Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2018

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 8 | w w w. b r o a d b a n d c o m m u n i t i e s . c o m | B R O A D B A N D C O M M U N I T I E S | 4 7 than copper cable, particularly if the cable has paper insulation that has become compromised. Shift from restoration to preparation. Because climate change impacts are relatively new, many network operators may not yet have restoration plans at the local access level, but the power companies offer a good model of what such plans involve. Labor availability, already a potential challenge with rapid network expansion and overbuilds, is more critical than ever when an entire region is impacted by a storm. Carriers may need to mobilize labor forces as power companies have done, enabling them to activate a plan (rather than making one in the moment) and leverage shared work agreements for crews to come in to help from outside the storm zone. Emergency preparation efforts include materials, too, because you don't want to run out of poles. Rethink essential services. Today's trends would have seemed like science fiction when I started my career. e device counts, wearables, autonomous cars, and the internet of things emerging around us all point to an ever-increasing dependency on connectivity in our lives. So, just as a power company prioritizes hospitals and schools but still pulls in crews from distant states to restore power to remote single-family units, network operators increasingly recognize the importance of restored broadband for everyone. In the aftermath of a storm, for life to get back to normal, broadband connectivity is part of the equation along with electricity, water and HVAC. Aside from connectivity's critical role in regional and community operations, particularly following a storm, there's a need for people and businesses to get back to work, kids to complete school assignments and families to connect with loved ones. Broadband really has transformed to utility-level demand today – an essential service. Carriers know how much their subscribers depend on the networks they operate. Many carriers are now committing to their emergency preparation with the same dedication that power companies used to tackle outage prevention and improve their emergency responses. ese network operators recognize they are at a tipping point, with the importance of connectivity surging right alongside the frequency of powerful storms. v Barry Walton is a solutions architect for Corning Optical Communications. He spent 37 years at Bell Aliant, where he championed the deployment of FTTH. Contact Barry at 828-901-5000 or WaltonBJ@Corning.com.

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