5 lessons from Render's venture to the US

Nov 26, 2020

Render was founded in Australia, delivers projects in New Zealand and a year ago migrated focus to the United States, introducing our Digital Network Construction approach which solves some of the key challenges associated with deploying distributed networks. These markets have a great deal in common however idiosyncrasies abound; here’s a few of the learnings from our first three fiber deployment partnerships and few hundred conversations we’ve enjoyed to date across southern and midwest USA.

1. Similarities abound

There's a surprisingly high level of uniformity between Australian and United States network design and construction industries - each have:

  • Mature capabilities and a heavy focus on design and engineering excellence;
  • A structural disconnect between design and construction phases of a project;
  • Widespread use of processes that involve manual hand-offs and paper-based construction packs;
  • A general inability to interrogate project plan, cost and accomplished field data in real-time.

While inefficiencies are common in all markets, an increasing appetite for innovation presents an exciting opportunity to think differently about the way fiber networks could be delivered - and scale this thinking which is precisely what we’re focused on in 2019. 

2. The difference is scale and opportunity

The obvious difference is one of scale given the US market is effectively 12x the size of Australia’s, however it’s the healthy and ever present awareness across the US around the need to innovate that has surprised us the most.  The threat of Silicon Valley is never far from people’s minds even at rural focussed fiber conferences across the country, and the entire industry understands that technology adoption and leadership is fundamental to survival in what is the most competitively efficient market on earth.

3. Southern hospitality is where it’s at!

What y’all have heard is true - people really are nicer in the South, but what surprises us is the unwavering thirst for innovation on projects large, small, public and private - literally the entire industry is focussed on doing more with less and embracing technology to squeeze every last inch of productivity out of their network investment.

With huge investment growth in rural broadband, Cooperatives and mid-tier cities considering a technology-led or digital approach are well placed to build a compelling business case and ultimately connect more customers with a given funding allocation.  

4. Consumer demand is insatiable, and fiber remains the answer

Network data consumption is growing at a staggering pace and is predicted by Deloitte to continue at an annualized rate of 35% across the United States. Regardless of whether demand is met by 5G technology in the near term or by amplifying existing technologies and supporting infrastructure, the fiber investment required to keep pace is huge and will see network spend increase by up to 60% through to 2025.

5. Connecting communities is the greatest motivator

Render exists to Build Networks Better, and this mission aligns perfectly with the unified goal we see across the United States of connecting under-connected communities to the economic and societal benefits of high-speed, reliable broadband.  Internet access isn’t the only driver of disparity, however, it’s a significant contributor to the rural divide apparent today, and being a part of the solution by enabling network and utility owners, engineers and builders to do more with the limited resources they have is what drives us and our partners’ every day.

Hundreds of thousands of data transactions across the delivery lifecycle are required to deploy today’s networks. What if you could remove the reliance on manual, paper-based construction packs and in turn, halve associated construction duration and costs - pretty compelling right?

Of all our experiences and learnings this past year, what excites us the most is the realization that as an industry we’re perfectly positioned to utilize today’s technology and automation to address the inherent inefficiencies of network deployment, and in doing so connect communities faster and more efficiently than ever before. 

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