Get The Shovel Ready


I don’t know whether this new service announced by CTC and AlphaStar is a project that’s as "shovel ready" as the economic stimulus package requires — or whether we should get the shovel out to bury it.

Here’s the pitch:

AlphaStar International, Inc. and Computers & Tele-Comm, Inc., (CTC) announced today a unique joint venture to provide very high speed WiMAX 4G services for any area anywhere across the entire USA. According to CTC President, Graeme Gibson, "The Digital Divide just got smaller. Today with this announcement, rural areas with no access to broadband fiber finally have a solution to getting connected at 4G speeds. Our mutually developed hybrid model takes advantage of the AlphaStar Teleport, a facility originally built by the U.S. government as part of President Reagan’s Star Wars initiative. AlphaStar (tour) can track any area of the USA including Hawaii and US territories to deliver true 4G speeds. Costs are contained by using the satellite primarily for the backhaul of Internet bandwidth." Bandwidth is then relayed by ground based WiMAX transmitters although the system can also serve to supply Metro WiFi systems or be used for mobile and maritime applications as well as Disaster Recovery and homeland security purposes. Low cost radios can be used rather than a two-way satellite receiver at customer locations. The Teleport can also deliver video and audio streaming. By caching the AV streams and large portions of the internet locally at the WiMAX transmitter performance is dramatically improved at affordable cost.

Great idea and I hope the pricing is right, but I’ve got my doubts. AlphaStar uses AMC-6 (according to their less-than-ideal Web site), which does not cover Alaska and Hawaii. Perhaps my old friends at Americom can persuade them to use AMC-21, which does cover all 50 states (and the Caribbean, which is a bonus).

Excellent combination of technologies for rural broadband and I hope it works out for them.