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Rural Communities

How Rural Communities Benefit From Fiber Optics

Unserved and underserved communities in the United States deserve the same opportunities for high-quality internet connectivity that larger, urbanized areas currently enjoy. Fiber optic cabling can improve the economy, advance education, and boost digital inclusion in rural areas. The current push to build out the nation’s fiber network for 5G, plus an increase in federal grants and other funding sources, is making high-speed internet attainable for the most rural communities. Here are the 6 biggest ways fiber to home networks are transforming rural areas:

1. Strengthen Businesses

High-speed internet helps companies to compete in a variety of ways, resulting in higher revenues and productivity. Rural broadband design enables new technologies that can improve communication channels with customers, staff members, and suppliers, as well as support employees who work remotely. 

2. Advance Education

Students have more opportunities with high-speed internet access, leveling the playing field with students in other parts of the country. This is particularly important in science and math, where students in rural and underserved areas have traditionally fallen behind their peers. Fiber networks unlock a host of other advantages for schools, including:

  • Faster and more efficient information uploads and downloads
  • Access to videos and online resources for teachers
  • Protection of sensitive data against cyber crime
  • Heightened cameras and security systems
  • Opportunities for students to learn the latest technology

3. Enable Smart Agriculture

Smart agriculture is made possible by high-speed internet, which is a huge boon for rural areas. Examples of technologies utilized in smart agriculture include:

  • Precision irrigation and plant nutrition
  • Automated climate management in greenhouses
  • High-tech sensors for soil, light, water, and temperature control
  • Location systems, such as GPS and satellite, to help in tracking lifestock
  • Robots have unlimited potential for farming in the future

Farmers who utilize technology for data collection, diagnostics, and decision making report a 40% increase in crop yield. Smart agriculture can also save users up to 85% in water consumption and 50% in energy usage. 

4. Improve Healthcare

Use of high-speed internet provides a community with the bandwidth it needs for telemedicine, connecting remote patients with resources and healthcare professionals, as well as innovative monitoring services. Videoconferencing, video-on-demand, and telepathology are made possible by fiber optics and can move country medicine to the next level, saving countless lives in the process. The biggest benefits of high-speed internet for the medical community include the following:

  • Improved patient access, allowing remote patients and medical centers to connect with resources in other areas
  • Collaboration opportunities between medical team members via distance conferencing technology
  • Enhanced emergency care utilizing telemedical devices that allow diagnoses from the field
  • Real-time monitoring of vital signs, including blood-sugar levels, heart rates, and blood pressure.
  • Secure data transmission, as fiber optic cables are difficult to hack and resistant to water, high pressure, and electrical interference.
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