Executive Roundtable: Rural broadband and small town America
Quaversal helps service providers and network carriers to deploy technology to support their services, simplify WAN connectivity, improve application performance, and design networks for the future.
One topic frequently discussed among service providers – and in the headlines – is rural broadband. The lack of internet connectivity in small towns and rural communities has created a digital gap. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 3% of Americans in urban areas lack access to high-speed internet service or broadband. This figure ramps up to 35% in rural areas. In short, approximately 30 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet.
This digital gap is hugely disadvantageous for rural communities during a pandemic. Remote access has become necessary: for schooling, work, telemedicine, and access to public information.
Quaversal partnered with the Fiber Network Alliance (FNA) – a strategic alliance of organizations focused on aligning their fiber network resources to provide broadband to the local areas they collectively serve – to host an executive roundtable on rural broadband and fiber optic technologies.
A dozen CEOs and senior executives of service providers from across the Southern East United States joined us at the roundtable.
Topics discussed in the executive roundtable include:
- – The dedication and vision of the service providers. Several of the CEOs at the roundtable live in the communities they serve, and their vision is to deliver to those communities
- – Challenges of pockets of ‘less profitable’ or sparsely populated areas being overlooked by large national carriers, leaving low-populated areas without internet
- – Funding sources including USDA ReConnect grants, the CARES Act, and working with local governments, associations to file operating agreements and paperwork to secure necessary funds
- – The lifespan of fiber, and the challenges of rolling out technologies in areas covered with mountains, valleys, and forests.
Technology can transform rural communities, and we’re heartened by what we heard at our roundtable and the executives’ commitment and insight. You can download our full Insights Paper from the event to read all the themes, topics, and opinions shared.