National broadband project relies on plastics for key components

What exactly will this plan require from a wire and cable perspective?

It is clear that many areas require either ground-based or telephone pole-like infrastructure, and that is not cheap.

The fiber installation can cost between $ 130,000 and $ 300,000 per running mile.

“The cost of building the infrastructure can vary,” said Corey. “Where do you put it? How do you install it? Do you plow the fiber into the ground or do you stretch cables? Every area is different – there are many rocky and geographic restrictions in Colorado. “

Another solution could be to approach the national plan in regional steps and then tie the regions together. Regardless of this, uniform standards will be required “so that everyone plays by the same set of rules,” he said.

“There are a couple of flavors that could be,” Corey said. “It is clear that at some point everything will have to be fiber optic. In rural areas it can make sense to establish the WLAN connection regionally, for example in a tribal council office, where the hotspot could be used. Such a hotspot could serve a larger area. “

For wire and cable companies, either those who braid the wires or who make the cable shields with PVC or flexible thermoplastic elastomers, innovation will be critical.

“I think there are a couple of things for these companies,” Corey said. “How can the industry develop and improve what we have now to reduce costs? They have different approaches to consider. These innovations and installation methods will be critical.”

The success of the National Broadband Plan also depends on efforts to find utility lines and on avoiding reserves – with possible national security implications – for imports from China or another country.

Another challenge will be to obtain the financing of the fiber optic infrastructure from your own resources and not as earmarking for another project. And wire and cable companies can play an influential role in moving that narrative forward, Corey said.

“Within the framework of the legislation [that is] To finance broadband, we need funding that stands alone and is not tied to any other, larger infrastructure project, “he said.” In areas with no internet access, it is expensive for traditional telecommunications companies to go. How do we use the support to create this “middle mile”? “

A final hurdle is to identify the infrastructure that is already in place – a surprisingly obvious idea, but one that too often can be an unknown quantity.

“One of our problems is that we don’t have a good idea of ​​what infrastructure we have,” said Corey. “How do we understand what we don’t have? Accuracy suffers if we don’t have a national standard for what we’re looking for.”

Working with local and state governments and the private sector, particularly wire and cable companies, will be vital.

“We need to understand where the gaps are,” Corey said, adding that redundancy is important for security and resilience, but not when it manifests as inefficiency and bureaucracy.

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