Wireless 20/20 Senior Analyst Berge Ayvazian said carriers need to carefully assess any fiber-focused approach to planning their broadband networks. Ayvazian's firm is flogging a software package for carriers to help them identify unserved areas, calculate the cost to deploy fiber and broadband wireless networks, and quickly calculate a return on investment so they're not pouring their entire capital budget – and funding grants – into projects that will leave customers disappointed.
Ayvazian said many states would face difficult decisions when determining where and how to distribute funds from the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program in ways that maximize the number of unserved homes that ultimately receive broadband access. He argues that everyone in the BEAD funding process needs a real analysis of the service provider territory, including available fiber facilities and the fiber route miles needed to connect underserved locations.
With that info in hand, service providers stand a better chance of deploying their capital correctly, Ayvazian said. And, perhaps using a combination of access technologies, they can connect all the customers that need broadband.