Government and non-government organizations are actively involved in the rural fiber deployment projects. The many new business opportunities that fiber internet connection offers are unmatched by any other technology.
However, in 2018, more than 600 million people did not have access to the internet. Why? Keep reading to learn about the benefits of this new generation of the Internet and what difficulty we face with the rural fiber deployment.
Critical Benefits of Rural Fiber Deployment
The cost of installing fiber in rural areas is high. But, this internet connection option offers many benefits to businesses and people’s lives.
To People’s Life
Fiber will improve the lives of people by revamping their communication channels. Now, they can send emails instead of traditional letters.
Health is one of the most critical facets of any community. Improved internet connection helps hospitals to offer quality services to patients.
The connectivity will enable them to connect with other experts. Also, doctors and nurses now carry out extensive research on various conditions online.
Besides, they can now use new apps and systems that only work when connected to the internet.
The Internet enables businesses to store data in a cloud. 96% of businesses or organizations rely on the cloud to some degree for daily operations. Applications stored in a cloud are more efficient than traditional offline systems.
Secondly, the exceptional signal strength increases productivity. It enables employees to complete more tasks within a short period. Internet connection throughout the premises is strong.
Moreover, by embracing fiber, departments can collaborate on projects better.
Installation Barriers of Rural Fiber Deployment
Installation of fiber cables in rural areas is not easy. Generally speaking, there are two primary installation challenges.
Natural and artificial structures make the installation process difficult. Installing fiber cable across a river, deserts, and uncultivated land is not easy.
It is also important to note that most rural areas experience bad weather conditions. For example, tornadoes force installers to stop the project for weeks.
Consequently, the installers have to come up with plans to deal with these challenges. They often have to change plans to complete the project within the agreed timeframe.
The harsh and uneven environment in rural areas makes rural fiber projects expensive. A majority of the developing economies are not in a position to carry out such tasks. They rely on international organizations such as the United Nations.
According to Empower Africa, the cost of laying down one kilometer of fiber optic cable costs $15,000 – $30,000.
Why Other Internet Options are Not Ideal for Rural Areas
Fiber is not the only internet option for rural areas. There are many internet service providers in rural areas. They use different methods to supply the internet to their clients. That said, it is the best option which is why governments and non-government prefer it. Some of the other options available are:
- Fixed wireless broadband internet
- Satellite internet connection
- Cable broadband
- Cellular mobile broadband
Most of the above options are more affordable to businesses and homeowners. But, the many disadvantages make them unreliable. Here are four reasons why other internet options are not the right solution for rural areas.
The rural areas have many trees and structures such as water towers and large buildings. Trees and buildings interfere with signals from fixed wireless broadband and satellite internet.
Consistency is of paramount importance when evaluating the suitability of an internet option. Fiber is best known for being consistent with other options such as (DSL).
The many downtimes result in losses due to a lack of access to apps and data stored in the cloud. They are also unable to communicate with clients well. Besides, people who work from home cannot complete projects on time due to the connection. They risk losing clients for failing to submit projects on time.
Capped Data Usage
Businesses need a reliable data package to profit from internet connectivity. Customers who choose the fiber internet package pay a fixed amount at the end of the month. The cost does not depend on the amount of data used. Such packages are cheap, especially for heavy internet users.
Cellular mobile broadband offers meter data packages to saturate the network. Once saturated, the bandwidth and speed drop. The data limits prevent businesses from using the internet like the competitors. The unreliable performance makes fiber the best option for rural areas.
The internet service providers take advantage of the lack of competition. Subsequently, they charge clients high monthly fees. Most companies offer regular discounts to clients. However, the packages are still expensive compared to the monthly fiber internet packages.
Does not support business growth/scalability
By capping data, the internet service offered does not support business growth. As a result, business owners use many internet services to meet their needs. They end up paying thousands of dollars per month. Conversely, fiber internet solves such challenges as it is versatile and flexible.
Co-Ops Plans in America
Mark McKinney has laid down fiber cable for miles to help the community access the internet. He is the head of County Rural Electric Membership Corporation. Other cooperatives have similar projects to offer high-speed internet connection to their members.
The co-ops’ fiber business model depends on the members paying $50 per month for the service. At least 50% – 60% need to join the project for it to be successful. Currently, the government is yet to establish a federal fiber-funding program.
Rural fiber deployment is not without its fair share of challenges, even though the benefits to communities and businesses are uncountable. The service providers need to develop robust ways of installing the fiber.
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