Having personally spent over 25 years in the Telecommunications industry, I have seen many changes over the years. In the 90s we saw the first glimpse of change. The Cable Industry introduced Compression; upgrading systems from 450 megahertz to 750 and 850 megahertz. This allowed video on demand, pay per view, and multi-channeled premium channels, to be delivered over the same coaxial cable to customer’s homes. Additionally, channel offerings went from 27 channels of cable at the start of the 1990s to over 200 channels by the end of the decade.
This marked the start of… “if you build it they will come”. Programmers came on board and produced content for the network that was built. Similar to a magazine rack, there were channels for travel, cooking and even decorating your house!
Then in the 2000s, using the same basic network, both Cable and Telephone companies began to deliver what was called High-Speed Internet to your homes for the first time on a mass consumer approach.
Data with speeds of up to 3 Megs! WOW! That was fast back then… But we were not sure what services would be launched… Soon we found that the “if you build it they will come” technique in telecommunication still worked! Like before, people built services that the end user could use, such as Napster, Skype, and Myspace. Remember those guys?
So now, 15 years later, two things are happening at a very quick rate. On the wired side, the Telephone and Cable companies are in a race for rapid deployment of their networks for the “next build it they will come” platform…. 1 GIG! Yes 1 GIG of speed. And, if you don’t know what 1 GIG is equal to – it is 1,000 Megs… remember the 3 Megs we discussed back in 2000? The wireless industry is also changing rapidly. With the introduction of the “Smart” phone, people can not only make calls, but they can also check their email, play games, and stream video.
In the wireless industry, before smartphones, the cellular companies needed one tower every 5 miles to provide dial tone and light texting. Now the wireless industry is also in a race both for data use and to get ahead by also connecting: “cell tower, small cell and DAS” to every 5000 users. Like the wired industry, their goal is also a 1 GIG platform. Understanding the players, “both wired and wireless”, the contacts and the payback models used by these providers is critical to assuring your community does not miss out.
Example: Signing a contract for a new development, your Homeowners Association and/or your investment property without the proper language, could allow the service providers to bypass your community but build these platforms in a neighboring community.