Want Fiber? Ask Your Local Utility Company
Some local utility companies could offer financially attractive options for gaining access to fiber connectivity.
While attending Enterprise Connect Orlando last month, I met with FPL FiberNet and discovered that they offer fiber throughout the state of Florida and other states. FPL is Florida Power & Light Company, the local utility company that built their own fiber optic network. FPL FiberNet is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, with annual revenues exceeding $15B.
In a prior post I discussed the tribulations of a hotel chain I am working with and the hefty price tag of $15K they were quoted for fiber installation. The local customer was unaware of FPL FiberNet and soon discovered the installation costs were a fraction of that original quote, since FPL FiberNet already has a presence at their front door.
FPL FiberNet offers dedicated fiber with a variety of packages for Internet access, and serves numerous verticals. They have colocations in over 150 central offices and offer:
• Ethernet Transport
• Dedicated Internet Access
• Managed Services
• Ethernet VPN Services
• SONET & Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) Transport
Other companies besides FPL FiberNET are doing the same thing--offering customer Internet access using excess capacity over their private fiber networks.
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) publishes a Community Network Map showing efforts of over 400 local communities to install fiber networks. According to ILSR, telecommunications networks benefit communities for key reasons:
• Economic development
• Improving access for education and health care
• Price stabilization
The precious commodity is bandwidth, and getting it and keeping it highly available is still challenging. Fiber offers the best medium, but, unfortunately, the cost per home or business unit creates a substantial funding gap, according to the FCC.
Even so, consider a what-if scenario: What if the entire nation was connected via fiber? All those losses due to electrical issues would decrease by how much? I recall hearing similar arguments against Verizon's initial FIOS efforts--that the costs were too high--and yet Verizon is successful in delivering FTTP. Be sure to visit the ILSR Community Network Map, because access may be available from your local utility company.