Wireless Fiber 'ultraGig' Partnership Unveiled in Montgomery County

1Gbps ‘Wireless Fiber’ Service: Delivered Over FiberTower’s 24GHz Wide-Area Spectrum LIcense: Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

The following images, press release and statement were published 8/5/2015 by Montgomery County, Maryland

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett announced the launch of “ultraGig” – a wireless fiber initiative at the Silver Spring Innovation Center (SSIC). ultraGig is part of ultraMontgomery, one of the six-point economic plan initiatives announced by Leggett during his inauguration. Pictured are Senior Vice-President, FiberTower Corp. Joe Sandri; Councilmember Hans Riemer; County Executive Ike Leggett; Councilmember Tom Hucker; President, Atlantech Online, Inc. Ed Fineran; Special Projects, Dept. of Economic Development Tina Benjamin; Head of Department of Technology Services Sonny Segal. 


For Immediate Release 8/5/2015

Leggett Celebrates Opening of Super-Fast Fiber Connection in Silver Spring
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett today announced the launch of “ultraGig” – a wireless fiber initiative at the Silver Spring Innovation Center (SSIC). ultraGig is part of ultraMontgomery, one of the six-point economic plan initiatives announced by Leggett in his inaugural address.

ultraMontgomery is the County’s plan to promote installation of super-fast, 100-gigabit, fiber infrastructure in business, academic and federal institutions in the County’s major economic corridors and innovation communities. It will also expand free WiFi in public facilities. A key component of ultraMontgomery isfinding ways to lower the cost and enable more broadband and telephone-service providers to deliver services to businesses and residents. 

“In the modern era, reliable and secure Internet connectivity and network infrastructure are fundamental to a strong economy, especially in Montgomery County, where we are pioneering rapidly evolving technological fronts in cyber security, IT and biotech,” said Leggett. “High-speed Internet is a necessity for economic competitiveness and world-class research. Even more importantly, as businesses move to the Cloud, their Internet has to always be on.”

Service providers for broadband (a high-capacity transmission technique using a wide range of frequencies, which enables a large number of messages to be communicated simultaneously) and true back-up Internet service can be limited, because it can be expensive to construct fiber under sidewalks or over several blocks to reach buildings in commercial or rural areas. ultraGig provides secure, reliable wireless broadband, available to multiple service providers, as an alternative broadband solution. It uses exclusive licenses for wireless, so there should always be enough capacity. ultraGig has a reach of three miles, so it can be cost effective to reach rural neighborhoods, or connect buildings. 

“More competition and choices for high-speed Internet means that businesses can get better service at better rates,” said Leggett. “Many homes, farms and businesses in rural areas of the County do not have access to high-speed broadband. ultraGig could be part the solution to reach these areas.” 

For a company already using wireline fiber for a broadband network connection, ultraGig offers a wireless path to a building that meets federal Physically Diverse Network (PDN) building standards. If one network connection goes down, the other network isn’t affected and remains functional. PDN increases network reliability, which is important as more people depend exclusively on Internet connections for telephone, video and data. 

ultraGig resultedfrom a public-private partnership between the County, SSIC tenant FiberTower and Silver Spring business Atlantech Online, Inc. and is an important piece of Leggett’s plan to grow knowledge-based jobs that require high-speed broadband to thrive and innovate. 

ultraGig is already providing benefits to SSIC tenants. Atlantech Online is using FiberTower wireless licenses to provide a full-duplex 1 gigabit per second (GBps) connection directly to the SSIC. The connections offer high-definition and high-capacity interactive video and voice conferencing, as well as data-intensive uploading and downloading. Using the FiberTower licenses, Atlantech Online was able to provide its customers in SSIC with 30-times-faster broadband speed, at no additional cost to the customer. 


Release ID: 15-294

Media Contact: Ohene Gyapong 240-777-6507





Good morning.

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking at our CyberMontgomery Forum, an event that attracts the leaders of the cyber-security industry.

One of the points I made then was to emphasize the importance of our ultraMontgomery initiative and strategy.  That program, part of my Six-Point Economic Plan, recognizes that connectivity is the lifeblood of business.

High-speed broadband is the circulation system that links businesses with each other, and with their customers.

What I couldn’t mention last week is the demonstration I’m pleased to host this morning. It is an important part of ultraMontgomery because it zeroes in on one of the most vexing problems in supplying reliable, cost-effective broadband. It’s a real game-changing technology that is an important piece of our efforts to show the business and tech communities that this County is the place to be.

This project is so important, we gave it a separate name – ultraGig. 

Most high-speed broadband is delivered over wires, whether thin strands of glass called fiber optics, or through a variety of wires used by cable companies.

This technology from our partner FiberTower delivers high-speed, one gigabit per-second broadband without wires. The ability to deliver one gigabit wirelessly is a very big deal for several reasons.

One, it provides an alternative to incumbent telephone and cable companies.  Competition is good for business because it generally leads to better service at better prices.  

Case in point, our other partner, Atlantech Online, was able to use the FiberTower wireless connection to provide 7 times faster broadband to tenants in this Innovation Center at no increase in price. In a few minutes, we will have another Innovation Center tenant, Eastward Films demonstrate what can be done with this new higher speed broadband connection.

Two, a wireless connection provides either a primary service or a backup for companies which require constant connections.  Cybersecurity, biotech, and media companies are just a few examples of companies that need for the Internet to always be available.  

The service from Fiber Tower meets the Federal standards for having backup capabilities – what is known as “physical diversity.”

This installation, here in our Innovation Center, is a commercial-grade service.  It is also a testbed for others to examine and experiment with, potentially as means to serve buildings in our County without having to dig up sidewalks and roads. 

Down the road, this technology could provide an alternative to the Internet access provided to consumers by the telephone and cable companies.

For now, we’re pleased to have FiberTower and Atlantech Online as partners in our Innovation Center here in Montgomery County, with best wishes for successful future deployments.


About FiberTower

FiberTower Corporation (www.fibertower.com) is a privately-held company that provides broadband ‘wireless fiber’ connections between buildings and/or poles and towers.  It uses exclusively licensed spectrum to deploy its services, and also offers such spectrum for lease.  FiberTower is the leader in developing millimeter and microwave technology solutions.  

Press Contact:
Christopher Naoum
FiberTower Corporation