WiMAX Broadband Is Coming To the Boonies

[qi:080] Globalstar, (s GSAT) a Miliptas, Calif.-based satellite services provider, has received permission from the Federal Communications Commission to offer wireless WiMAX services using its spectrum. Earlier this year I wrote about Denver-based Open Range Communications, which got a hefty $267 million loan from the USDA to promote broadband in the boonies. They had a deal with Globalstar to use satellite maker’s Ancillary Terrestrial Component authority. That little deal needed the FCC’s blessing and now that that has happened, the two partners can go ahead and start selling broadband to about 500 rural communities.

Open Range is still keeping a low profile. All you can tell about the company is that they have access to $105 million in private equity. Bill Beans Jr., a veteran of the CLEC business, is the CEO of this company, while Gregory Slemons, formerly chief network officer at AT&T Wireless, is the chief operating officer. The plan is to sell 1.5 Mbps connection for $40 a month and unlimited voice for about $30 a month. When the service will go live– that is anybody’s guess.