April 22, 2022

Ruralink Broadband, Inc. (“RBI”), WatchTV, Inc. (“WTV”) and Synthesis Cloud Inc. ("SCI") today announced their strategic partnership for the deployment of a unique Wireless Hybrid Broadband-Broadcast ISP in selected WatchTV markets.

RBI is leveraging the efficient combination of Broadcast Internet content delivery using the new ATSC 3.0 broadcast TV standard with edge caching to both reduce the cost of OTT video distribution while simultaneously enhancing the user experience. Ruralink is targeting 50 markets below the Nielsen top fifty DMAs with an aggregate target population of 38 million persons (15.8 million TV Households). 

WTV is a leading LPTV and Class A broadcast licensee with a substantial presence throughout the state of Oregon.  WTV has deployed four ATSC 3.0 transmission systems in Portland, and two ATSC 3.0 systems covering the Bend and Redmond areas.  RBI, WTV and SCI have been collaborating to develop an unprecedented environment to prove the new Broadcast Internet service that was authorized by the FCC in their Report and Order in December 2020.  The entire usable capacity of the Bend demonstration and trial market is dedicated to proving the dramatic efficiencies that Broadcast Internet will add to the internet ecosystem.

RBI is in the process of expanding its next generation internet access and content distribution system.  “Ruralink is not just another ISP or Wireless ISP” according to Vern Fotheringham, Chairman of RBI. Through a consortium of partners brought together over the past few years, RBI’s network will deliver both fixed and mobile internet access services in underserved rural America, in parallel with providing a Broadcast Internet high-capacity overlay network for moving OTT and commonly required broadband data content directly to consumers.  

This hybrid combination of wireless content distribution networks coupled with the SCI "distributed cloud" using edge-caching home media gateways will essentially create a massively distributed virtualized data center in each of our markets.  We preposition OTT and broadband data content in our customer's homes, cars, and pockets.  Our approach to delivering on demand and streaming video content to consumers will provide them with instant access to the most requested OTT content – with no latency, no buffering, at the highest level of resolution.  

The RBI hybrid ISP network will provide a highly efficient "one-to-all" Broadcast Internet service to relieve the massively redundant "one-to-one" connections used in the legacy internet access networks.  The RBI approach relieves the capacity burden faced by all our ISP competitors struggling to meet the growing market demand for streaming video, gaming and other large data files.