Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2014

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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52 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | MAY/JUNE 2014 SUMMIT COVERAGE expand its gigabit service within its existing footprint in Austin and in San Antonio. Like AT&T, it considers neighborhood density, demographics and interest to decide where to build. "We have fnite capital," Murphy pointed out. In terms of technology, Grande can easily upgrade BPON to GPON and (like AT&T) can upgrade FTTN to GPON with some work. Te feasibility of upgrading its hybrid fber- cable areas to fber to the home still hasn't been determined. How can a provider keep its residential gigabit service from cannibalizing commercial service oferings? Both AT&T and Grande said they had diferent pricing and service level agreements for commercial establishments, though small or home- based businesses whose usage patterns were similar to residential usage could use residential gigabit packages. AUSTINITES GET READY FOR A GIG Rondella Hawkins, Austin's telecommunications and regulatory afairs ofcer, moderated a panel on how Austin expects to use its gigabit connections. Q: How were the 100 Community Connection sites selected? Tese are the public and nonproft sites the city designated to receive free gigabit connections for 10 years. Laura Morrison, Council Member, City of Austin: We looked for organizations that would enhance public participation, promote digital inclusion, serve the underserved, develop innovative applications and remain in their existing facilities for the next 10 years. We had more than 300 applications for 100 spots – and there were lots of good ones. We included all the Austin high schools, at least one other school in each district and all libraries. Girl Scouts were included because of their STEM program and the Texas Folk Life Museum because it is planning new kinds of exhibits. Meals on Wheels was chosen so it can do remote check-ins with clients. Tese types of social service applications may demonstrate to people in underserved neighborhoods why they need to sign up for broadband. Q: (To the representatives of the Community Connection sites) What does a gigabit mean to your organization and community? Rebecca Campbell, Executive Director, Austin Film Society: Film production and culture can thrive, from fnancing to casting, production and distribution. Leigh Christie, Program Director, Entrepreneurs Foundation: We're hoping to attract more startups and to hold meetups, hackathons and charitable activities. We'd like to attract startups developing high-bandwidth applications and distance education. Rebecca Frost Davis, Director of Instruction and Emerging Technology, St. Edwards University: Te gigabit connection will help students with everything from distance education to calling home, preparing for jobs and collaborating on projects. We can expand classrooms with Google Hangout or Skype. Students will bring their own devices to class. Paul Padilla, VP of Information Technology, Goodwill Industries of Central Texas: We will be able to do better distance learning (Austin is our network hub), and we'll put video surveillance in our stores. We will have unifed communications for our mobile workforce. We can also partner more with other organizations and improve our backup and disaster recovery. Q: What challenges do you face? Campbell: We have to invest in new infrastructure to be ready for Google Fiber. We're remodeling an old armory for flm production and adding wireless technology so we can provide free wireless for visitors. Christie: We're trying to fgure out what the fberhoods will look like and make sure we get fber. [Te Community Connection sites will be connected only if their neighborhoods have sufciently high registration rates.] Austin city leaders and nonprofts discuss the gigafcation of the city. BBC_May14.indd 52 5/29/14 9:17 AM

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