Why Carrier Location Access Can Be Hard to Pinpoint

March 29, 2024

Carrier location access is the process of finding the location of a carrier’s infrastructure. It’s important to know this information for two key figures:

  • A carrier is an entity that owns the technology installed at a building that makes it possible for users to connect to the internet or phone service.
  • A solution provider provides various services, such as internet, managed services, and phone services by leveraging a carrier’s last-mile access technology. 

It is not always easy to pinpoint carrier location access, in part due to the complexity of routes and partly due to having access to the latest and greatest serviceability data and or tools. However, precise information is incredibly useful for both carriers and solution providers when determining when to build or buy network facilities to accommodate a new customer request.

To that end, this article details how carriers function and how to find their infrastructure by using the right tool. 

Data Carrier Networks 101 

Data carrier networks serve as the backbone to the internet. They are responsible for transmitting vast quantities of data. Data carrier networks converge at internet connection points or peer exchanges, where the flow of data traffic is controlled. 

While traveling through the internet, data that has been sent by providers must go through several carrier networks, which typically charge a fee to transmit data to other networks. In some cases, providers have an agreement with the carrier to waive the fee if the provider is a preferred partner. 

Carrier networks are usually divided into tiers that denote how much of the internet they can reach through their peering agreements:

  • Tier 1 networks can access 100 percent of the internet with peering agreements. A tier 1 internet service provider has direct access to the internet.
  • Tier 2 networks have some peering arrangements and are charged for accessing other networks. Tier 2 internet service is the most common type of connectivity.
  • Tier 3 networks are charged for access to all the higher tiers and typically resell service to the end consumer as an ISP.

Underlying carrier networks typically employ a number of connection technologies. The three most common transmission methods include: 

  • Fiber optic cable, which is the fastest mode of transmission. Fiber optic cables can stretch from city to city or continent to continent, via undersea routes. Because of this capability, a network might own hundreds or thousands of miles of fiber optic cable. 
  • Point-to-point microwave transmission is most commonly used in areas where carriers are unable to employ cable. Like fiber optic cables, the transmission can stretch far distances to accommodate a wide range of uses.
  • Coaxial cable technology is broadband that is used to connect fiber backbone networks to businesses and residential locations.

Although these technologies differ in a variety of ways, each shares at least one thing in common: Location is important. 


Why Is Carrier Location Access Difficult to Pinpoint?

The primary reason that carrier location access is difficult to pinpoint is because the information is not always public knowledge. When it is publicly available, it tends to be of low quality. 

To pinpoint carrier location access, and to gain access to highly useful data, you need to utilize a tool that provides information on fiber carriers and broadband carriers. There are a few things this tool needs to do if you are trying to find a carrier to provide your client with service:

  • Find out exactly how close the tech asset of interest is to your client’s location
  • Provide you with all the necessary information so that you don’t have to perform the research yourself 
  • Share your project information with employees or partners 
  • Manage multiple location projects 
  • Evaluate network presence so that you can evaluate carriers and solution providers to build a better, more connected cloud-based application or network solution 

Although this might seem like a lot of capabilities to gain with a single tool, MasterStream’s BandwidthFinder provides access to each of the items listed above. To measure the quality of fiber optic cable location, we use a feature called “Rating Precision” to tell the user what level of accuracy the information is. For example:

  • If the fiber is already installed in the building we would say the Rating Precision = Address (address-level accuracy)
  • If the fiber was running down the street in front of the building we would say the Rating Precision = Near Net

Using BandwidthFinder, you gain access to a large amount of data that is properly categorized so you know the quality of the information, which can include suite, floor, address, near-net, ZIP+4, census, and ZIP code.

Gain Carrier Location Access Information with Just a Few Clicks

For access to all the necessary attributes of a carrier location finder tool, use BandwidthFinder, the comprehensive bandwidth provider tool that provides intelligent data at lightning-quick speed, no matter your location.

Want more information about our BandwidthFinder tool? Download the BandwidthFinder checklist to have all your questions answered.


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