Industry Insight Series

Broadband service providers (BSPs) often spend months and sometimes years considering areas for network expansion. It’s a complex business decision—however, current geographic information system (GIS) technology offers enormous process efficiencies by filtering out unnecessary noise and helping you discover the richest potential areas of interest.

Accessing and using public FCC GIS data from the National Broadband Map without advanced assistive technology is a laborious process. Some companies waste enormous amounts of time trying to map a landscape for opportunities in a hunt-and-peck manner—attempting to create a detailed map in order to find where service gaps exist.

This process could be likened to trying to map a donut to discover the hole—and hoping that you’re not wasting your time mapping an area where no “hole” exists.

What if it were possible to go straight to the “hole” without wasting time diagramming the donut? Current broadband analytics tools, such as those designed and created by CHR Solutions, make this possible.

Great broadband analytics technology can reduce a three-week manual discovery task into the space of three hours by selectively applying filters to GIS and broadband data to reveal opportunities targeted to your criteria while eliminating everything that doesn’t fit. It can do it quickly and efficiently; and critically, it can do it visually—making it possible to see at a glance where you should be building.

From a competitive standpoint, you’re able to set the boundaries and create a map that will filter for:

Competition: Identifying which companies are currently offering service in the area allows you to choose opportunities that play to your strengths.

Speeds offered: Discovering the maximum speeds offered by an area’s service providers can help you identify communities that are currently underserved.

Median income and home prices: Understanding a community’s economic data—including the median income of area households and the average selling price of local real estate—can be vital to making the business case for fiber.

Density: Showing you if an area is rural and sparse, and therefore likely to increase the costs of your fiber build, or is a suburban community or town where you may be able to provide fiber service to many homes and businesses relatively inexpensively.

For example, you could build a query that would show at a glance the communities or areas in Georgia, where:

  • The only competitors are DSL providers or cable companies.
  • The average speed is less than 50 Mbps.
  • The annual median income is $40,000 or greater.
  • The housing density is 70 houses per square mile or higher.

With the ability to adapt your query as needed, you can quickly tweak the results to hone in on the opportunities that match your broadband expansion goals. And since the results are represented visually, you’ll be able to see (in moments, rather than weeks) areas that may be ripe for the expansion of your fiber network.

Broadband analytics technology can help you identify potential markets and save valuable time—meaning you won’t waste time considering communities whose profiles don’t fit with your business goals. This time reduction in your planning process can also make a significant impact on your speed to market, giving you the opportunity to get there first and seize the opportunity before anyone else does.

This series features insight into important broadband industry issues from industry leaders.

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