It is up to 100 times faster than traditional broadband, already available to corporate and institutional customers around the U.S., and is coming to homes in a mid-sized city near you. What is it? Gigabit broadband service. This month, Cincinnati Bell announced that in addition to corporate and small business consumers, consumers receiving its Fioptics service will soon be able to opt into a faster gigabit service as well. “The campaign, called ‘Light Up Cincinnati,’ comes as Cincinnati Bell continues to expand its Fioptics suite of high-speed Internet, voice and entertainment services for businesses and consumers throughout the region,” reports the Cincinnati Enquirer.
While the rollout of broadband internet to rural areas continues to make headlines, cities around the U.S. are taking the next step toward gigabit. Chattanooga made the leap earlier in 2014, prompting the New York Times to dub the mid-sized Tennessee metro “Gig City.” There, consumers can download a two-hour, high-definition movie in 33 seconds, while most of the rest of us wait 25 minutes, and pay less for it than practically anywhere else in the nation—about $70 a month.
Even more recently—August of 2014—CenturyLink announced expansion of gigabit service to Las Vegas consumers. Competitor Cox Communications is right on its heels, promising a 2016 release of similar service for its Sin City customers. Finally, AT&T announced a major initiative in April of 2014 encompassing routing gigabit service to 21 candidate metro areas, including Augusts, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; Houston, Texas; Jacksonville, Florida and St. Louis, Missouri, to name a few. Their new product’s name: U-Verse with GigaPower.
What does this mean to municipalities and utility pole owners? A looming volume in attachment requests, for starters. More consumers and new services means more equipment on poles—and more paperwork.
What can you do? Be prepared. Utilization of joint use management software particularly one like AldenOne® that facilitates communication between pole owners and attaching companies, makes important documents like contracts readily available and catalogs and organizes a wide variety of pole information into workflows. This software makes for an efficient, effective way to get ready, get organized, and reduce backlogs as the U.S. awaits the ultra-fast internet it is dreaming about.