Nomad Internet , which over the last several years has made an effort to provide wireless internet services for those who live in dynamic homes, has refocused its business to go back to its roots of providing reliable, affordable high-speed services for those living in rural areas.
According to Nomad Internet CEO Robyn Weber, the company, which began servicing those rural clients in the years leading up to the pandemic, had pushed some of its focus to “mobile” users, such as those who utilize RVs or other dynamic living situations, as an expansion market.
“One of the things that I am working on doing as CEO is pushing us back into the rural market,” Weber said. “We kind of pulled into our full-time RV traveler market and we did well there in that space. But one of the things that we did along the way is we lost our mission a little bit of connecting the unconnected and those who cannot get internet any other way other than through a company like us. And so I’m working on taking Nomad Internet back to its roots and getting us back into that rural internet space where we still have people who are underserved.”
Part of that decision was based on market conditions created by the pandemic. Those in rural areas who perhaps had not “needed” high-speed internet for work, healthcare or school suddenly found themselves in dire need of those services.
That pursuit required some changes in the product line as data transfer technology evolved past where it was when the company was founded in 2017.
One of those creative solutions was the Nomad Internet Cube, which handles nationwide 5G as well as 4g LTE speeds and can support up to 15 devices using it simultaneously.
“The Cube is a modem that can run on C-Band, but it’s literally shaped like a cube,” Weber said. “And our primary target market for that is residential use. So people put it in their house and use it for just their day-to-day tasks, and streaming TV, and working from home and gaming.”
While the company had no issues creating modems that could handle 5G speeds or C-Band spectrum transfers, their customers didn’t always have access to those elements, requiring some creative thinking on the part of Nomad Internet to get them what they need.
So, the Nomad Internet expanded its modem product offering with the advent of the Nomad Internet Rural One.
“We took a little step backward and there were still a lot of rural areas that don’t have 5G,” Weber said. “And so we are launching a modem that’s specific for those folks (those in rural areas) that they can customize and add kind of extended reach antennas to optimize their signal so that we can still get to those areas. One of the challenges when we launched 5G services was a lot of the rural folks thought, well, I don’t have 5G, I can’t use this. So we’re taking a step back and we’ve developed another offering just for those folks.”
In addition to those in rural areas that suddenly needed high-speed internet for work or school, there were also a lot of transplants from urban areas, such as New York, San Francisco and others, who found new freedom in being able to work from home and capitalized on that freedom by moving to places that were less expensive and provided more space.
“The rural landscape is changing quite a bit because folks are able to work from home now,” Weber said. “They were never able to work from home. On top of that, a lot of folks didn’t return to the office after 2020. They moved out to the country to have more property, better places for their kids to grow up and things like that. I have a lot of friends who are realtors and they sell these places and people move in and they realized that they can’t work from home. They don’t have any internet. So, like I said, the demographic is changing.”
In addition to making the technology available to their customers, Nomad Internet does something else that rural customers find worthwhile that perhaps companies that normally work in highly-populated urban areas either don’t focus on or aren’t aware they need to: Customer service and personal interaction.
Nomad Internet started out, Weber said, by growing almost entirely via referral and word-of-mouth from customers, so the company understands this level of service is not only part of its growth strategy but an imperative in the markets they are choosing to operate in.
“Folks in rural areas, they’re very big on personal relationships and loyalty,” Weber said. “You want to find somebody at a company that you like and that you trust. And you call in, you always get that same person or that same team of people. They all know exactly what’s happening if you call in when you have an issue and then they send all their friends over.”