To address the immediate need for more broadband infrastructure we have put together a Rapid Connectivity Response. This is a plan to build a 100Mbps, affordable broadband network in as little as two weeks. This method can be deployed in both rural and urban environments to rapidly build or expand a network.
Althea networks are adaptable, locally based and can be deployed rapidly. Traditional ISPs struggle to make the economics of providing connectivity to rural communities work, and build slowly - often taking years to build a network. By using private property, Althea networks lets communities build networks in an agile way, to affordably and quickly build effectively to areas with a smaller, more spread out population. Everything is plug and play and billing is automatic, so the network is easy to set up and maintain.
Rapid Connectivity Response
Step 1: Assessment (2-3 days)
FCC and other reported data is inaccurate and often does not give a complete understanding of exactly where there is a need.
- Reach out to local school board and educational leaders who can give a quick perspective into the needs of the community. County commissioners, local city mayors and managers, and state representatives may have already identified “pain point” areas that need networks. Starting a Facebook group or page which solicits the voices of the community can also be a great place to get started.
- Locate a local technical help for the management of the network. These local network operators are automatically paid a monthly fee through Althea’s software and we provide full tier one tech support for operators. This can often be some one already performing IT, camera installs, or computer services in your area. Althea is very easy to use even for someone with no prior knowledge of networking. We provide education, tier 1 support and dashboard tools for the network operator.
Step 2: Planning (1 to 2 weeks)
- Once an area has been identified, we set up a sign-up website, like www.althea.net/clatskanie. Interested subscribers can sign up, and get easily routed to a calendar app to sign up for an installation or a call to answer questions. This becomes an easy way to manage new potential subscribers and get the word out about the new network.
- Finding a wholesale connection can often be the most challenging part of starting a network, however, there are quick options that are based on using resources that already have connection. We can find the creative solutions that are the best fit for your community.
- A public building like a library, school, university, or city hall. Working together with the appropriate contacts you can build out a sustainable solution that can provide some revenue and utilize public space and bandwidth capacity. A public wifi-hotspot can be built alongside the network, providing immediate resources to people needing to access the internet. This may be a slower option, because in many cases public entities are overwhelmed with other aspects of the crisis.
- An on-net business. Many businesses are experiencing slow downs and extra income from roof lease or providing free internet can be a welcome proposition. Contact the wholesale department of the fiber provider to negotiate a rapid provisioning of the connection for wholesale use. For an “on-net” building this can often be as little as 1 to 2 weeks. Building of the main infrastructure can take place while the service order for wholesale connection is moving through the system, so you are ready to provide subscribers with broadband as soon as the network comes online.
- Current ISPs. Often it is not economically viable for the incumbent ISP to service an area using legacy methods, but they are happy to grow their network using Althea’s unique model. This can be a win-win situation for everyone involved and many ISPs are happy to discuss how this could be arranged.
- Getting equipment and installing. Together with our consultants, we can plan, engineer, and source gear for your network. Most household equipment can then be purchased at buy.althea.net by subscribers, and shipped pre-configured to the network operator. Because these networks can be built from “neighbor-to-neighbor” instead of large towers or along public right of way, the system is easier to maintain, and affordable and quick to build.
At this point, you have a working network that can start quickly and grow sustainably. This pandemic has presented us with great tragedy, but it also has brought us an opportunity to come together to solve the digital divide in a lasting way.
With the rapid increase of e-learning, telemedicine and work from home the Covid crisis has exposed just how deep the digital divide is. Despite billion of dollars of federal grants and years of work, big telecom has still failed to make the economics of sustainable development in rural areas work.
There is a better way forward, and we should start now. Communities can rapidly build sustainable solutions to meet the needs of even remote areas, so that people can learn, work and receive healthcare from home.
Contact us here to get started and receive a custom plan and getting started guide for your area.