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Stimulus grants awarded under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) encourage the development of broadband networks that create jobs; spur investments in technology and infrastructure; and deliver long-term economic benefits. These projects are under tight timeframes to put stimulus money to use immediately; and often the pressure of designing, building and reporting progress makes comprehensive network data management a lesser project priority.
However, data accessibility by network operators and subscribing providers is vital to efficient network completion and maintenance and successful business development. Maine Fiber Company, Inc., realized this when it began constructing a 1,100-mile, high capacity fiber optic network to extend middle-mile connectivity across the state of Maine. Using its Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) federal stimulus grant and private investments, it began building this network from scratch, tracking the network with legacy data formats such as internet maps, CAD and paper files to model cable routes. It soon realized the need for network information management technology that would support cost-efficient construction and maintenance of its expansive and dispersed network area.
The company found that centralizing asset and network data as a single geodatabase, using ArcFM™ Fiber Manager, streamlines network data availability across the enterprise. This solution eliminates the time and costs of maintaining multiple databases and provides the segment length and cost accuracy critical to its business model. Flexibility enables the solution to grow with the company, and cross-departmental data sharing supports efficient circuit planning, analysis and reporting. This advanced enterprise GIS technology supports decision making across the organization that not only streamlines the broadband business startup but also makes long-term management efficient and accurate.