Fixed Wireless FAQ

What is LTE Fixed Wireless?

Our Long Term Evolution (LTE) Fixed Wireless service is a technology for getting fast and reliable broadband to locations within the county too expensive to deliver Fiber to the premise. Fixed Wireless broadband utilizes the speed and coverage of the 4G (LTE) network using our 700Mhz spectrum as well as others to deliver broadband connectivity. As the name suggests, fixed wireless technologies utilize a 4G gateway that is situated in a fixed location, such as an office or home. It utilizes the same technology as your cell phone.

However, unlike your 4G phone that will roam and pick up service from the nearest antenna, our Fixed Wireless service is set up to communicate with a fixed number of devices within a specific “antenna sector” for broadband service. So the device we place in your home and a limited amount of your neighbors are the only people who can receive data and voice service with a given sector.

We do this to ensure we can deliver a quality experience. Unfortunately, all shared technologies like this and DSL, and unlike fiber, will have some congestion points. Too many simultaneous users in one sector could bottleneck the site’s overall performance. However, the capacity within our Fixed Wireless network is far greater compared to the county’s aging DSL network.

What is 700Mhz Spectrum?

The U.S. government regulates radio communication through the Federal Communications Commission, for the purposes of reducing interference between a massive amount of different entities using the busiest parts of the spectrum. The FCC regulates the spectrum between the frequencies of 9KHz and 275GHz.

In particular, the frequencies between 700MHz and 3GHz are highly sought-after for their utility in providing mobile broadband data and voice services. The FCC has an informative spectrum dashboard that offers a lot of information and knowledge of different blocks and exclusive use if you are interested in learning more.

Will the 700Mhz be used for Public Safety?

YES, absolutely. The primary reason OPALCO purchased the 700Mhz spectrum was to deploy a modern scalable network for the electric crew to better communicate with each other and headquarters, especially in times of emergency. This capability will also be openly available for the SJC Sheriff’s Department and each Fire and Emergency District. Rock Island has been working with members of the first responder community since its inception to create the most comprehensive communication network for emergency services possible and we have made incredible progress .

Can I use a landline if I received service via Fixed Wireless?

Yes, voice (VoIP) services are available via both Fiber and Fixed Wireless.

What speed can I get via Fixed Wireless?

With Rock Island’s Fixed Wireless service our service goal is to deliver a minimum of 10Mbps download and 1Mbps upload. The challenge is as with every wireless solution is delivering consistent service to every location we hope to serve. Wireless internet distribution is not an exact science. Think of those times you have perfect cell reception and as you went around one bend or to a different part of your home reception was gone. We face the same situations with this technology. While this is a challenge, we continually strive to achieve the best level of service possible to every home and business we serve. 

Can I use a Static IP on the LTE Service? Is Port Forwarding Supported?

Unfortunately, due to the cellular roots of our Fixed Wireless service, we cannot offer fixed or static IPs on this network, nor is port forwarding supported with our CPE devices. Please take this into account when deciding what form of internet service you require.