Home What's Brewing? Broadband Wiring Across America Mulled by Gates and Native Americans

Broadband Wiring Across America Mulled by Gates and Native Americans

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has estimated it would cost $5 billion to $10 billion to wire the nation’s “anchor institutions” with fiber-optic cable.

“In submitting this analysis, we seek to assist federal agencies in their efforts to deploy broadband technologies more broadly and to encourage others with greater expertise in this area to come forward with additional data and information,” states the foundation’s proposal, which is attached to the FCC notice.” The filing was reported by the online Seattle P-I.

The Gates Foundation filed its analysis with the Federal Communications Commission on Oct. 5, estimating how much it would cost to install fiber-optic lines at about 123,000 hospitals, public libraries, public schools and community colleges. The study focused on bringing high-speed Internet connections to urban, suburban and rural communities.On Thursday, the FCC released a public notice asking for comment on the Gates Foundation’s analysis. The analysis claims that 80 percent of the nation’s “anchor institutions” are without fiber-optic connections. That’s one figure on which the FCC wanted further feedback

The estimates do not include the cost of managing a network once it is installed. [24×7]

Opening Broadband Floodgates in the Rural Northwest

Speaking of opening up broadband access to unserved markets, two area groups, Tulalip Data Services and Cascadeo, a Seattle-based network and IT engineering consulting firm, are bringing the first Internet data exchange point to a Native American reservation in North America. The Northwest Washington Internet Exchange (IX‐NWWA), is an extension of the Seattle Internet Exchange (SIX). The IX‐NWWA is located in the Tulalip Datacenter and is also the first exchange in a North American rural area.

The IX‐NWWA offers transport to Seattle at a cost which creates the opportunity for new services like disaster recovery through real-time data replication. Due to the cost of bandwidth, this service has only been available to the largest companies in urban environments, but now will be accessible and economically viable to companies with as few as five employees in rural areas.

“Every tribe that has the start of a telecom or ISP presence can look into utilizing this technology and approach to drive off‐reservation interest and become a hub for broadband in their area,” said Ophir Ronen, principal consultant with Cascadeo. “Rural areas have been forced to access the Internet through a straw. We’re working with the Tulalip Tribes to open the floodgates.” [24X7]

Get more info in the Seattle24x7 blog

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