[Excerpt]“In December, the FCC overhauled its E-rate program to encourage world-cl ass broadband connectivity to and within all of our schoo ls and librari es across this country. The increase in the E-rate cap has received the bulk of the attention, but we also made some changes to facilitate deployment of robust, high capacity speeds, to schools and li brari es. E-rate funds up to 90% of the cost of broadband depending on the level of poverty of the area, and once these facilities are deployed, the economics to extend the fiber into neighboring areas become much easier.
This is not just a theoretical statement or goal. Indeed, one of CompTel’s members, Fatbeam, has done this very thing. Founded in 2010, Fatbeam operates in the smaller markets in the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain regions. It entered markets by con necting schools with fiber, then leveraged the fiber to expand its services throughout the community. This demonstrates the ability to deploy and provide smaller markets with competitive options:’