WISP America Takeaways: The $42 Billion Rural Broadband Opportunity and Why ENET is Your Key to Success


The trip to the WISP America Conference in Oklahoma City a couple of weeks ago opened my eyes to a fascinating trend happening in rural broadband. The US government’s $42 billion BEAD program is a game-changer, fueling a massive investment wave in high-speed internet infrastructure for underserved areas.

What struck me most was the way the conversation wasn’t about replacing fixed wireless with fiber, but rather creating a powerful hybrid approach. Fiber, with its xPON technology, offers undeniable advantages in bandwidth, cost, and future-proofing. Having said that, fixed wireless that played a vital role in getting internet access to these regions in the first place will continue to be used also in the future. The BEAD program recognizes this. It’s about empowering stakeholders with a broader toolkit. This hybrid approach unlocks a more robust internet experience for rural communities, leveraging the strengths of both technologies.

Of course, there are challenges. Wireless ISPs will need to adapt and acquire new skills in fiber optic deployment to fully tap into BEAD funding. But there’s also a huge opportunity. Many fixed wireless vendors are already being proactive, integrating xPON into their offerings.

This is where Ethernity Networks (ENET) comes in. Their experience in Carrier Ethernet, xPON, and system-on-chip components positions them perfectly. They can provide cutting-edge solutions for both fixed wireless vendors and ISPs looking to embrace the hybrid model. ENET’s leadership in switching and xPON technologies allows them to tailor cost-effective solutions for diverse deployment scenarios. No matter the specific needs of a rural community, they can offer a solution that leverages the strengths of both fiber and wireless, including support for wireless transmission over xPON to allow extension of wireless antenna closer to the customer . What truly excites me is ENET’s OEM-focused business model. This collaborative approach ensures a smooth transition for vendors, ultimately benefiting rural communities by accelerating their access to high-speed internet.

The BEAD program and the rise of xPON represent a $42 billion market opportunity. ENET’s commitment to a fiber-wireless future, combined with their expertise and partnerships, positions them as a frontrunner. As rural communities embrace the hybrid model, ENET is poised to be a trusted partner, bridging the digital divide and unlocking a brighter future for all.


Ilan Tevet

VP Marketing and Business Development