We would probably say that nearly everyone “wins” in the race to connect rural locations to high-speed internet—families, children, schools, small businesses, everyone—but the FCC recently announced the names of 40 entities who will receive a combined 100 million dollars in funding to begin the rural broadband revolution; the real “winners” in the race to connect America’s heartland. Among them are wireless ISPs, local telephone companies, power companies and a few cable companies.
From the report, we have extracted a summary of the communities that will benefit from the expansion of rural broadband services. Is your location on the list?
- 19 entities seeking support to build networks that are capable of delivering 100 Mbps downstream and 25 Mbps upstream to all locations in the project census blocks in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico and Texas.
- 12 entities seeking support to build networks capable of delivering 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream to all locations in the project census blocks in Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
- 9 entities seeking support to build networks capable of delivering 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream to all locations in project census blocks that are extremely costly to serve in California, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, North Dakota, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas.
At Alden, we have been on top of the rural broadband conversation for a while now, reporting previously that communities and companies around the U.S. were vying for the support, about the potential benefits to chosen locations, and even that outside of the FCC grant, cities everywhere are in heated competition to be the next in a series of locations wired by tech giants like Google. Watching this rollout evolve has been interesting, and we hope our readers are considering the implications—and taking the necessary steps to, as we have mentioned, be ready for the arrival of high-speed Internet to these small municipalities.
What is on the horizon for your organization?
In short, a lot of attachment requests, contracts, paperwork, and if you are not prepared, a whole bunch of headaches in the New Year. Fortunately, Alden can help, with joint use solutions that can make higher volume and a greater need for connectivity with attaching companies another seamless part of your workflow instead of a freight train of worry coming your way. Here are a few ways we suggest you prepare:
Inventory your equipment via a comprehensive field inventory that maps all utility poles, catalogs all attachers and assesses the operational viability of all assets.
Then get organized, with a connected, easy to use database of your utility poles. Have your company and all attachers use an integrated, intuitive joint use management software system like Alden’s NotifyTM, which helps you manage joint use assets, keep track of attachers, communicate efficiently with all parties involved and, as a result, reduce backlogs and get control of the permitting process.
You know we will continue to watch what happens here—check back for updates. You, however, should consider what happens next for your organization.