Telrad Empowers Minority Woman-Owned Startup to Augment Rural Broadband

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Kansas-based Black Dragon Networks partners with Telrad to bridge the rural–urban divide.

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Telrad Networks, a global provider of innovative LTE telecom solutions, was chosen by the emerging engineering company Black Dragon Networks, LLC to provide crucial infrastructure for the startup's new rural broadband network in Hodgeman County, Kansas.

Black Dragon Networks is a registered minority woman-owned busines that is dedicated to bridging the rural–urban divide—a chronic disparity that limits access to affordable, high-speed broadband connections across large portions of the United States.

"I named this company after the motherboard I used in the first PC I ever built," says Black Dragon owner and CEO Susan Nuss. "My aim is for Black Dragon Networks to be a similar kind of catalyst that led to my eventual career as an AT&T telecom engineer. By providing thousands of potential households across Hodgeman County with reliable, high-speed Internet access that's reasonably priced, we're opening up new opportunities and promising futures for rural residents."

One such example is in education. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Nuss was struck by the challenges local K–12 students faced when schools quickly moved to distance-learning models. To participate in virtual classrooms and access online assignments, many families had to rely on their smartphones in hotspot mode as their home routers. Faster, more robust last-mile Internet access will eliminate that need.

"Unlike major network operators who prioritize population density to maximize profits, Black Dragon is committed to supporting our residents with a state-of-the-art communications infrastructure," she says.

"Just because someone's heart is in the Heartland shouldn't mean that they're denied the broadband choice and speed found in more metropolitan areas. And Telrad's equipment is making it possible for us to level that playing field."

Black Dragon Networks is using Telrad's high-gain CPE9000 and the CPE12000 device for maximum coverage and performance. These outdoor customer-side LTE units have been deployed alongside Telrad's versatile BreezeCOMPACT 1000 CBRS base station, which offers superior non-line-of-sight (NLOS) performance and throughput despite its economical size and price. Together these devices form the backbone of Black Dragon's modern, cost-effective network.

"When we developed our product portfolio, these are precisely the kinds of use cases we envisioned," says Alex Freylekhman, VP of Sales at Telrad. "With our advanced equipment in place, Black Dragon has been able to truly maximize the CBRS spectrum and achieve higher speeds at distant endpoints along with superior coverage.

"We're proud that a recognized woman-run company like Black Dragon Networks chose to partner with us. We're equally excited that Telrad is playing an important role in fulfilling our mission by bridging the rural–urban broadband divide."

Black Dragon is currently rolling out its infrastructure with the help of federal and statewide communications-focused grants. The Telrad-powered network is achieving speeds close to 100Mbps in peak areas and providing connectivity to homes that have traditionally been unable to receive cell service.

About Telrad Networks
Telrad Networks is a global provider of innovative LTE telecom solutions, boasting over 300 4G deployments in 100 countries. Telrad stands at the forefront of the technology evolution with TD-LTE solutions and a path to 5G in the sub-6 GHz market. Since 1951, the company has been a recognized pioneer in the telecom industry, facilitating the connectivity needs of millions of end users through operators, ISPs and enterprises around the world. (https://telrad.com)

About Black Dragon Networks
Based in western Kansas, Black Dragon Networks, LLC is an up-and-coming independent telecom provider that specializes in wireless and fiber-based networks. The company was founded as a change agent to bring high-speed Internet to rural towns and remote areas that have been overlooked by other carriers. Black Dragon Networks is a registered minority women-owned business that can partner on federal government and state of Kansas bids. (blackdragonnetworks.com)

Taryn Sipperly
Director of Marketing
Telrad
(844) TELRAD | Taryn.Sipperly@telrad.com

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Alex Freylekhman
Telrad
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