Many electric coops have fiber in the ground as well as access to vertical assets (Towers) to create a strong and cost-effective hybrid Fixed Wireless Broadband (FWB). The challenge that many of our customers have is bridging the gap of how to design, install and maintain these wireless networks.
It’s important to have a total solution plan in place for how to address this scenario. Is it temporary solution (till fiber is built) or long term (Fixed Wireless Broadband Deployment)? What capacity do you need in your network to serve the different use-cases? What may your future capacity requirements be?
The COOP should also consider if you plan to install equipment and maintain it yourselves. Most coops we work with use a Lead System Integrator (LSI) to design, configure and install these networks. Some of these same customers also utilize 3rd party organizations to provide a managed service to operate and maintain the networks.
Once you have the preliminary info it’s important to go through a formal, if not informal RFP process to allow for potential vendors to bid the project. Sometimes it’s a good idea to have an integrator or other third party assist with writing this RFP so all your requirements are documented. Some key things to include or look for during this process are such differentiators as capacity, availabilities, frequencies and antenna heights and sizes to name a few. For example, certain products may allow for smaller antenna sizes due to increased system gain.
We’d be interested to hear if you have seen similar challenges and what solutions your coop has evaluated.
For some recent success cases for coops with wireless please Click Here