Fiber Broadband Association

Fixed Wireless Failings for Rural Communities

Is fixed wireless a more affordable solution than fiber? Not so fast, according to a recent 150-page study conducted by the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society by CTC Technology and Energy. Fiber advantages over fixed wireless networks include a thousand times the broadband capacity and the ability to scale bandwidth by simply changing out the electronics at the ends, according to Andrew Afflerbach, CEO and Chief Technology Officer of CTC Technology & Energy.

Investing in Appalachian Broadband

Established in 1965 by an act of Congress, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is putting $30 million in grants per year into broadband. The 13-state region, encompassing 423 counties and 25.7 million people, only has high-speed broadband to 21% of homes in the most economically challenged areas, a statistic ARC wants to change. Among ARC’s biggest focuses are prepping communities for putting in Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program applications and funding planning grants so communities can figure out exactly what they should be doing with their BEAD applications.

Starlink Satellite Service Showing its Age

The June 2022 Ookla data tries to spin a rosy picture of SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet performance since its November 2020 public beta launch. While early Starlink users once swooned over the service because they had the only dish in town, they now find their once-speedy connections slowly sliding back to DSL/basic cable-esque performance with more people on the system. The performance slide comes at a time when SpaceX is trying to get its next-generation Starship off the ground, the only rocket capable of carrying its satellites in sufficient quantities.

Work From Home Drives Fiber’s Importance

Work-from-home (WFH) and collaboration trends jump-started by the pandemic aren’t going away, according to the latest Futurum Research survey, with large businesses continuing to support WFH in various degrees regardless of the industry. The organization surveyed 525 key decision-makers across important industry verticals, identifying which businesses had an official WFH policy today and those providing support on an informal basis without an established policy.

Westfield, Massachusetts, Leading with Fiber

This study describes how one small community in western Massachusetts addressed the need for reasonably priced high-speed symmetrical broadband service through the installation of a fiber optic infrastructure that not only serves the city but has prompted and facilitated similar fiber adoption throughout the region. Through a carefully conceived and cleverly executed plan sponsored by a local utility, Westfield (MA) became one of the first cities in the state to offer 1-Gbps symmetrical Internet connectivity to residents, schools, hospitals, and businesses.

Electric Utility Shows Missouri How To Do Rural Fiber

One of Missouri's electric co-ops is showing the rest of the world how to sustainably deliver fiber broadband to low population density regions. United Fiber, a subsidiary of United Electric Cooperative, started deploying fiber in 2011 and has built a network of 3,200 miles delivering gigabit connectivity to nearly 25,000 residential and commercial customers. In the process, the broadband operation has generated $25 million in annual revenue, funds that are being used to lower customer electric rates.

Utilities Generate Economic Benefits from Fiber

Many utilities have a long-standing relationship with fiber networks for monitoring and controlling their power distribution grids and it’s one that is increasingly proving valuable to the communities they serve both in terms of improving electric services and generating measurable economic benefits to their customers. “The cost of power outages to our communities is tremendous,” said Katie Espeseth, Vice President of New Products at EPB and FBA Power Utilities Roundtable Chair. “The cost of power outages to Chattanooga was nearly $100 million a year.

Building the Rocky Mountain Middle Mile

Ten counties across Northwest Colorado joined together for Project Thor, an open access middle mile network dedicated to transport and built for resilience using a series of concentric loops covering nearly 18,000 square miles, with other providers leveraging Thor for delivering last-mile internet access to a quarter-million people in the region. Using a combination of dark fiber and agreement with existing carriers, Thor has dropped bandwidth costs from $1.10 to under 25 cents a megabit.