At the time, Cisco’s newly formed optical networking team identified fifteen other PUDs that could’ve brought an additional $30M of business during 2001. Many did, despite the looming telecom meltdown. Basic telecom services for a state’s residents, it seems, have always been a top priority. To wit, today’s prevalence of WiFi hotspots that dot almost every corner of our mobile lives and facilitate broadband access.
So what has changed since 2000? How has “High Speed” evolved?
NoaNet communicated some of these evolutionary changes, based on FCC reports, in its December 2015 newsletter:
FCC in 2000:
“About 2.8 million of high-speed lines provided speeds of over 200 kbps in both directions, and thus met the FCC's definition of advanced services.”
FCC in 2015:
“The FCC established a short term goal for broadband in schools of 100 Mbps per 1000 users, and a long term goal of 1 Gbps per 1000 users.”
That’s a 500-times increase in speed. Clearly video streaming plays a big part in this increase.
FCC in 2000:
“While broadband Internet access is growing rapidly, the vast majority of consumers continue to surf the Internet using dial-up connections that transmit data at a maximum of 56 kbps.”
FCC in 2015:
“The FCC updated its broadband benchmark speeds to 25 Mbps for downloads and 3 Mbps for uploads.”
That’s an almost 450-times increase in download speed. Clearly large file transfers are driving this “need for speed.”
Besides these “techie” aspects, NoaNet reported on some impacts of their high-speed technology: “High School graduation rates are about 7% higher in areas where students have widespread access to broadband internet access at home.”
Another data point favors the small business entrepreneur: “Small-Medium businesses who increase their digital utilization by 10% show an average 24% increase in revenue and a 7% decrease in costs by streamlining business processes.” This, in turn, leads to higher economic growth, as measured by GDP. Communities without access to a fiber network and gigabit broadband lag those that have such access and continue to invest in their telecom infrastructure.
NoaNet is one such fiber backbone carrier, working with retail service providers to deliver finished services to end users. As a wholesaler of gigabit services in 2016, NoaNet touts, on its website, that it is an “open-access broadband network that provides reliable high-speed connectivity throughout Washington state. Our service makes life more livable, businesses more productive, jobs more plentiful, and the Internet more accessible for thousands of residents and organization.”
Other Reports Substantiate NoaNet’s Assertions
A Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council Americas study, conducted by RVA in 2016, says that the availability of fiber-optic broadband access to apartments can add 11 percent to the landlord’s net income per average apartment unit. A similar economic study, conducted by the University of Colorado at Boulder and Carnegie Mellon University in 2015, indicated availability of a gigabit-rate FTTH connection can add up to 3.1 percent to the value of a home, which equates to an extra $5,437 for a typical home.
I’m glad to see that Cerent and Cisco helped NoaNet pioneer their offerings across Washington State during the early 2000s, as well as many other PUDs. This innovation ultimately led to an increase in value of not only a service provider’s infrastructure, but also an end users’ cash flow or asset.
Now it’s time for other states to “step up” the speeds and increase the quality of their telecom infrastructure.