Rural Issue

Cost stands in the way of rural broadband expansion

State and federal lawmakers continue to direct money toward the expansion of rural broadband.

And University of Minnesota Duluth assistant professor of computer science Dr. Peter Peterson suggests the dollars better keep coming because burying cable gets really expensive.

“DSL, cable internet, and fiber, those are all delivered via wires that someone has buried, usually along roadways. And it costs, the low end is $18,000 per-mile to bury fiber.”

He tells Brownfield that is the fundamental issue holding back rural broadband expansion.

“There are some other options (like) satellite internet, but that can be expensive (because of) contracts and limitations.”

He says satellite internet is also hampered by latency.

Peterson is hopeful government subsidies and other incentives will help companies install the infrastructure needed to provide high-speed internet to all Americans, but he says it’s going to take time.

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