Expanding Broadband: The Impact of the Esri and CHR Solutions Collaboration

In our increasingly digital society, expanding broadband connectivity is a cornerstone for opportunity and development, particularly in rural regions where such infrastructure is often lacking. The collaboration between Esri and CHR Solutions is a great example where a strategic partnership leveraging advanced Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provides the capabilities service providers need for delivering broadband infrastructure. Together, our combined efforts align with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) recent permitting guidelines, which advocate for efficient and inclusive broadband deployment. Our partnership does not just aim to meet the basic requirements of rural broadband but establishes a comprehensive standard that transforms connectivity in underserved areas and provides a model for similar initiatives globally.

The Vital Importance of Location Intelligence in Broadband Expansion

The significance of precise, reliable location intelligence during the network planning and design phases has been emphasized by the NTIA’s recent mapping initiatives. CHR Solutions champions this cause by joining advanced GIS and aerial drone technologies to address the numerous challenges of planning rural broadband networks. Their systems, leveraging collaborative dashboards and webapps, offer deep analytical insights that enable planners to simplify network layouts and capacities effectively. These insights help ensure that networks are not only efficient in the short term but also viable and adaptable to future technological advancements and demographic changes, thereby future-proofing investments in rural connectivity.

Simplify Monitoring of Project Status and Forecasting of Construction Spend

Customizing Network Development with Expertise and Advanced Technological Integration

CHR Solutions’ approach to network design is highly collaborative, involving stakeholders at every step to provide tailored solutions designed to address specific workflow requirements. This dedicated approach is reinforced by their use of dynamic scheduling for project improvements and state-of-the-art problem-solving methodologies that are vital for maintaining long-term network reliability and functionality. The integration of real-time GIS data and visual imagery into the planning and forecasting processes dramatically improves the accuracy of these activities. This strategic integration not only streamlines operational efficiencies but significantly enhances the financial possibility of projects from initiation through to completion, thus ensuring investments are both practical and impactful.

Throughout the telecom industry, navigating the complex legal landscape of rights-of-way, permits, and easement agreements is a critical component of expanding broadband infrastructure projects, this an area where CHR Solutions excels. Their proactive management of these important legal aspects ensures that projects proceed without interruptions or disputes, which might otherwise delay or interfere with important infrastructure developments. Furthermore, CHR’s Outside Plant Engineering Services leverage the latest in geospatial data and drone technology to produce meticulously detailed digital designs. These designs not only simplify the construction process but also help in tightly controlling costs, ensuring that projects are not only effective but also economically efficient.

Easily Communicate and Collaborate Around Broadband Expansion KPI in Real-Time

Harnessing the Power of NTIA’s New Permitting Tool

The NTIA’s new mapping tool is a game-changer in the planning of broadband networks, emphasizing the early identification of permit requirements and minimizing environmental impacts. This tool is crucial for the efficient connection of remote areas to high-speed internet services, ensuring that such developments comply with regulatory standards and are environmentally sustainable. The tool integrates crucial federal and state data, allowing network planners to effectively blend legal and geographical considerations into their planning processes. CHR Solutions adopts a similar integrative approach by combining governmental and environmental information with powerful GIS capabilities and drone technology.

This holistic approach facilitates:

Driving Forward the Future of Rural Broadband Deployment

The partnership between Esri and CHR Solutions exemplifies the transformative potential of integrating cutting-edge technology into expanding broadband deployment. Utilizing Esri’s ArcGIS alongside the comprehensive geographic data from the Living Atlas, combined with CHR’s industry expertise, the partnership is poised to make significant advancements in rural broadband infrastructure. This technology-driven approach provides a comprehensive view of the geographic and demographic challenges unique to rural broadband deployment.

It enables the formulation of strategies that are not only effective but are also specifically tailored to meet the diverse needs of rural communities. The Living Atlas enhances this further by supplying a wealth of global geographic information that is vital for conducting in-depth analyses and facilitating informed decision-making in network planning and deployment. With the Living Atlas, organizations can easily add data such as railroads, waterways, sensitive ecosystems, geological information, and much more, allowing for improved decision-making, streamlined permitting, and better outcomes to actions taken during the expansion of broadband networks.

Esri’s Living Atlas of the World


The strategic collaboration between Esri and CHR Solutions represents a significant step forward in the move towards thorough, data-driven, and efficient designs for expanding broadband networks. With advanced GIS technology, aerial drone data, and comprehensive planning tools, this partnership is equipped not just to meet today’s broadband needs but is designed to help anticipate and prepare for future demands.

As broadband connectivity becomes increasingly essential across various sectors such as economic development, healthcare, and education, the role of precise data and advanced technology in its deployment cannot be overstated. CHR Solutions and Esri are leading this innovation, giving service providers with the necessary tools and expertise to overcome the digital divide, thus creating a more inclusive and connected future.

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About the author

Randall René is the Industry Solutions Director for Telecommunications at Esri, where he helps communication service providers leverage geographic information system (GIS) technology to transform workflows and improve communication, collaboration, and productivity across the entire telecom project life cycle. Randall is a proud US Army veteran with 25 years of experience in the telecommunications and cable industries working in the field, guiding GIS teams, and supporting infrastructure planning. He is a passionate advocate within the GIS community and committed to helping public and private sector organizations nationwide bridge the digital divide.


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