Why 9-1-1 Needs Fiber
Fiber Broadband Association, , 4/30/2019
By Lisa R. Youngers, President & CEO, Fiber Broadband Association
Often when we talk about the technology trends that matter and the ones that drive the virtuous cycle of innovation, we think of consumer behavior. Fiber improves productivity at the office with VoIP phones and cloud-based, data-intensive software as services. We have driven up home bandwidth demand with our excitement for 4K -- and now 8K -- televisions and streaming shows and games. Our smart homes need reliable, low-latency connections to be energy efficient and support more screens than ever before.
While blazing fast, ultra-reliable all-fiber networks have certainly improved our daily lives, they are of critical importance in one area in particular: public safety.
5G and public safety — both need fiber
5G also will place enormous demands on fixed-wireline networks. New 5G technologies will use much higher radio frequencies than today's cellular networks. While these higher frequencies carry larger amounts of data, they also have much shorter ranges. For 5G to work well, providers must install additional small radios or cells close together -- as close as 200 feet apart. To provide gigabit service to many users and applications, these small cells must connect to hundreds of thousands -- perhaps millions -- of miles of new fiber optic cable. Fiber and 5G are the foundation for the next generation of connectivity for public safety.
Dispatchers need fiber, too
To have a fully functioning emergency response system, phones and call centers demand extremely reliable networks. Notably, it's fiber that best supports both cellular and fixed connectivity.
Fiber forms the foundation of the highest-quality public safety communications systems. Because of this, we should deploy all-fiber networks nationwide, so our brave emergency personnel can effectively respond to citizens and keep our communities and first responders safe.
— Lisa R. Youngers is President and CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA), the only all-fiber trade association in the Americas. Follow them on Twitter @fiberbroadband.
Since the 1970s, the idea that the telecommunications network would one day serve as an information superhighway has been part of our culture.
Lisa R. Youngers, president and CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association, says the benefits of fiber access infrastructure become even more pronounced during times of crisis.
Lisa R. Youngers, president and CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association, says US fiber rollout can be accelerated further by lowering private and public barriers to deployment.
Operators such as Verizon have committed to investing in thousands of miles of fiber to support their 5G infrastructures, a vital component of this next-gen cellular technology that's expected to transform the world.
The strength of natural disasters like hurricanes is worsening, scientists say, and it's imperative that broadband infrastructures can withstand or be speedily repaired post-catastrophe, writes Fiber Broadband Association President and CEO Lisa Youngers.
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