About Us

The Community Telecommunications Network (CTN) is a 501c3 non-profit corporation
representing a unique combination of urban and suburban organizations serving the
community, K-12 education, higher education and public television in southeast Michigan.
Created in 1987 CTN is a partnership of Detroit Public Television, Macomb Intermediate School
District, Oakland Schools, Detroit Public Schools Community District, Wayne County Regional
Educational Service Agency and Wayne State University. These chartering institutions applied
for and received licenses from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to operate
Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS) broadcasting services on frequencies set aside for
educational use. CTN was created to operate the licenses on behalf of member institutions
creating a 16-channel public service television/telecommunications system dedicated to
education and human resource development. These frequencies would later prove pivotal in
the delivery of wireless broadband.

As wireless internet technology matured, FCC rules were updated in 2004 to provide for cellular
service and modified the band plan. ITFS was renamed Educational Broadband Service (EBS) to
reflect its broader use and its value increased significantly. CTN solidified a contract to lease its
EBS channels to Sprint in 2006 to cement the move from a broadcast environment to a region-
wide wireless Internet service. T-Mobile acquired Sprint in 2020 so CTN’s relationship is now
with T-Mobile through its wholly owned subsidiary Clearwire Spectrum Holdings III, LLC.
Revenue from the lease to T-Mobile supports CTN and its grants program that encourages
innovative use of technology in government, education and the communities of Wayne,
Oakland and Macomb counties.