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The Cost of Fiber

The Cost of Fiber

Recently, there’s been lots of talk about the benefits of fiber optic technology, and how it’s the “gold standard” of the internet. You might be wondering, if it’s so great, why don’t more people have it? The answer to that question is complicated, and in large part due to both construction complexity and cost.

Building a fiber network

First, let’s take a quick look at what exactly goes into building a fiber network. These are complex projects, often taking five or more years to complete. After lots of preplanning, the construction process begins with workers laying the “mainline” fiber connection, which is the cable that individual homes and businesses will eventually connect to. Once this is complete, workers will take another pass to connect each home or business that signs up for service to the mainline fiber (we call this the “drop”).

The cost of a fiber network build varies widely, and depends on many factors, including the size of the build and population density. In urban environments, a single mile of mainline fiber has the potential to connect dozens—even hundreds—of customers. Contrast this with rural areas, where there may be miles between homes—meaning higher labor costs and a lot more mainline fiber to reach a single customer.

A worthy investment

Having more customers per mile of cable laid makes urban and suburban fiber builds a far more attractive investment, which is why these areas are often the first to get fiber connectivity. In rural areas, where builds are more expensive relative to the number of customers, it takes much longer for companies to see the economic benefit.

Despite the expense, fiber opens doors for unserved communities, improving access to employment, education, and boosting quality of life. It’s why federal and state governments have stepped in with grant programs that offset the cost. By alleviating some of the funding burden, they help rural providers like us bring fiber broadband to our most rural, underserved community members at an affordable price.

As your community provider, Horizon is proud to invest in fiber—and our shared future. To learn more about our fiber build/expansion, and to see if service is available at your address, visit horizonconnects.com/residential/internet/ or give our friendly team a call at (740) 772-8200

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