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Fiber to the Business: Costs and Challenges

Fiber to the Business: Costs and Challenges

Aug 18, 2014

Around the world, the need for high-speed data transmission has forced telecommunication companies to replace or augment their existing copper lines with fiber optic cables. The bandwidth afforded by fiber makes it possible for voice communication, high-definition video and Internet traffic to travel along the same pathway. For most users, though, that pathway ends in the street; your business receives data services through the same copper cables it always has. Tapping into the power of fiber requires building out the “last mile” from the street to your business — and doing so is a difficult and costly proposition without an experienced partner.

Bearing the Cost of Fiber to the Business

Although many carriers offer fiber data services, few are willing to bear the full cost of building out the last mile alone. This is because many of the expenses associated with bringing fiber to the customer — such as cable construction and conduit burial — can’t be recovered if the customer discontinues services. The existing fiber optic lines in the street, on the other hand, can serve many potential customers over their expected lifespan and thus are likely to become profitable over time.

The Logistics of a Fiber Drop

In bringing fiber optic services to a business, a number of logistical issues must be overcome. This typically requires knowledge of local building codes and cooperation with utility providers as telephone, power, data and television services often share the same infrastructure. In addition, the cable drop must be performed without interrupting essential services for others. Burying the cable conduit may also present other challenges, as gas lines and sewer pipes may be present. In many cases, this requires contractors to hold specific licenses, further increasing costs.

The Benefit of Fiber

Cloud technology has spurred a revolution in the way modern businesses operate. Today, it is no longer necessary to run your operation on a server that you own; instead, remote servers can perform a variety of tasks from running complex database computations to streaming live video broadcasts. A fiber optic connection allows your business to leverage cloud technology by maximizing bandwidth and minimizing latency. In addition, fiber is “future-proof” in that it can handle your future bandwidth needs. When newer, faster transport hardware becomes available, you can install it without making costly upgrades to the existing fiber line.

Local Professionals Can Help

If you’ve made the decision to bring fiber to your business, seek out a local professional with experience dealing with carriers and contractors. A skilled negotiator can work with the carrier and local utility companies to determine a price structure that satisfies all parties and locate the right contractors to perform the work.