Project Waves is a nonprofit organization operating as an internet service provider (ISP) that seeks to bridge the digital divide in Baltimore. In this article, we will highlight some of the efforts made by Project Waves, and the contribution of Positron’s technical solutions, to provide free broadband internet access to hundreds of Baltimore residents.

Hollins House & Baltimore’s Digital Equity Divide

fiber optic light image with red hue on black background

Many Baltimore residents face a lack of access to any form of broadband services, let alone affordable services. Baltimore has one of the highest disconnectivity rates in the United States. Even today, more than 96,000 Baltimore households can’t get a home internet connection.

With the help of innovative initiatives such as Project Waves, the digital equity gap is slowly closing, leading to great options for education and health care services, as well as new employment opportunities for many residents.

Hollins House–a high-rise apartment that houses seniors and people with disabilities–recently underwent an extensive renovation. Guided by Project Waves and carried to each door thanks to Positron’s access multiplexer (GAM) technology, the Hollins House renovation allowed residents to receive 1 Gbps broadband access – for free.

Project Waves & The Digital Divide

Broadband services are no longer a luxury – they are now an essential part of daily life. This is especially true for older adults, who often need to rely on telehealth applications to get the care they need. Unfortunately, entire communities remain underserved when it comes to connectivity, which hampers residents in an increasing number of ways.

Thanks to Project Waves, Hollins House residents now have free broadband internet access, giving residents much-needed access to telehealth services. This is a huge step forward for the facility, and it will no doubt improve the quality of life for its residents.

Broadband access has become one of the most critical pieces of public infrastructure in the country. Just as politicians have long recognized the importance of roads and sewer and water systems, they now need to view broadband in the same way. Broadband services are essential for businesses, institutions, and individuals to stay connected and participate in the digital economy. And as more and more government services move online, it is becoming increasingly difficult for those without broadband to fully participate in civic life.

Made Possible by Positron

yellow LAN cable on blue background

Initially, Project Waves set out to install point-to-multipoint wireless connections in single-family homes, however, that approach proved to be difficult to scale for a variety of reasons. In search of ways to extend connectivity as widely as possible in the community, Project Waves turned its focus to multi-dwelling units (MDUs).

Following an MDU deployment that involved service provider deployed wireless access points and a daisy-chained network of switches in a wiring closet, Project Waves quickly realized the technical challenges of extending broadband services, especially when faced with old wiring and budgetary constraints.

Enter: GAM Technology

With efficient problem-solving strategies, Director of Engineering Devin Weaver and his team incorporated Positron’s GAM technology to simplify the broadband access process. During the Hollins house renovation, they were able to reuse the existing coax and copper wiring, despite the wires being old and unmarked.

To ensure the Positron’s GAM device was the right solution, Weaver installed it inside his own home and saw it work perfectly with the existing wiring. Weaver and his team used GAM technology for the Hollings House project because of its simplicity and cost-effective ability to extend broadband service without a costly fiber retrofit.

The Takeaway

Throughout the Hollins House project, the greatest logistical and technical challenges stemmed from mislabeled and unlabeled cables at splitter boxes within the property. Although these cable issues caused some delays, this deployment was significantly streamlined, relative to previous efforts from Project Waves. At Hollins House, more than 50 residential connections were made in five days, effectively doubling the efficiency of previous deployments.

Positron’s GAM technology allows property owners to deliver premium-speed broadband services to tenants in brownfield properties without the cost, disruption or labor needed to retrofit internal cabling. By using existing coaxial or cable wiring, GAM solutions can provide broadband speeds of up to 1 Gbps without the need for expensive fiber optics infrastructure. In addition, the solution is compatible with a variety of broadband technologies, making it a versatile option for delivering high-speed internet service to tenants in brownfield properties.

Broadband internet access has become increasingly essential in our modern world, yet there is still a significant digital divide in many communities. Positron is proud to be able to contribute to this effort by providing technical solutions that help make Project Waves’ broadband services possible. Our cutting-edge equipment helped Project Waves deliver free broadband internet service to hundreds of in-need Baltimore residents. We are proud to be able to help Project Waves achieve its mission of bridging the digital divide in Baltimore, and we look forward to helping bridge the digital divide in more communities in the years ahead.

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    Extending Gigabit Fiber services to Every Door without installing fiber to the door

    Positron’s Access Multiplexer (GAM) can extend your fiber services to every door of an MDU/MTU over the existing telephone pairs or coaxial cable to deliver Gigabit broadband. The Positron GAM delivers symmetrical Gigabit broadband without the need to install fiber to every door.

    By |2023-09-07T11:15:14-04:00October 12, 2022|Press Release|0 Comments

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