CONXX, the communications provider behind AllCoNet in Allegany County, Maryland, will begin charging for Wi-Fi access to the Cumberland wireless network. Monthly fees will range between $16 and $20, daily fees between $5 and $7. CONXX also expects residents who have trouble getting connectivity indoors to purchase hardware that amplifies the wireless signals.
The Cumberland wireless network is not typical of municipal wireless broadband networks we’ve seen deployed in many US communities. For one, it’s only a small part of a larger strategy of the county to replace expensive and slow wired communications infrastructure. Several years ago, the county set up AllCoNet, self-operated, self-sustaining regional communications carrier that uses the 6 GHz licensed frequency bands for a point-to-point ring around the network, as well as unlicensed frequency bands for point-to-multipoint connections. The county grants local ISPs wholesale access to the network to provide services to residences and businesses. Cumberland’s wireless network is part of AllCoNet.