The GroundHawk staff is known for accurate and insightful data collection, ensuring you have confidence in your utility location reporting to help keep your project moving forward. 


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Utility Snapshot: Bringing Broadband to Rural Communities

Rural communities are leveraging broadband to attract new opportunities for growth and prosperity

Broadband Expansion In Rural Communities

In today’s fast-paced world, broadband internet services have become one of the fundamental utility services most people rely on daily to carry out business activities and engage in educational experiences. In fact, access to high-speed internet has become crucial for a wide range of industries including agricultural production, manufacturing, mining, and even forestry.

The Pathway Forward

Nowadays, reliable and affordable broadband services are necessary for economic growth and are as much of an expectation as reliable electric power or running water. To address this need, rural communities are adopting terrestrial broadband and modern communication utilities to better connect their residences, schools, and healthcare centers—not to mention, connecting their local businesses and markets to new customers around the world! As more communities take this leap forward, the opportunities to leverage broadband for growth and prosperity are more prevalent than ever.

Best Practices for Project Preparation

While it’s exciting to see these services being used as building blocks to revitalize our rural small towns, it’s important to remember that having a thorough utility design plan in place can help alleviate unnecessary risks and prevent costly project errors or delays.

For this reason, identifying and eliminating safety concerns is the first step to any successful construction project. It only takes one incident to realize that Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) services can bring value to any project, especially when that project relates to broadband installation across large tracts of land.  When adding new utilities to right-of-ways with existing utilities, it is imperative to do use excavation exploration to identify where those existing utilities are located.  Excavation is the more precise way to avoid costly damage and interruption to existing utility infrastructure, as well as avoid potentially deadly safety issues.

Key Advantages

Utility location and mapping are vital steps in extending broadband services to rural areas. With more than 20 years of experience, GroundHawk’s SUE professionals are trained to deliver an accurate analysis and inventory of everything above and underground. Our thorough reporting process includes identifying and marking public and private subsurface utilities within a specified project area. A utility sketch is packaged with each reporting bundle for ease and convenience.

Subsurface Utility Engineering

Our staff of talented SUE professionals are able to provide all quality levels of SUE including D, C, B, and A. This broad range of services helps us more thoroughly address the needs of our clients in a cost-effective and timely manner. GroundHawk and our professional network of service providers are experienced in servicing rural communities throughout the Southeast.

Identifying and eliminating safety concerns is the first step to any successful broadband project.

Rural Community Support

Our portfolio includes clients in communities throughout Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and the Carolinas. With project experience in areas of South Georgia such as Sandersville, Wadley, and Bainbridge, our team has provided SUE services to assist with planning for multiple 100+ acre solar farms.

Addressing Broadband Expansion Challenges

Despite the recent uptick in broadband adoption, the labor-intDespite the recent uptick in broadband adoption, the labor-intensive process of running physical cable across extremely rugged and rural areas to connect property addresses has typically been the primary deterrent for some communities to introduce high-speed internet. A recent report from the Federal Communications Commission indicated that 22.3% of Americans in rural areas and 27.7% of Americans in Tribal lands also lack coverage from fixed terrestrial broadband which requires a minimum of 25 Mbps upload speed and 3 Mbps download speed. This is in comparison to 1.5 % of Americans in urban areas also still lacking coverage.

Project Support

Luckily, advancements in excavation equipment and technology as Luckily, advancements in excavation equipment and technology as well as recent federal grants and state incentives are beginning to gain traction, giving rural community leaders more tools in their toolbox to meet this demand. GroundHawk’s staff of experienced professionals are ready to support these communities in taking the first step towards broadband expansion.

For more information about our services and experience, please visit GroundHawk’s Resource Library. To discover how the GroundHawk SUE team can help you with your next project, please complete our contact form or email to schedule a consultation.