Watch Communications announced connectivity projects in Indiana and Illinois as part of Microsoft´s Airband initiative to expand broadband Internet to rural America, the company said.
The two projects will bring high-speed Internet to thousands of households through partnerships with rural electric cooperatives throughout the two states and in Ohio and Kentucky – nearly half of whom are in unserved, rural areas.
The two initial projects are:
Henry County Rural Electric Municipal Cooperative, Indiana; and Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative, Illinois.
In these partnerships, Watch Communications will deploy a best-of-breed approach, selected from a variety of solutions depending on terrain and customer density. In some cases, Watch will deploy fiber while in others, the company will pursue fixed wireless solutions on towers, cooperative-owned elevators, or community-owned water towers. Watch has engaged with Ericsson in many areas in its service territory to deploy LTE solutions. In areas with challenging terrain, Watch will look to TV white space technology.
Founded in 1992, Watch Communications is an Internet Service Provider (ISP) using a combination of fixed wireless and fiber technologies to serve residential and business customers throughout Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. Watch Communications began as a wireless cable TV provider and expanded service offerings in 1998 to include the Internet. Since its creation, Watch Communications has focused on unserved and underserved small and rural markets. Watch Communications is a subsidiary of Benton Ridge Telephone. The Benton Ridge family of companies also includes Community Fiber Solutions in Indiana and Q Wireless in Kentucky and Indiana.