by Carl Johan Torarp
CEO and Founder of LocaLoop
Broadband internet service in the U.S. is being plagued by uncompetitive practices. Large-nationwide internet service providers (ISPs) continue to build monopolies that prohibit innovation, drive down levels of service, and block competitors from entering the market.
How do we know this?
In their 2016 Broadband Progress Report, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) found that only 38% of Americans have more than one choice of broadband provider, and only 10% of Americans have access to broadband speeds of up to 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. Many Americans lack access to broadband internet entirely, especially in rural areas: 39% of rural Americans, 4% of urban Americans, and 41% of Americans living on Tribal lands do not have access to broadband services. In light of these factors, the FCC concluded that “advanced telecommunications capability is not being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion.”
Compounding this issue is the ever-increasing consumer demand for broadband Internet access. Online web media continues to grow in popularity, and as a result many wireline and cable service providers are experiencing customer churn. In the first quarter of 2017, 612,000 Americans cancelled their pay-TV subscriptions (referred to as “cutting the cord”), and an additional 20.8 million pay-TV subscribers are predicted to cut the cord by 2021. As pay-TV gives way to online subscription services, the need for fast and reliable broadband internet is being brought into sharp focus.
What are the legacy solutions?
One solution some organizations have attempted is fiber-to-the-home (FTTH). One such organization, Google, announced in 2010 that they will offer FTTH high-speed broadband internet with download speeds of up to 1 Gbps under the Google Fiber name. Verizon Fios is another FTTH fiber solution that offers high speed broadband, up to a “Fios Gigabit Connection” of 940 Mbps down/880 Mbps up. Such networks serve to raise consumer expectations of broadband Internet, pressuring ISPs to improve service. However, deploying fiber networks is a slow and expensive process, with an installation cost estimated to be approximately $1000 per home in highly populated areas and over $5000 in low density rural areas. Accordingly, despite the high speeds available with fiber, time and cost expenses prohibit fiber as a practical broadband remedy.
What about wireless broadband solutions?
Another promising solution is to adopt millimeter wave (mmWave) technology, which covers the spectrum from 30 – 300 GHz, to deploy fixed broadband wireless solutions. In 2015, to prepare for future Fifth Generation (5G) mobile services, the FCC proposed licensing for spectrum bands in the mmWave range, including 27.5 – 28.35 GHz, 37 – 38.6 GHz, 38.6 – 40 GHz, 57 – 64 GHz, and 64 – 71 GHz. Though mmWave bands show potential for future broadband Internet services, many of them suffer from the existing problem of ISP monopolies. With recent multi-billion dollar acquisitions of smaller providers, large ISPs like AT&T and Verizon have already begun dominating ownership of mmWave bands. Together, these two companies own over 50% of available licensed mmWave spectrum in the U.S.
Will this work for rural America?
Rural service providers typically can’t afford the cost of licensed mmWave bands, but they do have another option: the use of unlicensed mmWave bands, such as the 60 GHz V-Band. With 14 GHz of contiguous spectrum available, and commercial chipsets and products already developed for this band, providers can deploy gigabit-to-the-home (GTTH), fixed wireless access currently, but as good as this sounds, the unlicensed mmWave bands is still not perfect. Unlicensed mmWave bands use higher frequencies, which by physical law can only service small areas with the full bandwidth capacity of gigabit speeds. Making unlicensed mmWave unpractical to implement from a cost perspective.
Does an economically viable and reliable broadband solution exist then?
This is where LocaLoop’s revolutionary cloud technology invention for wireless broadband Internet service delivery steps in and provides the solution with a different technology and business model, that not only has the potential to close the broadband Internet gap in rural markets around the world, but is already doing so in a fast profitable way for ISPs in the US at an affordable price and optimized user experience for their subscribers. LocaLoop has active ISP/customer operators in 22 States and is experiencing accelerated demands.
If you are an existing business or entrepreneur living in a rural community experiencing the pain of not getting the modern media-rich web jobs done for people in your community or your business – contact LocaLoop – we have the exclusive business opportunity for you! Call us at 952.236.7621 for a free qualification evaluation.