USA Fibre Future and Federal Funding

NExsT Telecom Forum in Washington D.C.: Building the Infrastructure of Tomorrow, Today

"The demand for optical fibre broadband connectivity is more prevalent than ever, and the need for sustainable, high-quality, and future-proof solutions is undeniable. An unprecedented level of state and federal investment and grant opportunities for broadband infrastructure has become available in the USA.

A portion of the $350 billion set aside for the American Rescue Plan Act is being used by state and local governments to expand broadband access. Furthermore, a wide range of broadband-related funding programs has been launched. NExsT spoke to attendees Gary Bolton, President and CEO, and Marissa Mitrovitch, Vice-President of public policy, Fiber Broadband Association (FBA)."

“As we build our nation's critical infrastructure, it's critically important that we do the job in the right way the first time,”
“If you put fibre in on day one, you can move from gigabits to terabits without having to disrupt the infrastructure - all you need to do is upgrade the electronics on the endpoints - very future-proof installation, which provides the best total cost of ownership. With Fibre, you can get every member of the community connected. It's critical to focus on rural communities and unserved and underserved areas because this is where fibre has the biggest impact. Farmers can benefit from fibre for precision agriculture, for example. And parents won’t need to take kids to MacDonalds to use the Wi-Fi for their homework anymore – something happening today. Kids can stay in the communities they grew up in while having access to world-class healthcare, education, jobs, and opportunities. At the same time, people can move from cities to rural areas, to enjoy a higher quality of life without losing income.”

Gary Bolton

President and CEO, Fiber Broadband Association

"Innovation is going faster and faster and faster, and when fibre leads, innovation follows. Fibre provides the path to the quantum network which requires symmetric services and low latency. When we can connect every American with fibre, we really will be able to accelerate innovation in areas such as the quantum network and secure encrypted communications, new B2C services, and AI. But if your community doesn't have a fibre network, you'll be left on the wrong side of the quantum divide.

When you think about getting fibre to every American, it's important to not only consider access, but to have the core network firmly in place. One of our programs addresses the ‘Middle Mile’ to ensure service can be provided to urban, rural, and remote areas. Having a robust fibre infrastructure both in the access and in the core provides an opportunity for innovation, to increase capacity and reduce latency, and really have concurrent applications where every user, no matter where they're located, enjoys the same quality experience. This is essential as more advanced applications arise, such as edge computing.

As head of the Fiber Broadband Association, I’d like to say it is a privilege to speak here at the Prysmian NExsT forum - an amazing event that really brings the key leaders of our industry together and really discusses the key problems and challenges of today - for example, Patrick Jacobi. Senior Vice President, Telecom NA, leads our trusted fibre committee, and that's been important to us. We really appreciate everything that Prysmian is doing to support our industry and help accelerate the growth toward digital equity."

“One thing I have heard repeatedly throughout my career in telecom is: there is a need for robust, reliable broadband”, says Marissa Mitrovitch. “We all need the best broadband possible. During the pandemic, we learned that everyone needs reliable access to internet. This supports communities and the economy. It allows you to do your homework or see your doctor when you can't get there in person...”

“Prysmian’s theme for this event is very apt: Building the broadband infrastructure of tomorrow today. Fibre is required to support everything from data consumption to electrification and cloudification. We know people will continue to rely on internet access and that infrastructure is critical to connectivity, communication, and economics.”

“When I'm interacting with legislators and policymakers, I see that regardless of their political affiliation, they agree on one thing: every American needs robust, reliable broadband access. That equity is vital to the Fiber Broadband Association's mission. We want to make sure everyone has access. With partners like Prysmian, we are realising that."

"Investing in fibre connectivity shouldn’t be temporary, for example to boost connection speeds or bring people online faster, but with a long-term view. This is taxpayer money, and you want it to be invested only once, without the need to keep digging up and replacing technologies. Fibre’s the answer: you do it right one time and you can provide the critical infrastructure needed to really help America meet its domestic needs and compete globally - without huge additional investments.

The Prysmian NExsT event has been very informative and stimulating. We're hearing the same message from every speaker: we must invest today to meet the demands of tomorrow. However, we are also hearing that those demands are already here today. We're learning lessons from around the globe, where countries and continents have already deployed fibre and are reaping the benefits. Once you make that investment, you have the connectivity that is going to be the game changer. As we say at the Fiber Broadband Association: where fibre leads, the future follows."

Fiber Broadband Association

Established in 2001, the Fiber Broadband Association provides advocacy, education, and resources to companies, organizations, and communities who want to deploy the best networks through fiber to the home, fiber to the business, and fiber everywhere. Fiber Broadband Association members represent the entire broadband ecosystem: providers, suppliers, consultants, consumers, policymakers, device makers, and application providers. The Fiber Broadband Association is part of the Fibre Council Global Alliance, which is a platform of six global FTTH Councils in North America, LATAM, Europe, MEA, APAC, and South Africa.


Marissa Mitrovitch, Vice President of Public Policy for the Fiber Broadband Association.

&nbsMarissa Mitrovich leads the FBA’s advocacy efforts and oversees the FBA’s Public Policy Committee, which involves engaging Congress, the White House, the Administration, the Federal Communications Commission, and state and local officials. Previously she was Vice President of Federal Legislative Affairs at Frontier and Vice President of Public Policy at Verizon. p;


Gary Bolton, President and CEO, Fiber Broadband Association

Previously, Gary held executive management positions at two successful venture-backed high-tech start-ups, at large publicly traded companies in marketing, product line management, and public policy. He is also an adjunct professor in business administration and management science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.