NetEquity and Althea announce strategic partnership to build broadband networks by using smart contracts

Isfandiyar Shaheen
NetEquity Networks
Published in
2 min readJun 1, 2021


NetEquity Networks and Althea Networks have entered into a strategic partnership to finance, build and operate last-mile broadband networks. Our first project will be in rural Nebraska where we will leverage the fiber optic network owned by OPTK Networks (“OPTK”).

To finance this network, we will use Althea’s system to execute a revenue share smart contract between OPTK, cell tower operators, building owners, investors and network technicians (“Network Stakeholders”).

Althea’s system offers real-time payments and complete fund flow transparency to Network Stakeholders. This visibility makes a revenue share contract possible in a trust-minimized way. A revenue share contract for broadband matters because it reduces the amount of demand-risk assumed by broadband investors. We believe reducing and eventually eliminating demand risk assumed by broadband investors is required to bridge the digital divide.

“Broadband is an essential utility that should be available for everyone. Legacy models have left rural people behind, but Althea’s multi-stakeholder system empowers communities to build fast and affordable networks in sustainable ways. We are excited to work together with NetEquity and OPTK to bring better broadband to Nebraska, “ said Deborah Simpier, CEO and co-founder of Althea.

In the summer of 2021, Althea and NetEquity will select several areas in Nebraska to build out high speed fixed wireless and LTE networks that will use OPTK’s fiber network for backhaul. Users will receive the Internet via a small antenna on their roof and a smart router, which selects the cheapest, best connection available and pays the bill — all automatically. Customers can expect a download speed of 70–100 Mbps at a cost of $55/month.

“We have developed a deep appreciation of the culture and values found within the Althea community. This community is an inclusive meritocracy, it embraces diversity and is quickly becoming a talent magnet for telecom, broadband and finance professionals. We believe this revenue-share model through smart contracts can be scaled globally to address the need for fast, affordable broadband for everyone“ said Isfandiyar Shaheen, Founder and CEO of Net Equity.

About Althea:

Althea’s unique cooperative vision for the internet brings peering from the data center to the field. Althea has been empowering communities to build multi-stakeholder networks faster and more affordably than legacy telecom models since 2018.

To date, the Althea platform has helped operationalize 14 networks in the United States and Nigeria. @AltheaNetwork

About Net Equity:

NetEquity Networks is an infrastructure sharing start-up based in San Francisco, CA. NetEquity was incorporated in 2018 while its founder was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Facebook Connectivity. NetEquity’s mission is to make high speed Internet access affordable for all within a decade. @netequity1