Telecommunications infrastructure is an industry constantly in-flux. Since the early 1990s, the line between telephone, telecom, and IT hardware has become increasingly blurred and giants in the sector are continuously changing the landscape. Recently, a push has been made by some IT-leaders for telecom and data companies to share hardware, working together to produce a stronger network of infrastructure instead of creating mini-empires.
It’s a novel idea, and America’s telecom infrastructure could use some help. Along with much of the U.S.’s other critical infrastructure, our telecommunications hardware needs serious updating. Networks consist of literally millions of moving parts, from receiving stations to regional routers, and they’re all interdependent. Unfortunately, much of today’s depended-upon telecommunications infrastructure is completely reliant on other suboptimal infrastructure.
So, where do bridges fit in? Aptus is a leader in bridge-attached utilities nationwide; we’ve done work on thousands of bridges and hundreds of telecom infrastructure connections. What we’ve seen is a closely-tied relationship between the health of a bridge and the overall health of the utility infrastructure connected it to. It’s only natural that as a bridge falls into disrepair, its supported infrastructure would too.
Bridges are at the forefront of America’s push for better and new infrastructure projects. This is good news for telecoms. One of the persistent problems of telecommunications is “the last mile,” or spanning the physical distance between regional hubs and outlying areas that may be less densely populated. While all utilities face the last mile problem, few feel it as acutely as telecom. When IT infrastructure can’t provide an area with services like high-speed internet or reliable phone access, whole communities suffer. In many cases, bridges are the answer.
Bridges both old and new are suitable for supporting America’s telecom hardware. Our telecommunications industry is fundamentally built on wires, and these wires aren’t unlike natural gas pipelines or sewer pipes when it comes to spanning distances. Upgrading IT bandwidth is a material process hindered by the physical constraints of those wiring systems, from the metal wires are made of to the presence of sharks. (No really, sharks.) Bridges offer myriad benefits.
Bridge-attached telecom infrastructure isn’t buried or sunk in the ocean, so it’s inevitably easier to modify. Telecom needs are ever-shifting, so having accessible physical utilities is a must. Additionally, bridges allow telecom infrastructure to piggyback off their own physical foundation. When fiber optic cables are attached to bridges rather than being buried or pole-mounted, for example, there’s less legwork required to position, support, and construct the actual base for those cables. Bridges already exist (or are being built); telecom and other utilities are smart to capitalize on that preexisting resource. In short, an investment in bridges is an investment in the advancement of telecom.
Aptus has seen a lot of changes over our 2+ decades in the bridge-attached utilities business. Telecommunications presents the greatest utility opportunity and challenge America has ever faced. We’re proud to say our work helps keep Americans connected.
Want to find out more? Reach out to us today.