The need for ubiquitous, reliable connectivity was brought into sharp focus throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, funding for rural broadband has become a priority for many governments around the world. But the true burden still falls on service providers, which are now tasked with making best use of their assets and the infusion of funding to implement multi-faceted network expansions and modernization programs. This report takes a deep dive into one U.S. operator’s approach to the challenge of rural broadband access as it balances maintaining legacy infrastructure and reducing TCO with the growing role of 5G and an expanding footprint.

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