground. This method of transmission promises high-speed data transfer that is less likely to suffer from electrometric interference or long periods of latency. Using fiber optics also reduces the occurrence of electrocution, fire, and other hazards that copper and similar cables are vulnerable to.

Those reasons alone provide enough impetus for certain industries, states, and countries to gradually integrate fiber optics into their ICT systems. However, the cost and the expansiveness of the project of rewiring the entire digital world pose a challenge in achieving such a lofty ambition.

What will be the impact of using fiber optics and 5G networks on the internet of things and on businesses everywhere around the world? Twelve IT experts share their thoughts on this important question, and their responses are sure to ignite an interesting discussion. Use these quick links to go directly to your favorite experts, or you can get comfortable and start scrolling (since they’re all epic responses anyway)….

Lexie Smith, GeoLinks

“While different technologies, I do believe fiber and 5G share a commonality when we look towards the future. Neither technology is a “one size fits all solution.”

Fiber is great—but it’s incredibly expensive and slow to deploy, making it an unrealistic solution for much of rural America. 5G’s promise to deliver higher bandwidth, lower latency, reduced packet loss, and overall increased system capacity than its 4G and 3G predecessors, is still generating both high expectations and severe skepticism. There are still countless issues with the technology, such as your hand or body blocking the signal.

Ultimately, when we look towards the future of broadband and IoT, all existing technologies—from fixed wireless, to satellite, to fiber, etc.—have advantages and disadvantages. However, they all solve a need and, when used together, can eventually close the digital divide.”  

About Lexie Smith:
Lexie Smith serves as the VP of business development, leading public relations, marketing, and business development at GeoLinks, California’s fastest-growing Telecom, and Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing WISP in America.

Read: “Is 5G Worth All the Hype? Industry experts weigh in on the global telecom debate”

Promoting Investment in the 3550-3700 MHz Band

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, DC  20554

In the Matter of

Promoting Investment in the 3550-3700 MHz Band

GN Docket No. 17-258



California Internet, L.P. DBA GeoLinks (“GeoLinks” or the “Company”) submits these reply comments in response to comments filed on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order Terminating Petitions (“Notice and Order”) issued October 24, 2017.


As noted in its opening comments, GeoLinks understands that the 3.5 GHz Band is gaining traction as “one of the core mid-range bands for 5G network deployments throughout the world” and acknowledges that any rules the Commission develops for this band will be primarily for 5G mobile wireless use.[1]  However, this band has propagation characteristics that make it optimal for other wireless technologies that can be deployed quickly to start closing the digital divide.

Sparsely populated rural areas are not well suited for traditional, wired broadband service given the cost to build and deliver a cable/ fiber-based network.  However, fixed wireless broadband technology can provide high-speed broadband to consumers in these areas for a fraction of the cost.  For this reason, it is imperative that spectrum resources be allocated in ways that allow fixed wireless ISPs to deploy services to these regions.

Chairman Pai has stated that the Commission “ha[s] no business picking winners and losers in the marketplace.”[2]  Therefore, the Commission must be careful to avoid creating spectrum policies that favor some technologies over others.  Currently, mobile wireless carriers have ample spectrum resources available to them.  However, smaller providers struggle to acquire even a fraction of what these large carriers already have.  For these reasons, GeoLinks urges the Commission to develop rules for the 3.5 GHz Band that support 5G deployment without closing off the band to other uses, such as fixed wireless service.


A. PAL Allocation Should be Done in a Way that Promotes Efficient Spectrum Use in Both Urban and Rural Areas

GeoLinks has consistently urged the Commission to consider the unique characteristics of rural vs. more populated urban areas when determining how those areas should be licensed to ensure the most efficient use of the spectrum.  To achieve this goal, GeoLinks makes the following suggestions with respect to PAL license areas and license terms.

As an initial matter, in reviewing comments filed in this docket and assessing the unique characteristics of the license areas that GeoLinks would seek to apply for, the Company believes that PALs at the county-level may strike a balance between PEAs and census tracts.  As Open Technology Institute at New America and Public Knowledge (“OTI & PK”) explains, many PEAs include both major metropolitan markets and rural areas, that may include hundreds of small towns.[3]  For example, PEA 2 in California has a population of nearly 20,000 while PEA 192 has a population of just over 300,000.[4]  In these situations, it makes little sense to treat all PEAs the same for the purposes of allocating spectrum licenses.

Meanwhile, GeoLinks agrees with commenters that census tracts are too small for general PAL assignments.[5]  In part, this is because wireless network areas are difficult to limit to census tract boundaries in urban areas (where census tracts are smaller than in rural areas).  Many times, depending on specific engineering, a fixed wireless transmitter will have the capability to extend a wireless broadband signal several miles, often covering numerous census tracts, especially in urban areas.  Assignment of PALs at the census tract level in urban areas could lead to carrier interference between PAL license areas and the need for expensive management processes to avoid such interference.  As NCTA points out, by reducing the total license areas from 74,000 census tracts to approximately 3,150 counties, the Commission would significantly simplify license management burdens and border coordination issues.[6]  GeoLinks is inclined to agree that county-sized licenses would also support rural deployment better than PEAs.[7]

Many commenters assert that counties are still too large and that awarding PAL licenses on a county-basis will stifle the ability for smaller carriers to obtain PALs in the 3.5 GHz band and will not promote deployment to rural areas.  GeoLinks believes that if PALs are awarded at the county level, subject to strict buildout requirements (as discussed in further detail below), and if the FCC establishes robust relinquishment, partition and/ or disaggregation rules, large carriers only looking to serve a small portion of a county will either seek out other spectrum resources or engage in secondary market agreements quickly within PAL areas.

While GeoLinks supports the idea of PALs being issued at the county-level, generally, the Company still recognizes that counties may not present a perfect option for all parts of the country and urges the Commission to consider the unique characteristics of rural vs. more populated areas when determining final license areas.  Just as PEAs differ in size and population, so do some counties.  Especially in California, counties can consist of large metropolitan areas and vast stretches of rural areas.  In these counties, GeoLinks supports the adoption of a hybrid approach but agrees with NCTA that “the Commission should carefully evaluate prospective solutions to ensure that they would meet the Commission’s substantive goals.”[8]

In addition to allocation by county (or hybrid approach in rural areas), GeoLinks supports a longer PAL license term.  As explained in its opening comments, the Company believes that longer terms will allow license holders time to better utilize the spectrum.  Specifically, the expectation of extended use of a specific band of spectrum creates certainty that will allow PAL holders to work with equipment manufacturers to develop and produce new equipment at lower costs.  These lower costs will, in turn, allow license holders to invest more resources into their networks to promote higher speeds, additional roll out, etc.  Shorter license periods, however, will have the opposite effect.  As AT&T points out, the current three-year license term (paired with no right of renewal), creates the risk that PAL licensees will face stranded investments.[9]  As T-Mobile notes, a ten-year term “would afford each licensee sufficient time to design and acquire the necessary equipment and devices and to deploy facilities across the license area.”[10]

Rural Wireless Association (“RWA”) asserts that “lengthening the PAL license term to ten years will result in spectrum lying fallow in rural areas and further deprive small and rural providers of access to protected 3.5 GHz.”[11]  GeoLinks agrees that without the appropriate checks and balances, this could be a risk.  Specifically, GeoLinks agrees with NCTA that longer, renewable terms also require appropriate performance obligations.[12]  GeoLinks asserts that PAL licensees must be subject to strict build out and reporting requirements (as discussed in further detail below).  If a license holder fails to meet these robust buildout requirements, the remaining portion of the PAL area should be subject to relinquishment, partition and/ or disaggregation to allow another service operator the opportunity to utilize the PAL for the remainder of the PAL license term.  When the PAL license term expires, the secondary PAL license holder(s) should get the first right of renewal for the PAL areas held.

B. The Commission Should Ensure Adequate PAL Allocation Among Technology Types to Promote Competition

Section 309(j) of the Communications Act of 1934 directs the Commission to promote “the development and rapid deployment of new technologies, products, and services for the benefit of the public,” while “disseminating licenses among a wide variety of applicants” and “avoiding excessive concentration of licenses.”[13]  As Google explains, with the right rules, PAL spectrum can support both established wireless and new investors with novel business models.[14]  GeoLinks agrees that “opening PAL spectrum to a wider set of potential licensees advances greater overall intensity of use, supports additional economic activity, and avoids the hazards that follow when government auction rules artificially limit access to spectrum that otherwise would support many business models.”[15]

GeoLinks asserts that PALs should be assigned in a way that ensures a mixture of technologies are able to utilize the 3.5 GHz Band.  One way in which the Commission can ensure competition within the 3.5 GHz Band is by keeping its existing spectrum aggregation limit in place.  While AT&T urges the elimination of the 40 MHz spectrum aggregation limit,[16] GeoLinks maintains that allocating more than 40 MHz of spectrum to one PAL holder will essentially close off the band to any other provider that could use that spectrum to provide high-speed broadband service.[17]  Moreover, allocating more than 40 MHz to one PAL holder that is not positioned to utilize the band immediately (e.g. a mobile wireless carrier planning to utilize the band for future 5G services) could mean that the 3.5 GHz Band would not be utilized fully for an indefinite amount of time.  GeoLinks agrees with OTI & PK that package bids be limited to three or at most four of the PALs (30-40 MHz).[18]

C. The Commission Cannot Solely Rely on Secondary Markets to Avoid Spectrum Warehousing or Underutilization of Spectrum in the 3.5 GHz Band

AT&T asserts that “allowing for partitioning and disaggregation will alleviate concerns that licensing on a PEA basis will result in underutilized spectrum.”[19]  However, as Google explains, “history confirms that the Commission’s partitioning and disaggregation rules, while sound, cannot be relied upon to promote access to spectrum for non-traditional or rural licensees. According to Commission records, the large wireless carriers who typically win mobile-ready spectrum in auctions only rarely engage in secondary market transactions with smaller entities, much less entities other than established telecommunications companies.”[20]

GeoLinks agrees with numerous commenters that the FCC cannot rely on the secondary marketplace alone if PALs are granted for larger geographic areas.[21]  However, GeoLinks believes that the secondary marketplace is a viable solution IF PALs are subject to strict build out and reporting requirements and the threat of forced relinquishment, partition and/ or disaggregation for failure to meet those requirements.

In developing policies surrounding allocation of PAL licenses in the 3.5 GHz band, GeoLinks urges the Commission to develop strict buildout and reporting requirements for PAL licensees.  As stated in its opening comments, the Company suggests that the Commission require license holders to provide status updates regarding their deployment/ network improvements within the 3.5 GHz Band by census block and reporting on a quarterly basis for the first year of the initial license period or renewal and annually thereafter.[22]

With respect to buildout metrics, GeoLinks strongly opposes T-Mobile’s proposal that the Commission adopt a performance requirement of coverage to only 40% of the population for licenses in the 3.5 GHz band.[23]   As OTI & PK notes, if build-out requirements are based on population, mobile carriers would satisfy them simply by building out almost solely in the high-density and/ or high-ARPU areas where the economic returns justify putting spectrum to work.[24]   GeoLinks asserts that the Commission must create buildout requirements that ensure the 3.5 GHz band is utilized in all areas of the PAL license areas, regardless of population density.  Failure to implement such requirements will only serve to ensure that large swaths of spectrum go unused; a concept that runs contrary to the Commission’s efforts to close the digital divide.

As stated in GeoLinks’ opening comments, minimum buildout requirements should be set high enough to ensure that unserved areas (if applicable) within the license area are not left behind.[25]  As such, GeoLinks suggests that the Commission implement buildout requirements based on locations within the PAL license area.

Moreover, the Commission should establish robust relinquishment, partition, and disaggregation processes for situations where buildout requirements are not met.  Similar to the RWA’s suggestion that unused PAL areas should be subject to a “keep-what-you-serve” standard at the time of renewal, GeoLinks suggests that this be taken a step further to ensure anything unserved within a reasonable time (i.e. one year from PAL assignment) can become available for reassignment by the Commission.[26]

GeoLinks believes that these buildout and reporting requirements, pair with a relinquishment, partition, and disaggregation process will ensure that large carriers either refrain from bidding on PAL areas in which they know they cannot or will not meet the build out requirements or ensure that these carriers seek out options for partitioning a portion of the PAL to another carrier expeditiously (before buildout requirements kick in).  However, in advocating for these safeguards, GeoLinks asserts that PAL holders should not be able to set the price or terms for transferring unused spectrum to an interested party.  GeoLinks firmly believes that if a PAL holder is not willing to utilize the 3.5 GHz Band throughout the entire license area or does not meet certain mandatory buildout requirements (such as those suggested above), the holder should not reap a benefit.

D. If the Commission Utilizes an Incentive Auction to Assign PAL Licenses in the 3.5 GHz Band, it Should Create a Process to Ensure All Types of Service Providers Can Participate

GeoLinks has previously advocated that incentive auctions should not be the preferred mechanism for determining how spectrum is licensed in all bands.[27]  This is because incentive auctions tend to only benefit large companies with large amounts of capital to spend and incentivize bidders to purchase spectrum resources as an asset for future use rather than for immediate use.  This process, while not necessarily designed to, picks “winners and losers” by creating a playing field that only a limited number of parties can participate in.  GeoLinks understands that the Commission will likely utilize the auction process to license PALs in the 3.5 GHz band.  In light of this, and to ensure that PAL licenses can be obtained by “both established wireless and new investors with novel business models,”[28] GeoLinks recommends that the Commission establish a set of bidding credits designed to put potential bidders on equal footing.  Some suggestions for bidding credits include the following.

i. Small Service Provider Bidding Credit

Many small and mid-sized service providers lack the large amounts of capital generally necessary to compete in spectrum incentive auctions leaving them behind and unable to compete with larger carriers in the same spectrum bands.  This disadvantages rural areas where many of these small and mid-sized carriers operate (and wish to invest in additional broadband deployment).  In order to put these smaller operators on equal footing with larger operators, GeoLinks suggests a generous bidding credit for carriers with fewer than 10,000 customers.[29]

ii. Rural Broadband Bidding Credit

GeoLinks believes that the 3.5 GHz band is well suited for a multitude of rural broadband services that will help in the Commission’s goal of closing the digital divide.  However, this will only occur if the policies surrounding allocation of the 3.5. GHz band PALs are crafted in a way that encourages such deployment.  This includes giving smaller service providers, that may focus their service offerings on rural areas, opportunities to obtain spectrum sufficient to offer high speed broadband to these areas – smaller providers that likely do not have the capital that the large mobile carriers do in order to afford such spectrum.  GeoLinks suggests that the Commission create a generous bidding credit for service providers that commit to serve rural areas within the PAL license area.  Specifically, GeoLinks suggests that those service providers that bid on rural areas, including areas containing CAF II Auction eligible areas, and commit to serving a certain number of locations within such area be given such a bidding credit.  The Company also suggests that such bidding credits be subject to ongoing reporting regarding rural service deployment over the 3.5 GHz band.

iii. Connect America Fund Phase II Awardee Bidding Credit

In its opening comments, GeoLinks proposed that Connect America Fund Phase II (“CAF II”) awardees (or, depending on timing, CAF II applicants that pass the short form phase of the application process) that rely on spectrum resources be allowed “first crack” at a PAL covering applicable eligible areas.[30]  GeoLinks believes that this “first crack” could be in the form of a bidding credit applicable towards PALs in the 3.5 GHz Band.  As awardees will already be committing to serve 95% of rural locations within eligible CAF II areas, this credit could be paired with the rural bidding credit.

iv. Wholesale Bidding Credit

Another bidding credit GeoLinks suggests is a credit for those PAL holders that are willing to offer access to PAL spectrum on a wholesale basis to other service providers, either in the same areas as the PAL holder offers its services or in areas throughout the PAL license areas where the PAL holder cannot or does not wish to deploy services.

v. PAL Awardee Payment Options

In addition to the bidding credits set forth above, and any others the Commission may determine are in the public interest, GeoLinks suggests that the Commission implement a process by which smaller PAL recipients can pay for their spectrum licenses in installments over the length of the PAL period.  This will allow bidders with less upfront capitol to expend on spectrum (generally small and mid-sized carriers) to acquire and pay as the spectrum is utilized and services are deployed.  GeoLinks suggests that failure of a PAL recipient to make timely payments under such a payment option should result in relinquishment or forced relinquishment, partition and/ or disaggregation.  GeoLinks suggests that applicants who qualify for the “small Service Provider” bidding credit, for example, should qualify for extended payment.


In conclusion, GeoLinks urges the Commission to adopt rules with respect to spectrum licensing in the 3.5 GHz band that do not close off the band to fixed wireless service providers, ensure efficient use of the band, and promote broadband deployment and competition in both urban and rural areas.


Respectfully submitted,



/s/ Skyler Ditchfield, Chief Executive Officer

/s/ Melissa Slawson, General Counsel/ V.P of Government Affairs and Education


January 29, 2018

[1] Notice and Order at para. 2.
[2] See Ajit Pai, Chairman, FCC Remarks on Restoring Internet Freedom (Nov. 28, 2017) (“We have no business picking winners and losers in the marketplace”).
[3] See Comments of Open Technology Institute at New America and Public Knowledge, GN Docket No. 17-258 (filed Dec. 28, 2017), at 23 (“OTI & PK Comments”).
[4] Data based on 2010 Census data, available at https://www.fcc.gov/oet/maps/areas (last visited January 29, 2018).
[5] See generally Comments of AT&T Services, Inc., GN Docket No. 17-258 (filed Dec. 28, 2017) (“AT&T Comments”), Comments of United States Cellular Corporation, GN Docket No. 17-258 (filed Dec. 28, 2017), Comments of Mobile Future, GN Docket No. 17-258 (filed Dec. 28, 2017), Comments of T-Mobile USA, Inc., GN Docket No. 17-258 (filed Dec. 28, 2017) (“T-Mobile Comments”), etc.
[6] Comments of NCTA – the Internet & Television Association, GN Docket No. 17-258 (filed Dec. 28, 2017), at 4 (“NCTA Comments”).
[7] Id. at 5
[8] Id. at 9.
[9] AT&T Comments at 3, citing Comments of Ericsson, GN Docket No. 12-354 (filed July 24, 2017), at 6.
[10] T-Mobile Comments at 4, citing the Notice and Order at para 13.
[11] Comments of the Rural Wireless Association, GN Docket No. 17-258 (filed Dec. 28, 2017) at 7 (“RWA Comments”).
[12] See NCTA Comments at 13.
[13] 47 U.S.C. §309(j)(3).
[14] Comments of Google LLC, GN Docket No. 17-258 (filed Dec. 28, 2017), at 2 (“Google Comments”).
[15] Id. at 3; see also NCTA Comments at 4, “NCTA continues to believe that the Commission should design its licensing rules in this innovation band to enable investment by a wide variety of market participants.”
[16] AT&T Comments at 7.
[17] See Comments of GeoLinks, GN Docket 17-258 (filed Dec. 28, 2017) at 3 (“GeoLinks Comments”).
[18] See OTI & PK Comments at 6.
[19] AT&T Comments at 8
[20] Google Comments at 19.
[21] See e.g. Comments of the General Elective Company, GN Docket No. 17-258 (filed Dec. 28, 2017), at 23 and OTI & PK Comments at 22.
[22] GeoLinks Comments at 4.
[23] T-Mobile Comments at 7.
[24] OTI & PK Comments at 20.
[25] GeoLinks Comments at 5.
[26] See RWA Comments at 10.
[27] Reply Comments of GeoLinks, GN Docket N. 17-183 (filed Nov. 15, 2017), at 3.
[28] Google Comments at 2.
[29] This suggestion goes beyond the bidding credits implemented in 600 MHz Band (Incentive Auction), See Updating Part 1 Competitive Bidding Rules et al., WT Docket No. 14-170 et al., Report and Order, 30 FCC Rcd 7493 (2017).  GeoLinks is open to other metrics for determining what is considered a “small service provider” but believes that the metric should be smaller than what was proposed for the 600 MHz Band or that the bidding credit should increase incrementally the fewer customers a service provider has.
[30] GeoLinks Comments at 7.

Rural Service is Key to Bridging the Digital Divide

Original Article

Working with municipal stakeholders cuts costs, increases speed of rural deployments of the more than 30 million people in the United States without access to the internet, some 6 million of them are students, Skyler Dithfield, CEO of service provider Geolinks, told RCR Wireless News during the recent TC3 conference.

“I grew up with no internet in a rural area myself,” he explained. Once he was connected, access changed the way he approached his own educational experience. Years later, Ditchfield read an article about dozens of k-12 schools that were unconnected, had grant funding to fix the problem, “but no service providers stepped forward. We can do this,” he told himself.

Now Geolinks is one of the fastest-growing telecom companies in the country, according to the Inc. 5000 index. Specializing in rural connectivity, Geolinks provides service in Southern California and parts of Arizona.

In terms of deployment models, Ditchfield explained the benefits of working with government stakeholders to arrive at a cost-effective strategy with an emphasis on speed. “We’ve been working with schools, health care, libraries…how do we bring these different funding silos together?” By working with a cross-section of stakeholders, Geolinks arrived at a model where municipal assets can be leveraged to deploy “in one fell swoop. Right now it’s done on a bid-by-bid basis with all these different funding silos. It’s not cost effective to build the network in increments like that. We can come in and build the entire network, do it for a fraction of the cost, and much, much quicker.”

This is accomplished with a mixture of fiber and fixed wireless, including iterations like using TV white space—something being pushed by Microsoft. “It’s going to be conjoining those networks in the proper design and topology depending on the terrain, the density of housing, etc…to get not only a cost effective deployment, but also rapid.

So why is speed of deployment important? “We’ve got to get it done sooner rather than later. Every three or four years, we’re missing a generation of kids. The internet is going to give that opportunity to be the next great innovator. Think of all the advantages that’s going to bring to those people. We don’t lose a whole generation of children who miss out.”

To hear more from Geolinks, including the role of the 3.5 GHz CBRS band in delivering rural coverage, as well as the company’s focus on delivering multi-gigabit speeds using millimeter wave spectrum, check out this video interview.