Minnesota ISP to cover Minneapolis with 5 GHz commercial Wi-Fi service

US Internet, a Minnesota ISP that has a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network across parts of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, has launched commercial fixed wireless services in the 5 GHz spectrum in parts of Minneapolis.

In an interview with FierceInstaller, US Internet co-CEO Joe Caldwell said that the company plans to cover all of Minneapolis with fixed wireless by summer of 2016.

So far, the company has installed nodes on roughly 60 power and light poles around the city. The nodes have a range in the hundreds of meters.

According to Caldwell, about 250 customers have signed up for the service. There are two options, including one that provides speeds of up to 75 Mbps downstream for $35 per month and one that provides speeds of up to 25 Mbps for $25 per month.

US Internet network engineer Dan Keltgen told FierceInstaller that when a customer places an order, a technician visits the customer to attach a 5 GHz antenna to the side of the customer's house. The antenna is only about 4 inches by 8 inches and Keltgen said that this small size is an advantage, since it is hardly noticeable and can often be installed in an optimal location, such as a downspout.

From the antenna, which is provided by Cambium Networks, US Internet runs a category 5 cable into the house, connecting routers and computers.

Caldwell said that since 2007, US Internet has operated a municipal Wi-Fi network for the city. The network currently has 20,000 monthly users. US Internet also provides Wi-Fi services at 4.9 GHz for police and fire personnel, while operating a 2.4 GHz network for other city operations.

US Internet also passes 32,000 households in the area with a fiber-to-the-premises network. The company also provides VoIP services as well as a variety of hosting and other network services.

For more:
- see this article

Related articles:
WISPs overcoming installation challenges and using new technologies for rural broadband
Vivint combines licensed, unlicensed spectrum to offer high-speed Internet