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Sometimes Fiber Is Not an Option

  • Broadcast in Internet



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Host Craig Settles returns to his childhood hometown of Johnstown, PA in rural Cambria County to take a close look at an area where terrain makes fiber prohibitively expensive, but broadband is a necessity.

This county-owned wireless infrastructure is notable because 1) Cambria County played by Verizon's anti muni-net state law and were able to build and operate the network, and 2) this is a public safety network that also enlists ISPs to provide services to residents and businesses.  Steve Ettien, Dir. of the County Technology Department, explains how their 100 Mbps network accomplished both.

Ettien also discusses how they implemented a wireless network that faced significant terrain challenges, and why those challenges make it highly unlikely county residents will ever experience fiber in their area. This story provides valuable lessons for other communities that need to rely on wireless to help them keep up with the digital Jones.