Sam Harlan, Head of Engineering &
The idea that fiber is a piece of infrastructure that is so
fundamental that it becomes almost a moral obligation was one of
the take a ways from a couple of panels moderated by Calix's Geoff
Burke. Burke was the moderator of panels that featured the
FCC's Chief of Strategy, Jonathan Chambers and
Kelly Drye Partner, Tom Cohen. The premise is that
the bandwidth, reliability and low-latency of fiber is necessary to
ensure equality of opportunity - whether in education, ensuring an
informed citizenry or more efficient governance.
Chambers focused on the premise that opportunities for children
that may have fiber to the school at varing ratios of bandwidth
from 1 Gig per 1,000 students or more. When the children go home in
the evening to prepare homework often times broadband is not
available in rural America. The unemployed would be able to
look at jobs online and submit applications from home rather than a
library. Americans advanced in age should be able to have the
accessibility to services and access to medical facilities to
enable them to age in place. America is better than our
current low expectations. Chambers added that "I
think it's a time to build. Networks that connect communities." -
FCC's Jonathan Chambers
Chambers noted that the next 3-5 years is the time to build
these networks to deliver to rural America the tools to be
productive in this world. An interesting comment he added was that
we should stop trying to meet bandwidth objectives of 4:1,
10:1 or 25:3 and just build fiber everywhere.
Between e-rate, community connect, lifeline, state and
federal grant/loan programs there is enough money
available. Rural America built copper networks from
no-subscribers in the late 1940's and 50's to copper everywhere. We
have done it once and we can do it again with all fiber.
The future of the digital communication age is upon us and the
requirements for our country to succeed depend on these services.
That makes the fiber availability to the children, the quality of
life to all adults, economic development a moral obligation
in rural America.
The Connect America Fund (CAF) rules for Rate
of Return (RoR) service providers are anticipated to be released
prior to the first of the year. If the RoR funding is similar to
the Price Cap models there should be a consistent window of High
Cost Support based on creating or upgrading broadband. The planning
process should begin immediately to be able to take full advantage
of the opportunity and at the same time make truly high speed
broadband a reality for rural America. Do we really want to leave a
decade of students behind and not have access to the full broadband
toolset to be successful in the world of tomorrow?
To learn more about CHR's Engineering Services contact Sam
Harlan at email@example.com