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Top 3 Challenges to Bringing Fiber to College Campuses

Jan 14, 2020 | Blog

When considering the entities that can benefit most from the speed and reliability of fiber, colleges and universities are top of mind. As centers of learning, their underlying mission is connectivity and the sharing of knowledge.

Installing fiber on campus, however, can have its share of challenges. Choosing the right partner for installation will help higher ed institutions clear the hurdles associated with installing fiber optics on campus.

1. The Lack of Access

lack-of-access-to-college-fiber-solutionsEnvironmental obstacles within and around buildings can quickly turn installing fiber optic materials into a costly and time-consuming project. A fiber provider with experience installing fiber on college campuses can navigate the many hurdles campuses have, including which buildings are right for installation and mitigating any challenges regarding physical obstacles and working around busy campus schedules. Additionally, seasoned fiber providers skilled at campus installations can identify older buildings that weren’t built to include modern amenities such as fiber lines, and suggest an alternative course of action. They can also identify existing building conduits that may already be overcrowded and propose other suggestions.

One Alternative: Microducts

Microducts are small, flexible conduits designed to fit in and through tight spaces. They are also flexible for 90-degree bending while possessing the rigidity to protect the fiber running through. Microducts can be an economically sound choice that delights budget-conscious administrators and protects fiber for the long term.

2. Campus Disruption

The focus of college is on education, and it’s hard to teach or learn in a campus that’s being torn apart. Installation needs to be done at a time that would cause the least amount of disruption. Day and evening schedules and classroom locations must be taken into consideration.

Reach

Once you have tied your campus buildings together, you need to connect to the world.  A company that just focuses on on-premises fiber installation will not be able to connect you to the world, which is critical to a conducive learning environment.  Select a company that not only can provide campus connectivity but can provide fiber-based connectivity across town and to key in-region networks such as I2.

Experience

Every campus is unique and has its own particular set of circumstances and challenges. For example, some campuses require aerial fiber installation, some underground, and others a combination of both. There is no cookie-cutter formula for building a campus fiber infrastructure. An experienced fiber provider has the breadth of experience to handle each unique campus and its needs, with the expertise to handle any challenge it encounters – from suvey plan to construction and completion.

find-the-right-partner-for-fiber-solutions-and-services-with-firstlight3. The Solution: The Right Installation Partner

For fiber installation to be done right, a partner’s skills must go beyond the installation process. The college or university needs a trusted installer with experience, tact, diplomacy skills, connections, and the right mindset. This partner needs to be able to communicate efficiently with all parties and get them on the same page so that the entire endeavor runs smoothly.

In the Northeast, that’s FirstLight. FirstLight also has its own in-house construction team to help regulate costs, ensure on-time deliveries, and allow for more internal project control. Sit down and meet with the experts at FirstLight to gain a full understanding of how we manage the installation process. We’ll talk challenges, costs, and timelines to draw up an affordable plan that meets your needs.

Contact us now to take the first step in bringing fiber to your campus!