Myth: Broadband expansion is working
• Industry has made significant
investments in broadband
infrastructure in Minnesota –
they are doing the job, and
additional public funding is not
• While we value how much these
firms are doing to invest in the next
generation of technology, we know
they still need help.
• Making sure everyone is connected
is such a monumental task that we
cannot let providers shoulder the
• Industry can’t be the “patient
investors” that public sector can
Myth: Federal funds will pay for broadband
• With CAF2, Minnesota doesn’t
need to pony up additional
• CAF2 requires that providers build
only “up to” 10/1 Mb.
• CAF2 funded networks will still rely
on aged copper last mile networks
that will limit future service
• Subsidizing incumbent providers to
provide this minimum level of
service will discourage competitive
providers from future investment
in these still underserved areas in
the near term.
What is Connect America Fund Phase II?
In MN, Consolidated Holdings,
CenturyLink, Frontier and Windstream, will
receive more than $85 million from CAF2
annually for six years to upgrade their
Myth: CAF2 networks are good enough
• CAF2 networks (10/1) are good
• 10/1 Mb download/upload
speed is not world class; it is
• The proposed Minnesota state
broadband goal is 100 Mb by
Myth: Wireless is the future.
• Wireless is good enough.
Wireless is the future.
• America’s broadband future is tied to
investment in fixed networks.
• Fiber is the foundation of all wireless
• Wireless infrastructure without fiber
backbone is like airplanes without
• Nearly all data traffic moves over fixed
networks. Cellular carries only 2% of
data traffic today, and is expected to
grow to only 7% by 2018
Myth: Satellite service is good enough.
• Satellite service is good enough.
• Satellite connections suffer from latency.
So, there is a sometimes an irritating
delay, which matters especially when you
are using applications that need some
degree of synchronizing, such as voice
over IP, teleconferencing or gaming. ·
• Bad weather means interference. Storms
or snow can interrupt a satellite
• Satellite is, by far, the most expensive. To
get a high speed connection, you need to
pay a big initial subscription fee, plus the
usual monthly fees.
Myth: No one needs fiber
• Fiber is a “Cadillac” service.
• Fiber is more like a Toyota – they are up to
35% cheaper to maintain than copper
networks. They do not break as easily, and
last longer than copper wires.
• Fiber networks offer symmetrical service:
Upload speeds = economic development.
• When traveling over a long distance, fiber
optic cables experience less signal loss than
copper cabling. Copper cables can only
transmit information up to 9,328 ft due to
power loss, whereas fiber cables can travel up
to 25 miles.
• Unlike copper wires, fiber optic cables are
impervious to electromagnetic interference
Myth: Rural areas don’t need competition
• “Overbuilding” is a poor use of
• Community members will want to be
served by high quality broadband
networks that will meet today and
• While the state has little legal power to
require that CAF2 funded networks be
built to a higher standard, telecom
providers and state regulators are
constantly negotiating current and future
regulatory frameworks. State officials
should encourage the incumbent CAF2-
funded providers to use their CAF2 dollars
to build out networks that are world
What is overbuilding?
When a new provider extends their
network into an area that is served by
another provider – that is called
overbuilding even when the new network
may be faster than the old.
Myth: Rural resident don’t deserve
• If you choose a rural lifestyle,
you can’t expect broadband.
• We all do better when we all do
better. All Minnesotans benefit
when rural communities are vital
• Innovation and economic vitality
can happen anywhere there is
world-class broadband. Without
broadband infrastructure, rural
communities and rural economies
Myth: Broadband is expensive.
• Broadband is expensive.
• Not compared to other
• A new 4-lane highway is $4-$6
million per mile in rural and
suburban areas, $8-$10 million per
mile in urban areas.
• A new 6-lane Interstate highway –
about $7 million per mile in rural
areas, $11 million or more per mile
in urban areas.
Myth: Nobody really needs all that speed.
• Nobody really needs all that
Responses to popular myths about the cost and value of broadband especially in rural Minneota