Friday, January 29, 2010

Last mile fiber project lands broadband stimulus award, sparks strong interest from other rural electric coops

Telecommunications equipment manufacturer Pulse is reportedly getting deluged with inquiries from rural electric cooperatives after it successfully partnered with a rural electric cooperative in Northeast Missouri to score $19 million in last mile broadband stimulus funding from the USDA's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP).

What's sparking (pun intended) interest in the
Ralls County Electric Cooperative project is its fiber to the premises design that utilizes "distributed tap architecture" for easy deployment of drops that's cost effective at population densities of as few as four homes per mile, reports Light Reading's Cable Digital News.

The take away from this story isn't about the technology alone. It shows there is tremendous interest in the cooperative business model to bring advanced telecommunications services to unserved and underserved areas of the United States just as coops did a century ago when rural electric and other utility cooperatives were first formed.

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