RANTOUL, Ill. - Residents and small-business owners in Rantoul now have a choice for high-speed Internet access service. Verizon Avenue, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications, has built a fixed wireless broadband network here that connects customers to the Internet.
Verizon residential customers can now share digital photos, send e-mails with large attachments, download purchased movies and music, play interactive games and telecommute with ease. Verizon small-business customers can now improve employee productivity, automate manual processes and communicate more efficiently with customers and suppliers.
"Verizon is committed to delivering broadband to communities throughout our territory, and we will continue to work closely with state and local officials to expand broadband availability," said Gale Y. Given, Verizon region president for the Great Lakes. "Today's announcement in Rantoul stands out as a great example of what public-private sector collaboration can accomplish."
Fixed wireless broadband networks can be deployed quickly and cost-effectively since cables do not need to be buried or strung from poles. The Rantoul network uses technology from Alvarion, a leading provider of point-to-multipoint broadband wireless access equipment. Base towers, situated strategically throughout the community, transmit signals to roof -mounted antennas on individual homes and businesses. The antennas then connect via high-capacity cabling to a dedicated wall jack to deliver the high-speed Internet access.
"This project shows that communities of all types can benefit from the creative use of technology," said Neal Williams, mayor of Rantoul. "The cooperation between our town and Verizon will deliver affordable broadband service to the community, creating a potentially powerful tool for economic development and raising our profile in east-central Illinois."
Rantoul is the third Illinois community in which Verizon Avenue built a fixed wireless broadband network to deliver high-speed Internet service. They join Grundy, Va., and Emmaus, Pa., where the network is nearing completion, as part of an ongoing trial. These towns have a combined population of more than 42,000, with a potential customer base of approximately 15,000 homes and businesses.
For residents, Verizon Avenue is offering fixed wireless broadband service for $39.95 per month with a qualifying Verizon package that includes unlimited local calling and a choice of long-distance calling plans. The Internet service has a maximum connection speed of up to 1.5 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and 384 kilobits per second (Kbps) upstream.* The total price of Verizon services depends upon which package the customer chooses. Residential customers can also purchase the broadband service on a stand-alone basis - without a Verizon voice-calling package - for a monthly fee of $44.95.
In addition to monthly charges, a one-time fee is assessed for installation of the dedicated wall jack and mounting of the home antenna. For a limited time, Verizon Avenue is offering special promotional pricing of $74.95 for installation - a savings of more than 50 percent over the normal installation charge. Residential customers are not required to sign an annual service contract.
In addition to receiving unlimited high-speed Internet access at a speed comparable to that currently available from the local cable company, subscribers also receive nine e-mail accounts and 10 megabytes (MB) each of mailbox storage and Web space to create a personal home page. The service is supported by round-the-clock, live technical support.
Small-business owners have a choice between two packages - one with a dynamic Internet protocol (IP) address and the other with a static address. Both packages have maximum connection speeds of up to 1.5 Mbps downstream and 384 Kbps upstream.
Dynamic IP addresses are best suited for small businesses that do not have a Web site but still use the Internet for research or light to moderate e-mail. Static IP addresses, where a specific Internet routing code is assigned for exclusive use, are ideal for small businesses that are highly automated, use e-mail extensively to send large files with attachments, have e-commerce capabilities or have employees who telecommute.
Both packages include unlimited high-speed Internet access and 10 e-mail accounts, as well as 20 MB each of mailbox storage and Web space. Small-business packages are only available as a stand-alone service. The service is supported by round-the-clock, live technical support.
In addition to monthly charges, a one-time fee is assessed for installation of the dedicated wall jack and antenna mounting. For a limited time, Verizon Avenue is offering special promotional pricing of $149.95 for installation. This represents a 50 percent savings over the normal installation charge.
Small-business customers are required to sign a one-year service contract, and there is a one-time $25 account set-up fee.
Following are the package prices per month:
- Dynamic Business Package - $69.95.
- Static Business Package - $89.95 for a single IP address. Additional addresses are available for a monthly fee.
Rantoul residents and small-business owners interested in the Verizon Avenue wireless high-speed Internet service can call a dedicated toll-free number -- 800-811-3370.
Verizon Avenue focuses on the deployment of broadband technologies to increase the availability of broadband service within the communities served by Verizon. The unit focuses on two primary markets - its traditional multi-dwelling unit (MDU) market and the emerging market of fixed broadband wireless. In the latter market, Verizon Avenue is deploying fixed wireless broadband to sparsely populated or hard-to-serve areas such as rural communities, tribal reservations and military housing. In the MDU market, Verizon Avenue bundles local and long-distance with high-speed Internet access for residents of high-rise properties and apartment and condominium communities in major metropolitan markets, including Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York, Tampa and Washington, D.C. For more information on Verizon Avenue, visit www.verizon.com/avenue.
* NOTE: Actual (throughput) speeds will vary.
With more than $71 billion in annual revenues, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon has a diverse work force of more than 214,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom provides customers based in 28 states with wireline and other telecommunications services, including broadband. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 47.4 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.