Starry expands deployment plans, reaches 350K homes in Boston

Just weeks after the company raised $100 million in new funding, Starry revealed it plans to expand its service to a handful of previously unannounced new markets including Memphis, Tennessee; Phoenix; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Manchester, New Hampshire; and Portland, Oregon.

The company added that its existing network in Boston now reaches 350,000 homes.

Perhaps more importantly, the company said it is seeing 25% growth in its customer numbers every month, though it did not provide hard figures beyond that percentage. And Starry said it is on track to reach roughly 2.5 million homes by the end of 2018.

Starry made waves in January when it announced that it would expand beyond its test market in Boston to 16 additional cities during 2018, including Los Angeles, New York, Cleveland, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Seattle, Detroit, Atlanta, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Miami, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. Today, the company offers services in locations in Los Angeles and Washington.

Starry hopes to challenge existing in-home, wired internet suppliers in downtown areas with its 200 Mbps fixed wireless service, which it is selling for $50 per month. Starry’s proprietary active phased array technology is based on the IEEE’s 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard and works in the licensed 37.0-38.6 GHz band in all of its chosen markets.

The company’s efforts are clearly generating interest: Wall Street analyst firm Oppenheimer said in March that Starry’s fixed wireless service is more economically effective than a fixed wireless service based on the 5G standard.

Starry also this week announced it is partnering with the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) to launch a pilot program geared toward providing free or low-cost internet to housing authority residents. The program, called Starry Connect, is being piloted at BHA’s Ausonia Apartments and offers free Wi-Fi in common areas to building residents.

“Access to high-speed broadband is critical for education, communication, and personal and professional development, and yet today, many people still lack access to a basic, affordable, and reliable internet connection,” said Starry CEO Chet Kanojia in a release (PDF). “We can’t sit on the sidelines and hope things get better.”

Starry is one of a growing number of companies planning to upend the wired internet market using fixed wireless technologies. Other companies playing in the space include AT&T, C Spire, U.S. Cellular and others.