NECA Announces Results of Rural Broadband Cost Study Report Sheds New Light on 'Digital Divide' Debate.Business and Technology Editors
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 21, 2000
The National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc. (NECA NECA National Electrical Contractors Association
NECA National Exchange Carrier Association
NECA National Electrical and Communications Association (Australia)
NECA National Electricity Code Administrator (Australia) ) today released the results of a new study estimating the dollar investment needed to upgrade rural area telephone lines to broadband capability. This first-of-its-kind survey also offers insight into the pace of technological change among rural telephone companies and helps to quantify many issues surrounding the ongoing "Digital Divide" debate.
The FCC (1) (Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC, www.fcc.gov) The U.S. government agency that regulates interstate and international communications including wire, cable, radio, TV and satellite. The FCC was created under the U.S. and several members of Congress have suggested the need for a targeted initiative aimed at deploying advanced telecommunications services in rural America. However, a key concern is the ability to provide broadband capability in rural areas. Here, the cost of implementing necessary telephone network upgrades is expected to be significant because of the large size of exchange areas, low line density and scattered distribution of telephone customers.
"The results confirm two widely held beliefs about wiring rural America for broadband service See broadband and broadband service provider. that appear contradictory at first glance," says Bob Anderson, President, NECA. "The results demonstrate that the financial commitment needed for completing the job is very large, about $10.9 billion dollars. It also shows that rural telephone companies are rapidly deploying a broadband capable network."
According to the study's respondents, about 65 percent of rural lines will be capable of providing broadband service by 2002. This fact, coupled with the ambitious rollout of data-network services documented in NECA's Access Market Survey, which illustrates broadband and advanced services deployment by rural companies, show that rural telcos are working hard to meet their customers' needs for high-speed lines.
"Whether the pace is quick enough for policy makers, or the targeted penetration rates are high enough for them to accept, will determine the funding needed to reach public policy objectives," says Victor Glass, Director, Demand Forecasting and Rate Development, NECA.
The impetus for the study came from telco associations including the National Telephone Cooperative Association (NTCA NTCA National Telecommunications Cooperative Association
NTCA National Telephone Cooperative Association
NTCA National Tile Contractors Association
NTCA National Token Collectors Association
NTCA Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association ), the National Rural Telecom Association (NRTA NRTA Nantucket Regional Transit Authority (Massachusetts)
NRTA National Retired Teachers Association
NRTA National Retail Tenants Association
NRTA Naval Recruiting and Training Agency (UK MoD) ), the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies (OPASTCO OPASTCO Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies ) and United States Telecom Association The United States Telecom Association is a trade association for telecommunications service providers and suppliers. The Association represents 1,200 companies offering a wide range of services across the communications platforms, including voice, video and data over local (USTA USTA United States Tennis Association
USTA United States Telecom Association
USTA United States Trotting Association
USTA United States Telephone Association
USTA United States Twirling Association
USTA United States Trademark Association ). These organizations identified the need to quantify the costs of bringing broadband services to rural Americans.
The study examines rural telephone companies in NECA's Common Line pool. These companies cover more than a third of the land area of the 48 contiguous states and serve just under six percent of households based on 1990 census data.
Included in the study estimates are plant upgrades on the customer side of the switch. Not included are investment expenditures on DSL DSL
in full Digital Subscriber Line
Broadband digital communications connection that operates over standard copper telephone wires. It requires a DSL modem, which splits transmissions into two frequency bands: the lower frequencies for voice (ordinary equipment, switch and backbone transport to other service areas or the ongoing maintenance of the upgraded network necessary to provide broadband services.
For a summary of NECA's Broadband Cost Study visit the NECA Web site at www.neca.org or contact:
80 South Jefferson Road
Whippany, NJ 07981
NECA administers the FCC's access charge plan, as well as other government-mandated and private programs for the telecommunications and electrical industries. Its expertise ranges from compiling industry-wide databases to forecasting and rate development, to tariff, code, and billing and collection administration, to operating national and regional funds. NECA is headquartered in Whippany, New Jersey Whippany is an unincorporated area located within Hanover Township in Morris County, New Jersey. Cedar Knolls is another unincorporated area within Hanover Township. Its name is derived from the Whippanong Native Americans, a tribe that once inhabited the area. , and maintains offices throughout the country.