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Wave 7 Awarded EPIC Grant to Expand Affordable High-Speed Internet to 200+ Households
Enfield’s newest high-speed Internet Service Provider, Wave 7 Communications, was recently awarded $154,000 through the Expanding Potential in Communities (EPIC) Grant, which supports broadband initiatives in the southeastern United States. The program is funded by Truist Financial Corporation’s Truist Cares* initiative, a $50 million philanthropic pledge to help rebuild communities in the company’s markets affected by COVID-19. Wave 7 Communications will utilize the grant to further its mission of empowering the community to be active participants in how the internet service expands and grows in their town.
Wave 7 Communications was founded in February of 2020 and launched in June through a partnership with the town of Enfield to address the lack of internet access in its rural community. Wave 7’s innovative approach partners closely with organizations, businesses, residents, and municipalities to locate infrastructure and deploy internet coverage.
Over the past year, this public-private partnership has led to many successes for Enfield. Wave 7 continues to provide the community with public access to free wifi via a “Park and Learn” service at the local library, in exchange for the Library’s use as a central Gateway Location for the internet service provider. Since its launch, the company has developed a loyal base of thankful clients and business owners.
“Residents living in rural areas often have limited choices for internet service, which results in slow speeds and a lack of flexible options. Our company is excited to serve the town of Enfield and surrounding areas with faster and more affordable internet. We understand the importance of broadband to the economy, e-Learning, and telehealth. Our goal is to give the town a community-based option for internet service,” said LaShawn Williamson, CEO of Wave 7 Communications.
The EPIC Grant has already been a vital part of expanding the company’s reach in Enfield. On June 20, 2021, Wave 7 installed additional equipment on the Safelite Water Tower to increase the coverage area. By strengthening the network infrastructure, the company will be able to service up to 200 new residential and business customers with free installation and network gear through grant funding. In addition to providing much-needed access to high-speed internet, Wave 7 has partnered with Community of Hope Center (COHC), a local non-profit organization, to offer digital literacy classes. COHC will also assist in identifying 25 households who will receive one year of free-internet service and a Chromebook from Wave 7 with costs covered through the EPIC Grant.
As part of Wave 7’s further expansion in the town of Enfield, users of the service receive the internet via a small antenna on their roof and a smart router using the Althea system, which automatically selects the most affordable and fastest connection available. Members have the ability to control the cost of their service without contracts. The average speed is 50-70Mbps, with many people receiving 100Mbps, and costs around $50 a month. The Wave 7 network ensures that none of its customers are without the internet by providing an “always-on free tier” that delivers access to the basics of the internet at no charge.