The Reality of a Rural Fiber Ring

I was ecstatic last summer when it was announced that a fiber ring would be installed in our rural area.  I was also quite surprised, given that I thought fiber rings were only feasible in more populated areas that possess a sufficient population density to warrant the costly installation.

However, glad that higher Internet speeds — along with digital phones and video — was soon to be a reality, I gave it no further thought.

This spring I attended an informational meeting about the project.

It turns out that my fiber ring is a result of stimulus money.  With an installation cost in the millions, averaging an astounding $10,300 per house, there is no way this project would ever be economically feasible without a grant to cover the installation.

The stimulus money had to go somewhere and I am glad to a direct beneficiary of it.  What dismays me is that this is a three-year project.  This means that much of the project’s money is yet to be spent, therefore delaying its impact on the economy.  If this slow disbursement of the stimulus money is common, that might explain why the recovery is so slow.

Regardless, with my connection to the fiber ring scheduled for September, I do thank everyone who paid taxes, thereby providing me with access to high speed Internet.

Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Visit to receive his newsletter, read his blog, or connect on social media.

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