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Press Release -- February 26th, 2020
Source: FirstLight Fiber
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RTO Wireless Set to Significantly Expand Rural Internet Access with FirstLight Partnership

Framingham, MA — February 25, 2020 — RTO Wireless is excited to announce its relationship with FirstLight , a leading provider of fiber optic data, internet, data center, cloud, and voice services to enterprise and carrier customers throughout the Northeast. With over 20 years of experience building and operating their very own fiber optic network, FirstLight wholesale services will give RTO Wireless an impressive new foundation on which to connect remote communities.

Founded in 1999, FirstLight now provides comprehensive fiber optic telecommunications services to six states, with connectivity to Montreal. With approximately 15,000 route miles of fiber, connecting nearly 9,000 on-net locations and access to more than 30,000 locations, FirstLight has created a dense fiber optic network capable of delivering a full suite of services to its customers. Its network has also been designed from the ground up to maintain maximum availability, regardless of usage.

Crucially, FirstLight’s network already extends across significant areas of the Northeast. By leveraging this network, as well as FirstLight’s extensive telecommunications experience, RTO Wireless plans to further build out broadband internet access to rural and developing communities. Initially, RTO Wireless will be working with FirstLight to expand connectivity in New York, Vermont, and Maine. An initial project will include leveraging FirstLight’s data center located in Brunswick, Maine.

“FirstLight is the ideal partner to help RTO Wireless carry out our mission to connect the unconnected everywhere,” says Steve Hubbard, CEO and co-founder of RTO Wireless. “With its experience, expertise, and capabilities, FirstLight compliments the innovative work we have already done to build and expand innovative connectivity solutions.”

“At FirstLight, we take pride in our ability to serve remote areas with our high performance fiber optic network,” says Kurt Van Wagenen, President and CEO at FirstLight, “RTO Wireless’s mission to reach underserved communities is consistent with FirstLight’s mission, and we’re thrilled to support them on this exciting initiative.”

As the two companies begin this strategic collaboration, each will bring valuable skills to the table. FirstLight plans to build fiber laterals to its towers, which will be used to connect to LTE-Advanced radio equipment utilizing the new Citizens Broadband Radio Service better known as CBRS to expand broadband to these rural areas. RTO will also supplement with Television White Space (TVWS) equipment for extremely hard to reach areas. “Leveraging CBRS along with LTE-Advanced, 5G ready hardware will allow RTO Wireless to reach rural customers and deliver plenty of speed and capacity for years to come,” says Rob Reagan, CTSO and co-founder of RTO Wireless.

This new collaboration between RTO Wireless and FirstLight marks a major step toward fulfilling the commitment RTO Wireless made as a member of Microsoft’s Airband Initiative. Launched in 2018, the Airband Initiative aims to extend broadband access to 2 million people in unserved portions of rural America by July 4, 2022.

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About RTO Wireless, LLC

RTO Wireless was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Framingham, MA. Its mission is to bring mobile voice/data, broadband, backhaul, and pervasive IoT connectivity infrastructure in a neutral host model to rural and developing communities around the world. RTO is a Microsoft Airband partner deploying broadband services to unserved markets in rural America, and is led by executives with decades of experience in the telecommunications industry.

Visit www.rtowireless.com to learn more.

About FirstLight Fiber

FirstLight, headquartered in Albany, New York, provides fiber-optic data, Internet, data center, cloud and unified communications services to enterprise and carrier customers throughout the Northeast connecting nearly 9,000 locations in service with more than 30,000 locations serviceable by our 15,000-route mile network. FirstLight offers a robust suite of advanced telecommunications products featuring a comprehensive portfolio of high bandwidth connectivity solutions including Ethernet, wavelength and dark fiber services as well as dedicated Internet access solutions, data center, cloud computing and construction services. FirstLight’s clientele includes national cellular providers and wireline carriers and many leading enterprises, spanning high tech manufacturing and research, hospitals and healthcare, banking and financial, secondary education, colleges and universities, and local and state governments.

To learn more about FirstLight, visit www.firstlight.net, or follow the company on Twitter and LinkedIn .


Media Contact:

Maura Mahoney
mmahoney@firstlight.net

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