Shari Vanden Heuvel and her husband are making their retirement dreams come true in rural Iowa thanks to the employment mobility a high-speed internet connection offers. The income Shari earns working remotely made it possible for the Vanden Heuvels to move to a custom home on 80 acres in Clarke County, and transition into semi-retirement.
“Across the nation, adequate rural broadband is leading the list of policy priorities for industries as disparate as agriculture and education,” said Brad Hedrick, president of Windstream Operations in Iowa. “Kinetic by Windstream is investing in diverse network advancements carrying exponentially faster broadband internet to thousands of far-flung customers in small- and medium-sized counties in its 18-state footprint. For the Vanden Heuvels, the solution is fixed wireless, a microwave spectrum transmission between network ‘node’ and residential transmitter-receiver.”
Increasingly, employers like Shari’s are agreeing to remote or commissioned work. In her case, however, the arrangement was contingent upon the availability of high-speed internet, wherever she set up her home office. That didn’t exist at her Clarke County address until Kinetic by Windstream, through private investment and public incentives, brought 100 megabit-per-second (Mbps) speeds over the air to her home.
In Iowa, Kinetic by Windstream has 102 fixed wireless sites in 26 markets and another 100-plus sites under construction or approved and in engineering, supported in part by the FCC’s Connect America Fund. This buildout exploits engineering and field applications poised to deliver two great advances — carrying high-speed broadband to unserved areas, and exponentially boosting speeds in areas that currently have limited service.
Kinetic by Windstream’s fixed wireless deployment was a win-win for Shari Vanden Heuvel and her Iowa-based employer which retained her talent, her years of experience, and her commitment. Meanwhile, the Vanden Heuvels get to farm and hunt their country parcel and prepare for full retirement without foregoing gainful employment or driving long commutes just to make a high-speed broadband connection.
“Financially, I’m going to be ahead now, finally,” she said.
Kinetic by Windstream recently won blocks of 5G spectrum covering 5 million households that paves the way for Gigabit Internet service over fixed wireless infrastructure. It’s the latest investment in a rural broadband campaign that includes fixed wireless, fiber network expansion and software improvements.