Why we need an open access fiber network.
It is a simple fact that Deer Park has some of the slowest and most expensive internet in the country. Not to mention we frequently don’t have internet access at all. Amazingly other nearby communities do not have the same problems, for example Pend Oreille County, Grant County, and Ammon, Idaho, to name just a few. The thing these three have in common is open access fiber networks.
What is an open access network?
An open access network is a single network with multiple retail providers and allows the customer to switch providers without getting new equipment. A traditional closed network is owned by one company and only the owner offers services on their network. Examples of closed networks include CenturyLink and Comcast. Owners of closed networks often argue that rural areas are not densely populated enough to justify investing in additional high-speed broadband infrastructure; ultimately, these rural communities are left on the disadvantaged side of the digital divide, and pay significant fees for inferior Internet service. On an open access network the consumer chooses a provider from numerous options and can switch providers any time they want.
Why Fiber Optics?
Fiber optics provide the fastest and most reliable internet connection. The cost of fiber optics is much lower than copper and can transmit data much further. Fiber can also carry much more data than a copper line can transport.
Wireless connections are often suggested as an alternative to fiber optics. Wireless can be effective in some situations, however the truth is that wireless connections depend on a physical (wired) connection at each end, either copper or fiber. Wireless technologies are only as good as what‘s on each end of the network. Fiber optics have an expected life span of 30+ years with proper maintenance. Wireless equipment has a shorter life span, of 5 to 10 years, often making the total cost of ownership higher.
Open Access in Deer Park
Recently the Deer Park Chamber of Commerce has been working with a Fiber Taskforce created by the Mayor to investigate development of an open access network in Deer Park. Currently, the task force is in the early stages of researching and developing a viable plan for bringing a fiber optic network to Deer Park. When the next water and sewer billing is mailed it will include an internet survey; the survey is also available on the Deer Park Fiber website. For updates on this project please subscribe.