During the early days of our telecommunications infrastructure, copper wires were the only pathway necessary to connect consumer communications needs. Voices speaking on either end of a telephone line, coupled to a complex network of switches transmitting an analog signal, were at one time the greatest accomplishment of the 20th Century. Now, copper may be more valuable as the melted-down by-product of a by-gone era.
Colorado Springs is home to the NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, which protects the continent from aircraft, missiles, and space vehicles. The Cheyenne Mountain Complex, a fortress deep within the surrounding mountain, shelters NORAD’s Alternate Command Center. This mountain delivers the best in natural defense, and the inherent protection of the surrounding rock is heightened by the addition of advanced man-made security measures. While NORAD is an international defense organization, the strategy to keep this underground facility secure is not that different from the strategies used by some non-military facilities. Leveraging the naturally protective characteristics of the rock, the isolation and stable atmosphere inherent to an underground facility, and placement of all critical infrastructure within the underground space are strategies used by the Bluebird Underground Data Center.
Based in Columbia, Missouri, Bluebird Network has over 6,000 fiber route miles of high-speed broadband and fiber-optic connections, and 135 Points of Presence (PoP) sites spanning the Midwest, including Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Tulsa, Omaha, Des Moines, and Memphis. The company also has an underground data center, Bluebird Underground, located in a subterranean mine in Springfield.
As technology continues to evolve in the financial services sector, legacy network architecture is no longer able to support the growing needs of modern banks. For financial institutions within major cities, low-latency, high-bandwidth fiber connectivity is readily available, making it easy to scale fiber according to connectivity requirements. Unfortunately, banks positioned in rural areas do not experience the same luxury of close proximity to an array of advanced fiber networks, making it increasingly difficult to maintain pace with the industry and serve customers with cutting-edge services and capabilities.
What is FirstNet; simply put FirstNet is the first nationwide, high-speed broadband network dedicated to public safety – our First Responders Network. This initiative grew out of the public safety community’s commitment to, and advocacy for, a dedicated network to address the communication challenges faced during 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Consider the importance communication has in public safety. When an emergency arises, instincts kick in and you depend on the ability to contact the folks you need and depend on; that’s where the FirstNet infrastructure comes in.
Rural agricultural communities are demanding high-capacity, low-latency network services to support bandwidth-intensive applications used in various operations, including water supply management, precision agriculture and food production.
Major metropolitan areas across the country are turning to cutting-edge technologies and solutions for advanced connectivity to satisfy the demands of increased data traffic and bandwidth-intensive content. Small cells have afforded these Tier I markets the ability to increase network capacity and available frequencies throughout a given area, and with 5G technology waiting in the wings, companies and end-users located in these cities find themselves in an optimal position to enjoy continuous, high-quality connectivity services. However, take a step outside of these major metro areas and you’ll see an entirely different picture.