Like most individuals around the globe, Americans simply can’t get enough of the internet. Indeed, the internet has become so well integrated into our day-to-day activities that it has become nearly impossible to function at home, at school, and at work without it.
With 290 million internet subscribers in 2016, and the average American household consuming approximately 190 gigabytes of data per month, the United States is home to one of the largest online markets in the entire world.1, 2
However, American internet consumption is about to skyrocket: for example, by the end of 2021, data usage for the typical mobile user will reach nearly 22GB a month, a tenfold increase from the run-of-the-mill 2GB data plan most users currently have.3
And for home users, the advent of 4k streaming and the proliferation of other data-intensive internet services such as online gaming is likely to push home data usage well above 500GB a month in roughly the same amount of time.
This exponential increase in internet activity means that internet service providers (ISPs) will have to expand and improve network connectivity to meet demand; otherwise, the internet as we know it might become so congested that data transfers will slow to a crawl.
This is where fiber optic technology comes into play.
What are Fiber Optic Cables?
Like the copper-based cables we use at home and at work, fiber optic cables are essentially network cables used for high-speed internet communications.
Inside a typical fiber optic cable are strands of tightly wound glass fibers surrounded by insulation, and by using pulses of light generated by small lasers, fiber optic cables are able to move data from one point to another at an extremely high transfer rate.4
Compared to speeds achieved through the use of copper-based cables, which range from 20-300 megabits per second (Mbps), transfer speeds on fiber optics can go all the way up to 1 gigabit per second and beyond.5
Because of this difference in transfer speeds, traditional copper cabling is now being replaced by fiber optic cables all across the country, enabling new and exciting high-speed services such as 5G networks and reliable 4k movie streaming services.
In addition to speed, fiber optic networks are also able to provide a more consistent network experience for end users, while also being more resilient to weather hazards such as flooding.
As an example, after Hurricane Sandy significantly damaged Verizon’s network infrastructure located in New York and New Jersey, Verizon began revamping its generators and switching stations to become more flood resistant, which included replacing copper wires with fiber optic ones.
Since switching to fiber optic, customers in the area have reported fewer network interruptions and service failures during both everyday use and during heavy rainfall brought on by major storms.6
What is a Fiber Optic Ground Lease?
A fiber optic lease is an agreement made between a network service provider (NSP) and a landowner for the right to run fiber optic cabling through the property.
In exchange for allowing the NSP to run fiber cables, the landowner receives a monthly rental payment for the installed cabling, conduits, and any other transmission equipment located on their land.
You can think of a fiber lease like a traditional rental agreement, where the NSP is simply renting the space used for their fiber cables and other equipment.
How Much is a Fiber Optic Lease Worth?
The amount that a landowner receives for their fiber optic lease is almost always determined by local competition, network needs in the area, and the property’s location to items such as data centers and carrier hotels.
Leases tend to pay better in areas with higher population densities, and greater bandwidth demands, so like cell tower leases, and unlike solar farm leases and wind farm leases, urban areas are the primary destinations for fiber leases.
How do I Obtain a Fiber Optic Lease?
Most NSPs already have a good idea of where they want to install their fiber optic lines, which means that they will almost always be the ones to reach out and make contact with a landowner.
Additionally, before agreeing on a fiber optic lease with a landowner, NSPs will always consider alternatives, such as installing fiber optic lines through existing conduits built for power lines or other similar types of infrastructure.
The NSP might also already have an easement on the land in question, which would grant them the “right of way” to go ahead and dig up the ground to lay new fiber optic lines.
It is only when the circumstances of the location prevent the NSP from utilizing existing infrastructure that individual landowners in the area might qualify for a fiber optic lease.
Things to Know as a Property Owners
With an easement, the developer or NSP will have the right to perform certain kinds of maintenance-related activities to ensure that the network is performing at optimal capacity.
This maintenance may include actions such as digging up the lawn for a fiber optic installation or visiting at odd hours of the night to perform checks on transmission equipment, which may or may not be preceded by a warning notice or a phone call.
While the NSP will return the lawn back to its original state when they’re finished, this dynamic may still prove to be a major inconvenience to landowners, especially if they were planning on using the space for a family gathering or some other kind of outdoor event.
Before signing a fiber optic agreement, it’s critically important that the lease is examined carefully for these sorts of details so that there are no surprises once the lease has been signed.
Landmark Dividend’s Role
As one of the nation’s largest ground lease and rental rights acquisition companies, we can offer landowners greater financial security by providing capital and liquidity to qualified property owners.
If you are a landowner with a fiber optic easement on your property, we can offer you a lump sum payment for the entire value of your lease. This lump sum can be used for a variety of purposes, such as paying off debt, making additional property investments, or even for retiring early.
Additionally, by selling your fiber optic lease, you can free yourself from the financial risk of site decommissioning. While decommissioning is a relatively rare occurrence, it is still something that can happen to some unlucky landowners, which can thrust them into a state of financial crisis if they were depending on the monthly rental fees to meet their monthly debts.
Contact Landmark Dividend Today
Even if you don’t want to sell your fiber optic lease, we can still offer you a free valuation (for qualified applicants) of your lease so uncover its true value.
Please call us 1-844-722-0113 or click here to submit your information online so that we may contact you.