Originally published: October 8, 2009
Last updated: October 8, 2009 - 3:22pm
[Commentary] Too often broadband policy debates get caught up in attempts to be technology neutral, losing sight of the significance of individual technologies, the most significant of which is fiber. When you think of the Internet, you should think of fiber as the vast majority of the interconnected networks that make up the Internet are fiber. When we talk about middle mile and backhaul networks, those are most often fiber. When remote broadband networks complain about not having affordable access to the Internet, what that really means is having affordable access to the long-haul fiber running through or near their communities. When anyone's discussing the next generation of wireless access, that means finding a way to get fiber to every wireless tower. The same holds true for most next generation wireline networks, which generally all rely on laying fiber ever closer to homes to deliver higher speeds. And when you talk about the next generation of healthcare and education, those conversations presume the presence of reliable, high capacity, symmetrical access capable of handling lots of simultaneous usage, which only fiber can truly deliver. A national fiber plan encompasses all of this. It recognizes that you can't have an effective national broadband plan without a comprehensive national fiber plan because fiber is so critical to delivering truly next generation broadband.
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