By the middle of this year most of the Eagle Ford Shale region in South Texas will be blanketed with high-speed terrestrial wireless broadband provided by ERF Wireless unit Energy Broadband Inc., the company said.

The company said it recently began providing service to a major independent producer in the play. This contract and others have sparked a network construction project to serve most of the region. “This new wireless network coverage will add to the existing wireless broadband coverage that ERF Wireless already has in certain parts of the Eagle Ford Shale region through existing service arrangements with other wireless carriers,” the company said.

“The Eagle Ford Shale region of South Texas is several hundred miles in length, extending from Victoria to the Rio Grande at the Mexican border,” said Energy Broadband CEO John Nagel. “Over the past year, this area has become one of the most active new exploration and drilling regions in North America. Energy Broadband now has multiple customers for our wireless broadband services in this region.”

Nagel said ERF Wireless has “a significant amount of network coverage” in the eastern and central portion of the Eagle Ford, but almost no coverage in the western portion. In the far western Eagle Ford there is a distinct lack of wireless coverage, including WiMax and cellular, he said. The region is primarily made up of large ranches with relatively low population density.

“Therefore, in order to serve our new oil and gas customers in this region, ERF Wireless has initiated the design and construction of a new wireless broadband network for the area that will cover approximately 25,000 square miles of territory with high-capacity wireless coverage,” the company said.