Broadband Communities

AUG-SEP 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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32 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014 COMMUNITY BROADBAND an open-access project, the community enterprise must have an ongoing marketing and public awareness efort. Tis efort may be modest, but if the network is to meet take-rate targets, businesses and residents have to know there is an alternative to the incumbent providers. I have heard board members and managers say, "It is not our job to make sales for the providers." I agree, but closing a sale and getting a signed contract for service is not the same as a general marketing efort to raise awareness of the new network. Failing to market as an economic development incentive. Many communities initiate a community broadband enterprise to help attract and retain businesses. However, some communities get a network up and running and then fail to promote the availability of high-performance, afordable fber. Te community economic development website may not even mention the fber network. Chattanooga's fber efort succeeded in part because of brilliant marketing. Community leaders understood that hanging fber on poles and installing smart electric meters would not, by itself, stimulate economic growth and job creation. Tey developed a comprehensive and sustained marketing campaign that promoted Chattanooga as a technology leader – and it worked. Te good news about community broadband eforts is that, after two decades of experimentation, we now know what works. Best practice in management, in operations and in marketing is well understood, and that means communities that do their homework can succeed. v Andrew M. Cohill is the president of Design Nine (www.designnine.com), which provides broadband network design and network buildout services. Specializing in open-access network design, Design Nine has been involved in such " best practice" projects as nDanville, Te Wired Road and Palm Coast FiberNET. Chattanooga's fber efort succeeded in part because of a brilliant marketing campaign that promoted Chattanooga as a technology leader.

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