What does the future look like for planning, designing, and building broadband infrastructure? VETRO CEO Will Mitchell and VP of Broadband Strategy Brian Mefford recently led a webinar, “Map It. Build It. Grow It.: Moving from Broadband Mapping to Internet Infrastructure Intelligence,” hosted by Broadband Communities Magazine. In this post, we’ll recap the webinar and highlight three key insights from Will and Brian.
The broadband infrastructure landscape is changing. For local governments, ISPs, and electric coops, new connectivity trends and an influx of funding mean a busy future lies ahead. While this new reality is exciting, it can also be overwhelming.
Entities might be scrambling in reaction to recent news. The best way to go from “stuck” to “strategy” is by educating yourself, and getting started.
The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the need for expanded broadband infrastructure to enable remote work, learning, and health monitoring. The $10 billion in funding from the Capital Projects Fund is just the start of federal broadband infrastructure investment.
As broadband projects increase in size and scope, ISPs will need the right tools to optimize their investment, track progress per treasury guidelines, and ensure overall success. It’s not enough to rely on traditional broadband mapping software. Innovative broadband providers will leverage an internet infrastructure intelligence approach to increase collaboration across silos, gather deeper insights, and make better decisions about their networks.
Here are three keys to an internet infrastructure intelligence strategy:
The trend in broadband infrastructure is new collaboration models for existing entities. Incumbents and ISPs are behaving in new ways, and the treasury’s stated preference for Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) has seen an explosion of community-led co-ops, public ownership of partial or whole networks, and outsourced operations.
Collaboration has been the secret sauce for the State of Maine, which stands as a leader in bringing quality broadband options to its remote communities. A combination of state and federal funding programs, community organizations, and ISPs have embraced the motto: “Let’s work together to get the job done.” This success story underpins the need for an aligned purpose as part of a broadband infrastructure strategy.
2. Agile Analysis
Gathering data is a great start for any successful broadband project. Understanding how to leverage that data, however, is the key to unlocking a future-proof strategy.
ISPs and coops need to present meaningful data in a straightforward fashion, and make it accessible for all stakeholders. Defining the scope of your project and understanding the number of households involved will help produce an order of magnitude cost as early as possible in the project. This ensures the project can move efficiently from planning to design.
What’s the use of analyzing all of this data if you’re not also keeping accurate documentation? Even the most carefully-planned broadband infrastructure projects can suffer from documentation debt, leaving entities with deficits in data and insight needed for key decision making.
The most successful ISPs will gather and store documentation for the assets that they’re building so they can optimize value. Eventually, maintaining a single source of documentation truth will drive more value to the community over time. Better documentation translates into deeper insights and better decisions, which helps increase transparency to the public on how money is spent.
Any project using federal or state funds moving forward will require robust documentation and reporting. Tools to help providers with these processes are often covered by the funds at hand.
VETRO delivers Internet Infrastructure Intelligence through a unique network asset management software platform, VETRO FiberMap. By combining visualized, real-time data and engaged analysis, VETRO FiberMap offers ISPs and other entities the actionable insights they need to optimize the impact of their broadband infrastructure projects.
Schedule a demo to find out how VETRO can drive the most connectivity for your community.