Communications Reports

Reports from CoBank Knowledge Exchange focusing on the communications industry.

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How Co-ops Can Lead the Way for DIY On-Farm Broadband
May 2022

Although precision agriculture has been around for more than 25 years, the past decade has introduced advanced computing technologies such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, connected devices, robotics, and automation.

Flush with Cash and Ready to Buy, Investors Take Aim at Fiber-Rich Operators
November 2019

Mergers & acquisition activity in the telecom market has driven an explosion in cloud computing, consumers’ insatiable demand for data, and new technologies.

Pay-TV Operators: To Cut or Not to Cut?
October 2019

Consumer adoption of over-the-top video streaming services, coupled with rising programming costs, have created significant headwinds for traditional pay-TV operators.

5G: What Does One More G Mean to You?
September 2019

Hype is reaching fever pitch for 5G (fifth-generation cellular wireless service), which has been touted as a quantum leap for wireless internet speed. However, operators’ go-to-market strategies are unclear.

Recent Insights into Successful Broadband Partnerships
August 2019

Broadband partnerships between Rural Local Exchange Carriers (RLEC) and Electric Distribution Cooperatives (EDs) are uncommon, but when done right, can benefit all involved.

Equipment Ban Creates Static for Rural Telecom Operators
June 2019

Rural operators will be the ones hurt the most by the executive order, which will likely soon ban U.S. telecom operators from buying Huawei-made telecom equipment.

Spectrum Sharing Shows Promise for Broadband Access
May 2019

Citizens Broadband Radio Service, or CBRS, has introduced a new spectrum sharing business model that will improve broadband coverage in rural America.

Digital Clouds are Brewing over Rural America
April 2019

As organizations look for cost-effective ways to manage their IT operations, the hybrid cloud offers an attractive alternative to on-premise data centers.

US Wireless Tower Market Standing Tall Despite Headwinds
March 2019

Wireless operator margins are being pressured and cost management is under the microscope as the mobile market matures. As a result, the legacy tower business model with its annual escalators and amendment fees are becoming a problem for operators. 

5G Value Proposition Remains Murky
February 2019

As wireless carriers work towards building their 5G networks, many of them have yet to finalize their commercial strategy and business case, according to a report from McKinsey & Company.

Fiber Valuations: Secular Tailwinds to Support Current Multiples
February 2019

Investments in U.S. fiber networks have become an area of focus for infrastructure funds looking to take advantage of the industry’s secular tailwinds and strategic buyers who want to diversify their business and/or gain operating leverage.

Executive Order to Ban Chinese Telecom Manufacturers
February 2019

The U.S. administration is reportedly close to issuing an executive order preventing U.S. companies from buying telecom equipment from Chinese manufacturers.

Diversification: The How and Why for Rural Telco Operators
December 2018

Many rural local exchange carriers, or LECs, face secular headwinds in their core business thanks to declining regulated revenues. These revenues have been under pressure for years given a variety of factors, particularly with the shift away from landline service in favor of wireless. 

FirstNet Brings New Opportunities for Rural Operators
November 2018

FirstNet will enable rural wireless operators to evolve their business model with AT&T to a co-locate/backhaul structure versus just a roaming relationship, which opens the door to new long-term recurring revenue opportunities.

5G Fixed Wireless: Is It Really a Solution to Help Bridge the Digital Divide?
October 2018

As rural telecom operators look for cost-effective ways to bridge the digital divide, 5G FWA has been identified as a potential solution. The issues deploying widespread fiber networks in rural markets are numerous and well documented, which has led to an estimated 25 million consumers without broadband access.

Telecom Network Evolution and its Impact on the Rural Telecom Industry
March 2017

Over the past two decades, the rise of the Internet and the development of wireless smartphone technology have upended the conventional regulatory distinctions between the rural and urban telecom networks. Today, telecom users in rural communities access the valuable content and applications they need to remain well-informed and competitive in the knowledge economy via a complex telecom network that spans both rural and urban areas.