Middle Mile Deployment Model for Rural Operators
August 8 – 4:50 pm to 5:30 pm
Governor's Square 12
Traditionally large companies have built middle mile networks by laying limited count fiber across thousands of miles and opening it for access at a premium price. This model has worked well in the past when broadband infrastructure was centralized mostly across urban areas. With the availability of billions of dollars of federal and state funds (RDOF, ARPA, CPF, BEAD etc.), last mile rural infrastructure is coming up at speed without the availability of sufficient middle mile infrastructure to keep up with it. This is evidenced by the fact that on the budget of $1B of Middle Mile funds available under NTIA, over $5B of applications were received with an average of 40% match.
This session will discuss the new model that rural operators can now use leveraging their existing last mile network and their relationships with other rural operators to set up regional, state and national middle mile networks at a fraction of the cost of the traditional model. In this new model, the focus is shifted from building single ownership middle mile networks to a coalition owned network that can not only serve and bring down the cost of the coalition but also provide services to outsider much more efficiently. Leveraging existing assets of the members of the coalition allows to drastically cut down on the cost of building, deploying and operating the middle mile network.