Recovery Act: A WiMax Windfall
The application period for the first $4 billion in broadband stimulus funds starts today and will end on the evening of Aug. 14.
Doubtless, the list of companies that are applying will expand over the next month, but at the moment smaller WiMax operators are the ones that have gone public with their desire for stimulus money. (See Small Wireless Firms Get Set for Recovery Funds.)
These companies include:
All three companies plan to bring WiMax to areas of the country that are lacking in broadband if they get government stimulus money. In fact, the stimulus money fits nicely with DBC's and ERF's existing business plans. Towerstream would use the additional money to reach out to business users that would otherwise be less likely to get broadband.
This potential additional WiMax spending could prove to be lucrative for infrastructure vendors in an otherwise downbeat market. In particular, Alvarion Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALVR), will benefit if some of these WiMax projects get funded.
Alvarion is already a supplier of 3.65 GHz fixed and mobile WiMax gear to both Towerstream and DBC. The Israeli manufacturer was the first to introduce 3.65 GHz mobile WiMax gear in the U.S. (See ArcSight Integrates Identity, Security Mgt and Mobile WiMax Goes on the Piste.)
Alvarion is no stranger to rural stimulus deals: The vendor has already won a government loan deal to deploy mobile WiMax with Open Range Communications Inc. (See Alvarion Wins $100M WiMax Deal and Alvarion Lands Largest Gov't-Backed WiMax Deal.)
In addition, Alvarion has also been granted "Buy American" status for a couple of its WiMax base stations. The latest rulings on the broadband stimulus bill, however, have made such exceptions largely irrelevant. (See Buy American? Not if It's Broadband.)
For more on rural and city WiMax network networks in the U.S. check out this report: WiMax: What's Working Now.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung