Omnicity Corp. hopes to do with the Internet what was done with electricity in the 1930s. Specifically, they hope to bring all of the benefits and capabilities of the Web to rural areas not currently served with broadband access. The goal is to build a nationwide wireless network that is able to deliver high-speed Internet access to rural subscribers in a more cost-effective way than traditional cable or fiber optic models.
Currently, only 38% of rural households have broadband connections, versus 57% of urban homes and 60% of suburban homes. Most homes in rural areas cannot receive cable television or broadband. Even DSL rarely extends beyond the city limits. And traditional dial-up service is simply to slow to run many of the Web’s newest programs.
All of this greatly limits the ability of this segment of the population to participate in what is rapidly becoming the most important communication revolution in modern history. Of perhaps greatest concern is the inability of many rural communities to realize the economic benefits made available by the Web. Small business, like all business, is increasingly dependent upon the Internet to reach their market. Opportunities for web-based businesses in rural communities are significant, but are almost totally dependent upon broadband access.
Just as the electrification of rural America in the 20s and 30s transformed living standards, broadband could open up a world of economic and personal benefits for large areas of the country. But, as with electrification, the costs of providing service to a relatively small and diverse population has been a problem. It simply costs too much to lay a cable just to serve a few households.
But Omnicity plans to change all that using advanced wireless network technology. Wireless technology greatly reduces costs, making service possible to areas previously out of reach. The company’s strategy is to provide a total broadband solution, including voice, video, and data, in unserved and underserved markets, growing through acquisitions and partnerships with Rural Electric Municipal Cooperatives and Rural Telephone Companies.
With over 40 million rural and small homes and businesses having inadequate Internet service, the potential for growth is clear. Over the next 5 years, Omnicity projects a customer base of 170,000 subscribers, and revenues of nearly $87 million.
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