Fiber Optic Cabinets, Cables, Pedestals and Terminals

By Jim Pilgrim

I’ve lived with it all my life, shaky hands. But in the last few years it has become a little worse, now my head shakes some times. The doctors tell me the medical term for it is “tremors”, and there’s nothing to worry about. It could be I’m getting a little older, maybe all the coffee I drink, or both those things. I have some tricks I’ve learned to make it less noticeable. When I was a CO Tech at US West and had to work on small electrical connections, I would steady my right hand with my left as not to short out the electronics.

I’ve learned to adapt, adjust, and really don’t even notice it myself.

I’m sure there are many Independent Telephone companies that are feeling a “little shaky” right now about the changes proposed to the Universal Service Fund (USF) and the Inter-Carrier Compensation plans. They are being torn apart and reassembled in to the Connect America Fund (CAF). Many small, rural Independents have relied heavily on these plans to compensate them for their high cost, rural customers. In some cases they get +70% of their total yearly revenue from these plans. Nothing moves very fast when government is involved. This overhaul has been in the works for years and with that uncertainty, many Telcos were apprehensive about investing in their networks not knowing how the new plan would affect their bottom line. This is a scary proposition for many, but now that the rules are out, Telcos will have some time to digest them and formulate a plan to minimize the effect. The CAF will “encourage” broadband expansion in rural and needy areas. It has provisions for broadband (4M down, 1 M up) and mobile broadband as well. Many Telcos that have been waiting for the rules will now jump off the fence and start to build. Fiber-to-the-Home and Mobile Broadband in rural areas will spur economic growth and will allow increased educational opportunities.

With change comes uncertainty. That change has “shaken” our telecommunication industry. But Telcos will adapt and make adjustments to “live with” and thrive in the new plan.

So next time I stop by to have a cup of coffee with you, maybe you should make it decaf.