Enabling Communities…. Connecting Lives

gigabit_internet_community

The following is a guest post from ADTRAN. Tom Stanton, CEO and Chairman of the Board at ADTRAN will be keynoting BBWF with ‘The Inferno of Transformation’ at 0920 on the 22nd October.

The Power of Gigabit Networks…

Things Are Changing

The rate of change is constantly accelerating. This is evident when you look at the network and realize that in less than a decade we have seen the emergence and domination of smart phones, tablets and a wealth of connected devices. Where only a few short years ago having an Internet connection was a luxury, today it is a necessity. This is true not only at home or work – but anywhere at any time. The demand for bandwidth is infinite. As this demand for bandwidth continues to grow, the network must evolve to meet this need. That leads us to the Gigabit network.

The Need for Gigabit

Gigabit networks are still in their infancy. Many question the need for Gigabit speeds, when we have not fully utilized the bandwidth available today. But others have embraced the vision for Gigabit services, and are using it as a force for change within the communities they serve. Gigabit services connect the citizens of a community and enable growth and prosperity. Areas that were once desolate or dying have found new life through the emergence of Gigabit services. These ultra high-speed broadband networks are also serving as a catalyst for the future, bringing new jobs, new innovation and new beginnings.

Drivers for Gigabit Communities

  1. Education
  2. Business and Job Growth
  3. Improved HealthCare
  4. Civic Life
  5. Connected Homes
  6. Municipal Services

Research is already heralding the impact Gigabit networks can have on a community. David Sandel of Sandel & Associates developed a model for measuring the economic impact of a Gigabit network. His initial study focused on a small area in the creative center of St. Louis and showed a significant impact:

  • 1,000 high-tech jobs paid at industry standard
  • 972 additional jobs across a number of industries, including real estate, employment services, food service and drinking establishments, hospitals/health care providers, telecommunications and wholesale trade
  • $132,590,000 in wages and benefits
  • $172,227,000 in additional economic benefits such as sales, rents and services.

In summary, this study estimated a total annual economic output in excess of $265 million derived from an initial investment of less than $3 million. This is just one of many examples.

Where We Are

In January 2013, former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachoski issued the Gigabit City Challenge, calling for all 50 states to have at least one community with gigabit Internet access by 2015.

Google was the first to accept the challenge, announcing that it would bring Gigabit services to Kansas City for just $70 per month. It was not long before, smaller rural telcos, like C-Spire and Comporium jumped on the band wagon. In fact, a recent article in PC Magazine identified 24 areas that have or plan to offer Gigabit access.

{Need a graphic here with a map of the 24 areas }

One thing is for sure…things are changing and Gigabit services are a driver.

How Do We Get There From Here

So, the question remains, “How do we get there?” Currently, most providers are still concentrating on delivering services that offer speeds far less than 1 Gbps. However, there are new technologies and techniques enable these operators to reach Gigabit speeds in a more cost-effective and timely manner.

Fiber to the Home (FTTH)/ Fiber to the Building (FTTB) – FTTH/FTTB is not new, but it has to be mentioned. It is the cornerstone of high-speed service delivery and the ultimate goal for most service providers. However, with it come economic challenges. Most carriers, especially large Tier 1 and Tier 2 operators have found it difficult to justify the expenditure. The demand for Gigabit may force their hand.

G.Fast – one of the newest entries to the market is a technology known as G.Fast, a short-loop DSL acceleration technology. G.Fast enables operators to extend their fiber networks via existing phone lines to offer near  gigabit speeds. It is typically deployed from the distribution point or the basement, where loops are less than 100 meters in length.

Securing the Right Partners

Regardless of what technology you choose to implement to offer Gigabit services, it is important to develop the right partnerships to maximize your existing network, while enabling the migration to Gigabit and beyond.

To find out more about Gigabit services deployment, visit www.gigcommunities.net.

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