Friday, August 03, 2012

More Un-Fixed Wireless

We had a couple of winners of broadband stimulus money fold already - Keyon and Open Range. Fixed wireless is a capital intensive business. You need to ROI towers quickly and manage cash flow well. It doesn't hurt to have a couple of lenders behind you either - and a good CPA.
Mainstreet Broadband was blowing it up last year. Rolling out 4G in North Florida. It was receiving loans from RUS and local governments. "Main Street Broadband, a communications company that received more than $2.5 million from Decatur County taxpayers," reports The Post Searchlight.
"Main Street Broadband has received one of the largest RUS funded projects in the US . Through its wholly owned subsidiary Broadband South, 34 million USD in funding has been received for deployment in 66 markets covering 129 rural communities in Florida and Georgia." [PR]
In May of 2012, after competing against the North Florida Broadband Alliance, "Main Street Broadband, which provides Internet service to communities in Southern Georgia and North Florida, has signed an agreement to become the first commercial retailer of high-speed broadband Internet service powered by the NFBA."
"The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service discontinued funding. According to a Rural Utilities Service press release, a loan was approved to Main Street Broadband, to provide broadband service to rural Florida and Georgia. In April, the company informed the United States Department of Agriculture of ongoing financial problems. In July, their payment was delinquent, the press release stated, and an agreement between USDA and Main Street Broadband couldn’t be reached." Jackson County Floridian.
Today it closed.
One of the insider stories can be read here.
NTIA $12M grant app: "The Main Street Broadband Southwest Georgia WiMax Project is a broadband wireless network in 12 rural, persistent poverty counties. The network is designed and will be operated to provide affordable broadband connectivity to the rural un and underserved residents and businesses of Southwest Georgia. The project has significant public and private support, is shovel ready and is sustainable."
From Walker & Associates: "Mainstreet Broadband is a young, privately held wireless broadband provider that has successfully navigated the lengthy USDA RUS loan application process over a period of three years to close an initial $34 million loan in January 2009. Leveraging a small equity investment of approximately $7 million from company founders and strategic partner Xiacom Wireless, Mainstreet Broadband is one of the largest RUS funded initiatives to date. Mainstreet Broadband, together with its subsidiary Broadband South LLC, is currently building a wireless broadband network that will ultimately serve some 350,000 households in 66 markets covering 129 rural communities in rural southern Georgia and northern Florida."
MSBB picked Alvarion, Xiacom and Aptilo as their stimulus vendors.

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