If you manufactured a product and knew it could be the most valuable item you would create in your life, would you just let someone else steal it away? Well, that is what’s happening to communities that cannot offer high speed internet to create opportunities; they are simply hemorrhaging their young adult population to areas where high speed internet is available. Many communities are looking to traditional internet service providers (ISP’s) to solve this issue, but are finding that most ISP’s are saying “no thanks” as it is simply not profitable for them to build in these communities. So, how do you get high speed internet if the ISP’s won’t build in your area? Consider building a private fiber optic network. This might seem like a costly option, but once you see the return on investment along with the many other benefits, you might just change your mind. Putting aside the fact that in order to be one of the leading countries in the world we need to offer the fastest internet available to all citizens, we need this in order to retain people and businesses in our communities, while also securing the ability to compete on a global level for future generations.
A huge problem for communities that are unable to provide fast and cost efficient internet, especially rural areas, is the loss of an important resource, the young adults native to their community. Young adults are what make communities grow and create a stable living environment for the retiree generation. Without working-age people, there is no way to create enough tax revenue to pay for the things needed to protect and help all citizens. This situation will only lead to more people seeking out areas that can provide those necessities. Take Vermont for example, the exodus of young adults to more connected areas was five times the national average and by 2030 it is expected that there will only be two working-age Vermonters for every retiree, according to Arthur Woolf, an economist at the University of Vermont (Bellock).
Once young adults have exposure to faster internet connectivity, and in turn more opportunity they often do not move back to areas with less than desirable internet connections. Private fiber networks can help to make these communities more attractive to young adults. Again, let’s look at Vermont which had the highest rate of students attending college out of state with most not moving back to their home state. The total number of 20- to 34-year-olds in Vermont has decreased by 19 percent since 1990 (Bellock). With the implementation of private fiber networks it is likely that more opportunities would develop, making Vermont a more desirable choice for young adults.
Faster internet speed at lower costs attracts businesses to an area. More business in an area creates more job opportunities, which means more people moving into the area. More business also creates new, decent paying jobs, which drives up the living wages and will only increase the value of the community. Even if some businesses do leave for tempting tax breaks offered by bigger cities, your town will still have a long-term piece of infrastructure that will create more opportunities for your community and future generations. Every generation takes what the previous one has done and improves it, but if we just sit idly by with our current internet infrastructure we are going to be surpassed by most other nations in the world, setting our successors up for failure.
Understandably the thought of building a private fiber network may leave you shaking your head, but the return on that investment is more than worth the cost, for this generation and the next. Most private fiber networks Millennium Communications Group Inc. has built have seen a return on investment in less than 3 years. In only 3 shorts years you will make back your monetary investment, and you will be able to see the soft measure ROI’s, like more businesses, new opportunities, and increased populations over several lifetimes. Additionally, with Millennium Communications Group’s experience and vast knowledge, the community may decide to partner with us to finance, own, and manage the network on your behalf; mitigating some of the risk, but keeping all the same rewards.
Ready to talk fiber? Send us an inquiry and we will set you up with one of our industry experts to get you started. If you are interested in more information on private fiber optic networks contact us using the form below!
Belluck, Pam. “Vermont Losing Prized Resource As Young Depart.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 03 Mar. 2006. Web. 21 May 2015.