Broadband Communities

AUG-SEP 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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32 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 COMMUNITY BROADBAND A Fiber to Every Premises CTgig's public-private, open-access model aims to provide economic development and low-income support to every address in Connecticut. By Bill Vallée / Connecticut State Broadband Ofce T here is ample demand for afordable, gigabit-level access across Connecticut. High-tech businesses and higher education institutions, both well represented in the state, depend on digitally manipulating massive data sets and transferring results around the world for manufacturing, health and medical processes, and educational resources. In spite of that demand, gigabit broadband in Connecticut is either unavailable or prohibitively expensive, a problem equally signifcant for small businesses, community anchor institutions and residential premises. Te state, too, has essential public policy goals that depend on access to broadband. It has the widest demographic gap of any state for student educational achievement, and, even though it has the highest per capita income in the United States, it has several of the poorest, most crime-ridden cities in the country. Supplying low-cost broadband access to every address could ameliorate these problems, at least in part. Te state's long-term vision is one fber line to every premises, including residences, businesses, and community anchor institutions – just as there now exists one electric line, one water line and a road to every premises. MUNICIPALITIES GET INVOLVED To remedy the lack of afordable, reliable broadband, Connecticut municipalities want to fnd highly motivated, high-caliber private sector partners that will fnance, build and manage communitywide, open-access, fber-to- the-premises (FTTP) networks. Municipalities traditionally build infrastructure such as roads and bridges to create economic development and jobs. Tey have stepped up to address broadband infrastructure because they are aware of the problems their neighborhoods, businesses and community anchor institutions confront. After all, municipal leaders are the ones who get the phone calls when city systems fail. Tough the Internet is located in cyberspace, municipalities own the ground and have a central role in regulating the physical elements of the Internet located in the public rights of way (streets, utility poles and underground conduit). In short, justice in today's municipalities requires equal access to the Internet and other utility resources, and local leaders are responsible for making certain that all residents and businesses have a fair share of digital resources. Te digital divide may be only one division among people living and companies operating in Connecticut, but in the 21st century, it is one of the most profound and potentially damaging disruptions. For background on CTgig, see Gigabits Across Connecticut in the January- February 2015 issue of this magazine. www.bbcmag.com/2015mags/Jan_Feb/ BBC_Jan15_GigabitsConnecticut.pdf

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