In 2004, a report showed that 90% of office buildings were not connected to fiber. Last month Vertical Systems Group revealed that in 2016 that number had fallen to 50.4%, demonstrating businesses understand the importance of fiber as a basic commercial amenity and strive to obtain it in their own facilities.
The main drivers behind fiber adoption are services such as carrier Ethernet, cloud-based applications, Unified Communications or UCaaS, and online business. Depending on the type of work companies do, transactions may depend on split-second data delivery, which only fiber can provide.
One of the primary drivers, carrier Ethernet, allows locations and businesses to connect to other office locations, data centers, etc. Carrier Ethernet provides connectivity for cell towers as well as regional municipal and research networks such as FirstNet and Internet2. Carrier Ethernet is not possible without fast, affordable, reliable connectivity, and fiber provides that connectivity.
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Lexington-Fayette Urban County CIO Aldona Valicenti recently did an interview with StateTech to speak about preparing her own county for the IoT explosion. The ability to bring fiber to both urban and rural areas is extremely important. You want your service to be ubiquitous and attainable for all residents. Valicenti is a pioneer in this endeavor as no one else in the country has really tried this approach.
Broadband can help connect to more than just Netflix and Hulu. Fiber can create stronger cities, with sensors on buildings and digital maps of connected locations like firehouses and police stations. With broadband, Valicenti gives an example of IoT at work; she said, “With broadband, and each government building wired for the Internet of Things, sensors around town could notify the fire department immediately to send help faster.” It’s pretty clear that without broadband none of that would be possible.
In 2015, President Obama announced a new smart cities initiative to help communities tackle local challenges and improve city services. The bottom line is fiber based networks create stronger cities. Fiber is more sustainable because it has greater returns on investment over time. It can scale faster than alternatives to meet the demands of applications.