Broadband Communities

JAN-FEB 2015

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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28 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015 EDITOR'S NOTE Broadband Communities (ISSN 0745-8711) (USPS 679-050) (Publication Mail Agreement #1271091) is published 7 times a year at a rate of $24 per year by Broadband Properties LLC, 1909 Avenue G, Rosenberg, TX 77471. Periodical postage paid at Rosenberg, TX, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Broadband Communities, PO Box 303, Congers, NY 10920-9852. CANADA POST: Publications Mail Agreement #40612608. Canada Returns to be sent to Bleuchip International, PO Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2. Copyright © 2014 Broadband Properties LLC. All rights reserved. CEO & ED I TO R IAL D I R EC TO R Scott DeGarmo / scott@bbcmag.com PU B LISH ER Nancy McCain / nancym@bbcmag.com E D I T O R Masha Zager / masha@bbcmag.com E D I T O R -AT- L A R G E Steven S. Ross / steve@bbcmag.com ADV ER T ISI N G SALE S A CCO U N T E X E C U T I V E Irene Prescott / irene@bbcmag.com O N L I N E N E W S E D I T O R Marianne Cotter / marianne@bbcmag.com D E SI G N & PR O D U C T I O N Karry Thomas CO N T R I B U T O R S Joe Bousquin David Daugherty, Korcett Holdings Inc. Joan Engebretson Richard Holtz, InfiniSys W. James MacNaughton, Esq. Henry Pye, RealPage Bryan Rader, Bandwidth Consulting LLC Robert L. Vogelsang, Broadband Communities Magazine B R OA D BA N D P R O P E R T I E S L LC CEO Scott DeGarmo V I CE PR E SI D EN T, B USI N E SS & O PER AT I O N S Nancy McCain CHAI R M AN O F T H E B OAR D Robert L. Vogelsang V I CE CHAI R M EN The Hon. Hilda Gay Legg Kyle Hollifield B USI N E SS & ED I TO R IAL O FFI CE B R OAD BAN D PR O PER T I E S LLC 19 0 9 Ave nu e G • R o s e n b e r g , Tx 77471 281. 3 42 .9 655 • Fa x 281. 3 42 .1158 w w w. b r o a d b a n d co m m u n i t i e s . co m masha@bbcmag.com R ecently, a BroadBand C ommunities reader tweeted a thank-you to the magazine for its work and noted, "It's starting to feel like things are tipping in the right direction!" Tough we like appreciation as much as the next magazine does, the best part of the tweet was the comment about "tipping in the right direction." Te right direction, in my view, is toward seeing broadband in terms of its value to customers, not just to providers. (In this case, of course, some customers are themselves producers.) Even if most consumers don't know or care what a gigabit is (see p. 60), they want seamless, hassle-free Internet service. Tey want to keep buying new devices, signing up for new over-the-top services and watching video in the latest and greatest formats. Business users want to access cloud services and to connect seamlessly with their customers and suppliers. Neither consumers nor businesses want to worry about whether their Internet connections are up to the job. None of that is new. What's new is the response to that demand. Te days of providers' bashing bandwidth hogs and telling customers "We know best" are ending. Whether because of increased access to capital, declining transport costs, fear of competition or the realization that bandwidth demand won't stop growing, most providers are now starting to build future- proof networks. All the experts we interviewed about predictions for the coming year (see p. 44) forecast a surge in fber-to-the-home and other ultra- broadband deployments in 2015 and possibly a bigger surge in 2016. Of course, providers can't invest everywhere at once – so it's still important for communities to retain control of their broadband destinies. Te FCC and the White House are jumping on the bandwagon with customer-oriented policy proposals (see p. 32) whose aim is to make broadband universally accessible and afordable. Tere's opposition to these proposals, along with some legitimate concern about their implementation, but increasingly it feels like a rearguard action. Another magazine reader called recently to ask whether, as an investor in FTTH, he would be on the right side of history. I said he would be. Barring the collapse of civilization, it's hard to imagine customers' demanding less connectivity. It's equally hard to imagine that they won't get what they need in one way or another. Better to be the company providing what customers need than the one trying to hold back the tide. v The Customer Is Right The economist Adam Smith said, "Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to, only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer." He might well have been talking about broadband.

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