Writen by Sam Harlan
What does a new patio deck at your house and fiber to the home have in common? They both increase the value of your home! According to recent research conducted by the University of Colorado and Carnegie Mellon University, fiber to the home can increase an average home's value by over $5K dollars (+3%).
Areas where gigabit fiber service is available have resulted in a 3.1% higher median home value, than communities without fiber. Even with a connection to a local network operator, such as a rural broadband provider, home values are 1.8% higher on average, than non-connected communities.
In July, the USDA announced $86 million in broadband grants and loans for infrastructure projects associated with rural network operators. Loans were given to five network operators in four states. Grants were given to four operators in four states. This federal money is being invested in projects ranging from fiber and switch upgrades to broadband deployment. The four grant awards are Community Connect Grants in which the total of the awards was $10M. This is a points based award for unserved areas. Additional points can be received if the funds are applied to tribal lands. http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-connect-grants
High-speed broadband is an important national investment, in both urban and rural landscapes across the country. Communities lacking broadband access or high speed broadband can have a negative effect on attracting new businesses or retaining existing businesses. The term "Gig City" is a term that is attracting attention from numerous large cities with the Google build out program, and has also been picked up by others both large and small.
NTCA has launched their Gig Certification Program to Communication Service Providers that allows for certification by a professional engineer that an exchange can serve 95% of the subscribers in an individual exchange. (CHR can assist with the certification).
CHR has met with Economic Development leaders in various communities and have assisted with the evaluation of the effects on fiber to the ability to attract jobs and business leaders based on the quality of their current broadband providers. CHR has also met with city permitting offices to determine the process to obtain utility construction requirements and standards in areas of towns and with taxing authorities for the ability to obtain tax abatements.
It is essential that the government and Communication Service Providers continue to invest in broadband infrastructure and access to communities. The benefits are vast, and are essential in developing healthcare, education and commerce.
If you do not serve the unserved area (10MB download:1MB upload) perhaps an Electric Coop, Fixed Wireless, Municipality, Real Estate Developer will do so as a competitor. You (the Tier 2 or Tier 3 CSP) may want to look at this as an opportunity to expand your footprint.
Original text in CHR Solutions