Verizon Wireless continues to attract rural operators to its ‘Long Term Evolution (LTE) in Rural America’ programme, RCR Wireless reports, with the announcement that Alaska-based KPU Telecommunications has signed up to the initiative. KPU, which stands for Ketchikan Public Utilities, is a municipally-owned telecom provider currently offering fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services in Ketchikan. According to RCR, the agreement with Verizon will allow KPU to lease a 22MHz spectrum block in the upper 700MHz band to support a 4G network that the latter will build and operate. The network will serve KPU’s own customers, as well as Verizon subscribers and users of other ‘LTE in Rural America’ participants. Going forward, KPU customers will have access to Verizon’s nationwide LTE network, which currently covers 491 markets nationwide.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Alaska is the only US state not yet covered by Verizon’s LTE network. In August 2010 the mobile giant filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to acquire the LTE-suitable 700MHz C Block spectrum permit covering Alaska from Triad, a designated entity that purchased the licence during the FCC’s 700MHz 2008 spectrum auction. Triad originally paid around USD1.8 million for the concession.