The problem with broadband projects in general

Before Covid I tried to attend as many meetings community leaders and towns had about bringing broadband to their communities. This is what you are supposed to in order to let the leaders know you, or in my case, my clients are there, right? Sometimes I would attend to provide my input as part of giving back to a community.

I have found some similarities in these meetings and workshops. Let’s go over them. If you are a community leader don’t let yourself fall into some of these.

The High-Level view
The high-level view starts out with noble intentions. The leaders want to get broadband to underserved areas. They have not bothered to dig deeper into seeing what is actually in the areas they want to cover. These folks may have called the ISP they have or someone their family has. they don’t actually know which providers service what areas. In their defense it’s not their job to. What they do with these meetings determines if progress is made or not. I have been in meetings where there have been four providers that service the area in question. The leaders say they must do more studies to see who is in the area. You literally have four sitting at your table who can tell you what they service. Take their information, take their maps and progress.

Bedazzled by the incumbent
Typically this person has XYZ Internet at their home and they love it. They love it so much they want it everywhere. This is great, but there are reasons that XYZ Internet is not everywhere. Otherwise, you would not be doing these meetings. Some of this is due to lack of money. Either XYZ Internet does not have enough or the return just is not there. This leader is one of the most hampering of all. I have been in many meetings where the small local company is putting their own money into investing in the community and this type of leader overlooks the small company. They even go as far to suggest the local company help XYZ become bigger in their own service area.

These leaders often invite their beau to these meetings to give their take on broadband in the area. Sometimes these companies are honest and straightforward. Sometimes they paint the picture they are the only ones who can solve the broadband issue.

The “let’s do a study” crowd
Studies are nice. They give you nice graphs, charts, and tons of fluff information about an area. It makes for good reading for those who like to learn about facts. These folks are probably the ones who know the stats of many sports figures, who lived in the prominent houses in the lcoal towns and other facts. They are willing to spend twenty thousand dollars on a piece of paper to get this information. In many instances, sitting down with the right group of people could tell you 90% of the information you need.

Unrealistic goals
Let’s face it, not everyone knows everything about the topic they are trying to address. Being able to provide gigabit to every home is a nice goal, but is hard to achieve. Not everyone needs or wants gigabit. In my county and the surrounding area, there are towns of only three or four houses. Unless lots of government money is involved fiber will not be coming to them anytime soon.

The academic
These are usually the most frustrating for the existing ISP. Terms like focus groups and thirty thousand foot view are thrown around. They are usually applying for some grants or RPF. They already have their goal and possibly the outcome in mind. They are not there to solve issues but to get the “bigger picture”. They may only know broadband from buzzwords. 5G and internet of everything are thrown around alot.

What folks do you see at these meetings? Let me know as we are working on a funny video.

Siklu Case study 80 GHZ Indianapolis Indiana

Some photos from a Siklu 80GHZ deployment in Downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. This was deployed by On-Ramp Indiana (https://www.ori.net). The problem being solved is moving video files around a network in order to get it to smart screens and projectors. This is a very urban area and wireless was pretty much the only option to get from building to building.

Siklu 80GHZ was on the shortlist due to the distances involved. Another consideration was the footprint of the equipment. The equipment had to be as low profile as possible.

Another needed aspect of this network was the ability to move traffic around at layer 2. Not all traffic is IP based in this type of network.

Equipment used
Ether Haul 1200FX
https://www.siklu.com/product/etherhaul-kilo-series/

Right above the observation windows, you can see the Siklu just to the right of the center corner

Some technical Details

Average traffic over the past 2 months

As you can see traffic is reasonably consistent in the 80-100 meg range. We needed a solution that did not slow down due to interference. A possible 10’s of thousands of visitors to this attraction in a weekend, reliability and performance were critical. When this was installed we did not know about COVID, but this is an attraction people can enjoy from their cars and social distancing. This use added to the visibility of this attraction, thus making the reliability even more crucial.

Articles about the finished product
https://www.wthr.com/article/news/local/monument-circle-get-new-light-show-time-holidays/531-ef1819ca-5f27-4886-9283-17e481c33f39

https://www.wthr.com/article/news/local/new-light-show-sound-system-entertain-monument-circle-visitors/531-576ce095-501c-41c6-913a-518a0cc05779

On-Ramp Indiana Contacts www.ori.net 317.774.2100