The government passed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to aid economic recovery from the pandemic, granting counties and cities unprecedented access to funds. Now, the focus is on deciding how to allocate these funds within the next five years, but many cities and counties lack a plan.
123NET is stepping in to help municipalities, advocating for improved network infrastructure to ensure broadband services reach underserved areas. The pandemic revealed connectivity gaps in communities, leaving some families without internet access for work, learning, and communication. Businesses had to shift to remote work, relying on employees’ home internet.
Allocating funds to network infrastructure benefits municipalities, local businesses, and residents alike.
Plan of Action
Municipalities need a long-term solution to improve their surrounding area with broadband access. With the help of the 123NET, municipalities can use their ARPA funds for these solutions:
Solution 1: A Private Fiber Network
Municipalities can establish a private network connecting their buildings—fire stations, police stations, libraries, public schools, and community centers. This network spans miles of infrastructure, offering benefits to residents and businesses while enhancing community-wide communication. 123NET’s Fiber delivers faster internet speeds, competitive pricing, and superior customer service to the area. Fiber also serves as a long-term, scalable solution with a lifespan five times that of alternative cable options. This ensures a lasting solution, and the cost can be distributed over 10 years or longer terms to align with budgets.
Solution 2: Middle Mile Fiber Connectivity
Middle Mile Fiber Connectivity establishes a network backbone, enabling ISPs and carriers to extend connectivity into underserved areas. In Michigan, national carriers have overlooked numerous regions because constructing Middle Mile Fiber Connectivity incurs substantial expenses.
Using American Rescue Plan funds for this solution:
1). Encourages the expansion and extension of the infrastructure to reduce the cost of connecting areas to the internet.
2). Promotes broadband connection through the creation of alternative network connection paths that can be designed to prevent single points of failure on a broadband network.
123NET actively commits to providing high-speed, cost-effective internet access to underserved areas, aiming to bridge the digital divide. The company has actively participated in community projects such as Project OVERCOME in Southwest Detroit, emphasizing the significance of not only granting access to low-income neighborhoods but also educating and training residents on connecting others to the internet. Building on these initiatives, the government’s opportunity through ARPA presents an ideal time to actively expand connectivity and enhance overall internet access for communities and their residents.