Nextlink Internet and Tarana announced Thursday their formal collaboration to bring low-latency gigabit broadband service to under- and unserved communities and rural regions in 11 states, including Iowa. The team expects to expand service to hundreds of rural counties over the next several years, covering over a quarter-million households. According to a news release, Nextlink is using Tarana’s G1 platform to compete in local markets with fiber providers by deploying fast, affordable broadband service. The G1 platform uses a technology Tarana has termed “next-generation FWA” (ngFWA), which helps deliver gigabit services over longer distances and in places where objects obstruct the transmission of radio frequencies. “The digital divide remains a pressing issue for most Americans in rural areas, and service affordability is also a big problem in many mainstream markets,” said Nextlink CEO Bill Baker. “G1 is enabling us to address these issues at large scale at a pace measured in months instead of years.”