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The Divide: Federated CEO Iyad Tarazi on connecting students with private wireless

This week: Iyad Tarazi, CEO of Federated Wireless, on the company's efforts to close the digital divide with private wireless, including its recent deployment in Tukwila, Washington, connecting 1,200 students.

Nicole Ferraro

December 6, 2023

At a Glance

  • The state of broadband access for students in Tukwila, Washington (03:00)
  • The importance of grants for private wireless deployments and how Federated sees BEAD funds factoring into its work (11:28)
  • Lessons learned on deploying private wireless to close broadband gaps (19:06)

This episode features Iyad Tarazi, CEO of Federated Wireless. We discuss the details of the company's recent $1.4 million partnership with the city of Tukwila, Washington, to deploy a private wireless network for 1,200 students in an area with limited connectivity, and what that deployment says about the role of private wireless in addressing the digital divide overall.

[Ed. note: This episode was recorded just prior to Federated's ribbon-cutting ceremony in Tukwila, pictured below, on Tuesday, December 5.]

Federated-Tukwila-kids.jpg

We also touch on Federated's neutral host network with California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly), as well as the federal government's $42.45 billion Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program and how Federated sees BEAD bolstering wireless deployments going forward.

Here are some topics we cover:

  • Brief background and update on Federated Wireless (01:08)

  • The state of broadband access for students in Tukwila, Washington (03:00)

  • How Federated won grant funding for the Tukwila deployment (05:38)

  • Current and future capabilities of Federated's Tukwila network (09:55)

  • The importance of grants for private wireless deployments and how Federated sees BEAD funds factoring into its work (11:28)

  • Lessons learned on deploying private wireless to close broadband gaps (19:06)

For a lightly edited conversation transcript, click the caption button on the video player.

Read more about:

The Divide

About the Author(s)

Nicole Ferraro

Editor, host of 'The Divide' podcast, Light Reading

Nicole covers broadband, policy and the digital divide. She hosts The Divide on the Light Reading Podcast and tracks broadband builds in The Buildout column. Some* call her the Broadband Broad (*nobody).

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