Editor's Note: Broadband Builds Reflect Diverse Community Interests

Communities’ broadband efforts drive diversity and enable more work, education and entertainment choices.

As the U.S. government doles out billions in funding for broadband to states via the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, one consistent theme emerges: This is a once-in-a-generation moment to bring broadband to communities with limited or no options.

Service providers – an ever-evolving group – find communities welcoming fresh ideas. Many communities need to be educated about how broadband can make them more attractive to prospective residents and businesses.

Broadband also enables other applications, such as remote learning and supporting E911 public safety systems.

This issue of Broadband Communities tracks four communities whose diverse needs reflect a diverse set of broadband ambitions:

  • Dos Palos-Oro Loma Joint Unified School District Bridges the Educational Divide: Working with engineering firm AggreGateway and Nokia, the remote California school district is building a private broadband wireless network to enable remote learning. (page 30)
  • IQ Fiber Takes Fiber to Atlantic Beach, Florida: IQ Fiber is bringing symmetrical, fiber-based broadband to areas of Northeast Florida. (page 22)
  • Montgomery County, Texas, Beefs E911, FTTH: Ezee Fiber extended existing fiber for the Montgomery County Hospital District to enable more secure 911 public service access points. Simultaneously, Ezee is building out fiber to the home (FTTH) to serve local businesses and residents. (page 26)
  • Smithville Blankets Jasper, Indiana, with Fiber: Looking to attract new residents while retaining its industrial heritage, Jasper, Indiana, tapped Smithville to build a citywide FTTH network. (page 18)

Broadband is a transformative force for any community. Cullen McCarthy, executive vice president of Smithville, says its presence in Jasper is helping the city diversify its population and economic growth opportunities. “Smithville’s presence there has given Jasper great visibility,” he says. “You can’t deny that once broadband is there and you see growth occur, it’s very satisfying as it contributes to an expanding economy.”

Diverse communities expect and require new approaches to solve broadband problems. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to it.

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