A Techno-Economic Approach for Broadband Deployment in Underserved Areas

Ramakrishnan Durairajan, Paul Barford

A large body of economic research has shown the strong correlation between broadband connectivity and economic productivity. These findings motivate government agencies such as the FCC in the US to provide incentives to services providers to deploy broadband infrastructure in unserved or underserved areas. In this paper, we describe a framework for identifying target areas for network infrastructure deployment. Our approach considers (i) infrastructure availability, (ii) user demographics, and (iii) deployment costs. We use multi-objective optimization to identify geographic areas that have the highest concentrations of un/underserved users and that can be upgraded at the lowest cost. To demonstrate the efficacy of our framework, we consider physical infrastructure and demographic data from the US and two different deployment cost models. Our results identify a list of counties that would be attractive targets for broadband deployment from both cost and impact perspectives. We conclude with discussion on the implications and broader applications of our framework.
Download the full article DOI: 10.1145/3089262.3089265

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