A renewed focus on bridging the digital divide and connecting everyone has reinvigorated the industry’s efforts and capability to build fiber and wireless networks to rural and remote communities. A recent Deloitte study found that today, only 38% of households have a choice of two or more broadband suppliers, and in rural areas, 61% of homes are offered speeds above 25 Mbps -- and when they do, they can expect to pay a 3x premium compared to urban or built-up areas.
Programs such as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and BEAD, among others, look to infuse capital for deployments where the economics make it challenging to deploy networks.
In this week’s Five Nine Podcast, we catch up with two experts deeply entrenched in helping develop, roll out and build broadband networks across the United States. Host Alejandro Pinero is joined this week by Broadband Success Partners’ CTO and Charter veteran, Jay Rolls, alongside David Strauss, himself a cable and telecommunications former executive, to discuss the opportunities and challenges ahead in deploying such networks.
This year will be pivotal for states looking to allocate funding and define their broadband strategies to best connect their communities and build future-proof networks. Jay and David took the opportunity to discuss some of the key technical considerations states and key stakeholders need to have when going through subgrant applications. From building costs to future-proofing the network, it all makes for an extensive and complicated puzzle.
As M&A advisors, this week’s guests also provided an insight into where investment is headed in the broadband space, and some key trends to look out for. Whilst the industry is making the most of public funding being made available to expand its footprint to previously unserved areas, the reality is there will need to be further investment from the private sector if there really is to be 100% coverage across the United States.
In a broadband deep dive, this week’s Five Nine episode will give you a full view of where we are today with broadband, and the next steps this industry needs to take to bridge the digital divide.