BDC Group Blog

Looking ahead at fiber optic network and 5G network expansions

December 04, 2017

fiber optic network, 5g

As we approach the final weeks of 2017, it was not uncommon to have your timeline filled with references to fiber optic network and 5G expansion in the last year.

We've visited many examples of this growing industry. This includes fiber optic expansion investments in the range of $5 billion by 2021 as demand for streaming video increases or the deployment of new 5G networks to increase speeds by nearly 200 times of that available on current 4G LTE networks (1).

T-Mobile also announced recently they were planning to use a "portion of its $8 billion mother lode of low-band 600 MHz spectrum to deliver 5G coverage from coast to coast." (2)

Verizon has been among the most aggressive with plans for deployment of dark fiber (unlit fiber optics) and 5G by 2020.

Here is a breakdown of what is coming.

FCC clears roadblocks for investment in fiber and 5G

Verizon announced in November that the FCC has adopted two orders in what will be the first steps to streamine infrastructure deployment for both fiber and 5G. (3)

1. The wireline order removes legacy barriers to infrastructure deployment, enabling providers to hasten customers’ transition from legacy copper networks to faster and more reliable technologies, such as fiber.

2. The wireless order will eliminate time-consuming and expensive reviews of some replacement poles without compromising the protection of historic properties, thus facilitating the wireless attachments that are essential for 5G networks.

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