TELECOMS ARE CONNECTING FIBER TO THE PREMISES WHERE I LIVE. ISN’T THAT JUST AS GOOD AS COMMUNITY-OWNED FIBER?
Fiber optic cables are the backbone for cellular networks. When commercial providers bring fiber to our towns, they also install small cell transmitters for 4G and 5G cellular by our homes. Some providers offer to hook the fiber right to our premise for no extra fee. While this may seem like a good deal, these companies are not offering a public service.
These businesses are counting on us purchasing their services and they may also profit from selling our usage data to third parties. This will become especially lucrative as more and more of our “things” are connected to the Internet. When millimetre wave 5G is in full swing, providers may even be able to use our homes as a 5G relay point by remotely accessing indoor nodes they have installed there.
The issue then is not fiber or no fiber, but who will own and control the fiber, and what gets hooked up to it.
Community-owned fiber is all about keeping the telecommunications highway in local hands.
This excellent broadband study and report done by the town of Canmore, Alberta notes that “opportunities to build fibre in the community are available through Axia and Telus, however, this does not provide an open and competitive environment and the Town would not be able to utilize dedicated fibres for their requirements in these situations.”
In other words – when communities own the telecommunications infrastructure they can tailor it to meet their needs. Plus, with increased concerns about exposure to wireless radiation, the prudent choice is to build locally-owned networks that are wired all the way, and do not employ wireless transmitters like telecoms do.
Learn more about how communities will benefit from owning their own fiber here.