Alcatel-Lucent Helps Rural Areas Thrive with Ultra-Broadband Connectivity

Next Generation Communications Blog

Alcatel-Lucent Helps Rural Areas Thrive with Ultra-Broadband Connectivity

By: Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC

Conventional wisdom seems to be that rural America moves a little slower than other parts of the country. That isn’t necessarily always true, however – especially not in the case of rural areas served by Alcatel-Lucent’s ultra-broadband gigabit technology.

In fact, such areas are among the country’s elite when it comes to ultra-fast connectivity, as highlighted in a recent Alcatel-Lucent paper, Municipality Rural Ultra-Broadband .

Chattanooga, Tenn., for example, already has gigabit services in place, serving more than 100,000 home and businesses via its municipal electric utility. Alcatel-Lucent built this network, which was the first gigabit network in the U.S., for Chattanooga in 2008.

Opelika, Ala., has an Alcatel-Lucent-powered gigabit FTTH network in place that generates millions in triple play revenue, which means the town should be able to earn back its investment in this infrastructure – which serves 5,000 customers – in less than five years. And Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative’s Bolt Fiber Optic Services is just getting ready to flip the switch on a new gigabit ultra-broadband network that will power end-to-end triple play solutions for 30,000 subscribers.

“Much of our original motivation to do this had to do with economic development and competition for services so that the citizens can have good, affordable options,” says David Horton, director of Opelika Power Services.

These efforts, of course, are just a few examples of what is possible with Alcatel-Lucent’s Gigabit Express solution, which provides an average connection speed that’s 100 times faster than the average speed available today in the United States. As indicated above, that means rural businesses and residential customers can leverage these connections not only to get ultra-fast broadband access to the Internet, but also to enjoy top-quality IPTV and voice experiences. Gigabit Express is also an ideal solution to support education, public safety, smart grid, and telemedicine applications.

The availability of ultra-broadband connectivity and the kinds of services and applications mentioned above, among others, can bridge the digital divide and enable rural communities to prosper. That encourages residents to bloom where they’re planted, and it can spur new growth by attracting business to these areas.

“Broadband access is the great equalizer, promising to affect rural communities in the 21st century as much as roads and highways did in the 20th, without compromising their small-town qualities,” notes Alcatel-Lucent.


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