Broadband for your City
The deployment of broadband, using reliable, high-speed infrastructure, will soon become an essential component to operational efficiency for many communities. Broadband networks provide the framework for communities to evolve as “smart cities.” As such, a community can use data to more efficiently manage functions like traffic control and emergency response, enhancing convenience and safety for the public.
There is no one way to establish a smart city – it is dependent upon a community’s needs and goals. But it starts with data. With a reliable network in place, cities can collect data over time that can be used to alter current operating methods and plan for more accommodating and efficient infrastructure. Unlike typical studies that measure patterns over a short span of time, a broadband network allows cities to constantly accrue data, measuring operational aspects such as traffic volumes, energy consumption, water usage, and sewage flow. Data accumulates, creating a repository of information a city can reference when planning for changes that impact the public.
A broadband network offers immeasurable benefit and opportunity for any community. Whether used in the home, by government entities, or by businesses, a networked community is a thriving community.
Thousands of communities across the nation are without reliable broadband networks due to a lack of infrastructure, as well as the costs associated with implementation. Without a broadband network in place, communities are unable to keep up with advancements, like smart city features, that augment operational efficiency. Broadband is infrastructure agnostic, meaning various mediums can be used to supply it, so municipalities can choose the most appropriate and cost-effective infrastructure for their communities. And since federal funding is now available to help communities build and expand networks, cities can more feasibly deploy broadband. With broadband networks in place, municipalities are better postured to more efficiently manage resources, plan for future projects, and enhance the quality of life for their public.
WHY BROADBAND MATTERS
Broadband provides high-speed internet access via a variety of mediums. It is a means of connecting people to information and opportunities. A reliable broadband network has the potential to enhance multiple aspects of daily life.
Broadband allows people to remain informed and connected to society. It is becoming something of a commodity, yet there is a disparaging gap between those with access and those without access. Digital equity is achieved when all people, regardless of their location or social status, have access to necessary technology. The most underserviced groups of populations include:
• Low income
Streaming your favorite shows and engaging in social media would not be possible without broadband. These are prominent daily activities for most people, but broadband facilities other aspects of daily life beyond entertainment, community involvement, and social interaction. Reliable broadband has to potential to enhance travel experience and other behind-the-scenes functions that keep communities running.
● Public Works notices: waste, water, etc.
● Utility monitoring
● Parking availability
● Live traffic information
● Energy efficiency monitoring
HEALTH & WELFARE
Access to healthcare is a critical aspect pertaining to quality of life. In rural areas, healthcare access decreases exponentially, but broadband can connect residents to much-needed resources. Reliable broadband networks also have the capacity to facilitate health and safety services that benefit individual residents as well as entire communities.
● Telehealth services
● Emergency response/call centers
● Public alerts
● Location services
● IP cameras for personal and commercial use
● Traffic signal preemption/prioritization for first responders
Broadband access has the potential to drastically change the educational journey for all students. It provides opportunity to create media-rich environments for students, allowing them to interact with the world outside of their classrooms. These environments keep students engaged while enhancing their educational experience. Additionally, broadband provides to opportunities for students of all ages to remotely participate in classes and training via live web-based classes or correspondence programs. It also allows people to stay connected to their studies outside of “classroom” hours.
● Interactive learning
● Web-based/distance learning
● Real-time interaction
Broadband is transforming how people do business, perform their work, and exchange money. It has expanded the job market, allowing people to work from home (including remote areas) while saving employers the costs associated with maintaining a physical work environment. Additionally, it eliminates the need for businesses to maintain a physical presence, like an office or storefront, if they can market their services online. Broadband-reliant technology is helping enhance efficiency across all industries.
● Electronic commerce
● Global marketing
● Connecting workforce to opportunity
Multiple modes of distribution exist to distribute broadband to consumers. The appropriate method for deployment varies from community to community and is contingent upon consumer needs, cost of implementation, available resources/existing infrastructure, and funding opportunities.
● Unlimited bandwidth
● Offers faster service than all other modes
● Versatile – can be placed underground or aerially on existing infrastructure
● Can be used for other services, including voice and video services
COAX (CABLE MODEM)
● Provides broadband over cable TV coax
● More efficient than using telephone lines
● Performance is not impacted by distance from provider
● Infrastructure shared with other services; peak times can slow performance
● Provides broadband over a radio link
● Can be mobile or fixed
● May require direct line-of-sight between transmitter and receiver
DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (DSL)
● Provides broadband over existing copper telephone lines
● Performance is impacted by distance from provider
BROADBAND OVER POWERLINES (BPL)
● Uses existing electrical infrastructure
● Limited availability
Different municipal entities may be eligible for federal funding for broadband implementation and deployment projects. Disbursement is at the discretion of sponsoring agencies, pending the availability of funds.
GRANTS & LOANS
For a list of available programs, along with their respective prerequisites and restrictions, visit Broadband USA .
Nonprofit entities can help reduce digital barriers and navigate solutions to provide broadband to underserviced communities.
● Universal Service Fund
o E-rate (Funding from Universal Service Fund for schools and libraries)
● Institute for Local Self-Reliance
MEET OUR AUTHORS
Terry has more than 21 years of experience in the telecommunications industry as an Outside Plant Designer and Project Manager with KLJ. His experience with fiber and copper OSP design and construction allows him to provide effective oversight for project development as well as high quality project design. Terry has extensive experience with home-run as well as distributed splitter FTTH designs.
DUSTIN MAIER: Dustin has more than 17 years of telecommunications experience in inside and outside plant design, planning, and implementation. His experience includes wire line and wireless, voice switching, transport, IP routing and switching, analog, digital and IP television, and building and hut design. Dustin is well-versed in Rural Utility Service (RUS) regulations and processes and he holds professional registration in 18 states.
JOE PUHALLA: Joe has served 11 years as a telecommunications consultant and specializes in networking/telecommunications equipment, wireless design and implementation, and all things FCC and RUS.
SAMUEL TROTMAN: Samuel has 14 years of experience implementing advanced technology system solutions specializing in communication architecture and infrastructure and advanced technology system integration (e.g. Smart Cities/IoT frameworks, consolidating disparate software systems, etc.). He has designed several large-scale fiber optic and wireless communications networks utilized to support the integration of various IoT sensors.
MATT WARDER: Matt has 16 years of experience in telecommunications consulting. His understanding of the market and its ever-changing trends and demands postures him to efficiently identify strategies and solutions for our customers. He is committed to exceeding expectations in a challenging and competitive market.
Since 1938, KLJ has worked alongside communities and clients of all sizes, partnering with cities, counties, and developers – just to name a few. At KLJ, we plan, design, and support infrastructure across the country such as roads, runways, pipelines, and parks. We create solutions that turn visions into reality and improve the lives of people and communities. We do this by focusing on a business model that puts the client first, providing an exceptional experience that truly reimagines what projects can become. KLJ currently has 28 office locations throughout North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Florida. For more information about KLJ, visit www.kljeng.com.
Broadband equity. (n.d.). Center for Social Inclusion.
Definitions. (n.d.). National Digital Inclusion Alliance.
E-rate: Universal Service Program for Schools and Libraries. (2018, February 9).
Funding. (n.d.). BroadbandUSA.
Funding. (n.d.). Fiber Broadband Association.
Ross, S. R., & Zager, M. (2017). What fiber broadband can do for your community. Broadband Communities, 13, 3-31.
Smith, S. (2017). The economic development benefits of broadband. Broadband Communities, 38(3), 54-56.
Types of broadband connections (2014, June 23). Federal Communications Commission.