Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fiber cooperatives pick up the slack where telcos won't go

Here's an item from the nation's least populated state, Wyoming, that counters the myth that fiber optic telecommunications infrastructure is feasible only in densely populated areas. This is where things are headed: while the major telcos shun less densely populated areas and deploy fiber in limited portions of their service territories, cooperatives are stepping into the gap just as they did several decades ago when the other large private utility companies wouldn't serve these areas. Most importantly, those forming fiber cooperatives hold a long term view of their future telecommunications needs in contrast to the big publicly traded telcos that operate with limited quarterly and annual time horizons.

Tri County Telephone, the cooperative that serves the Ten Sleep area, upgraded from decades-old copper phone wiring to fiber in 2006 — a step that has still yet to happen in many urban areas.

Chris Davidson, Tri County's general manager, said the company wanted "to build a network for the future.

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