Over the past several years, fiber has become a major focus for many businesses, even small businesses in the telecommunications field. Savvy business professionals know that having fiber run to their business will allow for faster internet speeds, which are crucial to heavy reliance on web resources. More bandwidth means less latency and ultimately, a more productive workforce.
Of course, it’s not as simple as having a cable service installed at your home. The infrastructure has to exist before it can be utilized. These efforts are often quite expensive as a handful of skilled contractors will be required to excavate an appropriate route, run the lines and tie it to both a node at a switch station as well as interface the connection with a business. If a company is in a remote region, as in more than a few miles from a node, this can be quite expensive.
Companies are searching for professionals that can provide these services but some are finding that these laborers can be somewhat limited in certain parts of the world. For example, in the rural United States and even in smaller metropolitan areas, many businesses are seemingly limited to a very few number of providers. This isn’t always the case but the fact that some providers are somewhat transparent will be problematic for the future if they should remain invisible.
This leads to another big topic of today which is that of market control. Google Fiber has become a well-known fiber service from the computing giant which is in the beginning phases of its US expansion. Other big names like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast have entered into the market place as well. These companies will make the most impact on the fiber market however, smaller companies will be able to support parallel services and in some cases, more custom solutions. A few notable companies have already laid infrastructure and are currently recruiting customers.
Small Fiber Providers
Unlike the mobile market, where widespread, high availability networks are essential to providing optimal service, the fiber market needs small businesses to keep the market competitive. It is possible for smaller existing telecommunications providers and others entering the marketplace to do just that. The problem lies in the availability of knowledgeable installers and adequate training to develop journeymen into competent fiber installation technicians.
The beginning of fiber in small cities
Google Fiber is not a national solution just yet. The company is currently only offering solutions in Kansas City, KA and will soon be providing service to Austin, TX. Fortunately, one company has established an initiative for creating a competition near the landing site of the soon to be ISP titan.
The company Wicked Broadband was featured in a Wired article a few months ago where actions are described for creating infrastructure for providing service to the Kansas city of Lawrence. A great point was alluded by the founder, Joshua Montgomery, that if Google were to even hint towards plans of providing service to the area, lending institutions would be disinclined to offer financial services for the capital required for such an initiative.
The company is also taking measures to future proof the business against being overtaken by Google or another company with deep pockets. Whereas most companies will run one or two fiber lines to each location, Wicked Broadband is providing four lines to each location. This will enable the company to lease additional lines to any company that wishes to provide broadband services to these locations. This competitive act will be ideal when larger providers such as Google decide to provide service to the area.
Seattle has its own small provider which has taken on a large effort to lay a large conduit across span of the city. This will enable Gigabit Squared to offer high speed capabilities to both residences, commercial facilities and even to outlier locations. A “super pipeline” of sorts will have the capacity to power virtually every micro-community, healthcare facility, educational institution and more.
The company has partnered with two major players to help make this endeavor as effective as possible. The City of Seattle is on board to help harbor economic development. Another company with a hand in the venture is the Zayo Group. This company currently serves major metropolitan areas in 45 states and also has European branch that serves such cities as London. These two are assisting in the funding the enterprise, likely with a portion of profits coming back to the company (the CEO of Zayo, Dan Caruso, is also part of Onvoy group and a known angel investor.)
A company called Metronet is partnered with the City of South Bend’s non for profit organization DTSB. The company is expanding fiber to the metro area as well as to adjacent cities Notre Dame and Mishawaka. A couple of their clients have large operations, each lying roughly 15 miles outside of the current service area which are further in opposite directions. A great expansion will be needed to adequately outfit their clients with fiber to provide their clients with fast enough service to support Cloud PC’s hosting service. Fortunately, Metronet will be able to provide fiber which will enable a multitude of businesses to have fiber access from different providers who may lease rights to the lines.
Small providers are on the rise which is great for the fiber market. Such strives in the telecom industry will ultimately benefit the consumer at the end of the day. As long as electrical companies stay up to date with fiber implementation techniques, these small providers will have the tools to affordably create great infrastructure for clients the nation over.