Why I Support Fiber vs. Fixed 5G


Sam Harlan, Vice President Engineering Business Consulting



Recently another engineering firm submitted a report1 to the FCC stating that 5G is not a solution for rural America. The Engineering team at CHR Solutions agrees 100% with that perspective. Companies, such as AT&T and Verizon, should not be viewed as having the right model for broadband expansion in rural America. These two companies, and others, have primarily staked their claim on the more densely populated areas, and left rural America alone. 

Many of you working for independent service providers understand the make-up of rural America. I grew up in the West Texas town of Muleshoe. The population was approximately 5,000 and our closest neighbor was ¼ mile away. Even though the terrain is almost completely flat, and trees are about as abundant as the hairs on my head (meaning not too many), this is an area where 5G is definitely not a solution for the long term. 

Some people suggest that a wireless solution is a complete solution. I would argue that they are confused. The fact is there must be a fat fiber to the Tower to support the short distance coverage of 5G. With more than just a handful of subscribers streaming, uploading and gaming, there is just not enough capacity to meet the requirements of a family with school age children that needs access to the world through broadband.

The highly-respected Jonathon Chambers (former Chief of the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, FCC) once said that high speed broadband is not a luxury but a necessity, and he added the phrase, "just build fiber."  It's easy to get distracted by complementary solutions like 5G, but in rural America, we need to proceed with building fiber-to-the-premise.

On behalf of all us at CHR, and the many companies we serve, we urge the FCC to fully fund the buildout of rural America with fiber. 

1 Click here to read the report submitted to the FCC.

Written by Sam Harlan at 00:00

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