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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46 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 COMMUNITY BROADBAND Tapping Hidden Sources of Broadband Funding Broadband is more than just Internet access. Focusing on other broadband services frst may attract the funding to improve Internet access as well. By Misty Stine and Joel Mulder / EX2 Technology LLC L ook around your community. What do you see? A meandering river fowing through it? A reservoir tucked in the valley? Commuter planes landing in the distance? Power poles marching along the roadway? Wind turbines piercing the sky? What seem to be common everyday images dotting the landscape, may, in fact, be the keys to helping unlock a community's potential for broadband project funding. Tey reveal assets that will allow the community to market and build a network. Communities that discover, embrace and cultivate these hidden gems will open up new funding possibilities and diferentiate themselves by leveraging all their potential assets to attract the right public-private partnerships. To attract additional funding, public agencies or communities must learn how to efectively evaluate, leverage and market their unique assets to draw a broader funding audience. Essentially, each community must fnd its own set of keys to unlock its true project fnancing potential. So how does a meandering river or a line of power poles along a roadway help get a broadband network built? To appreciate the importance of these assets, communities must frst understand that a broadband network is more than just a fast Internet connection. PORT SECURITY Te city of Nashville, Tenn., discovered that the presence of the Cumberland River qualifed it to apply for and receive a $2 million port security grant from the Department of Homeland Security. Te city used these funds to improve and expand its network infrastructure to support video surveillance across bridges and along the riverfront. An unexpected beneft of the grant was that it allowed Nashville to construct a network backbone that dramatically improved its bandwidth for multiple agency facilities and for citywide surveillance and frst responder communications. Obtaining this grant jump- started its communications infrastructure improvement programs. A UNIQUE FUNDING SOURCE In rural southern Virginia, the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative (MBC) got its start by utilizing funds from the Virginia Tobacco Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce. Tis initiative was proclaimed a national model for rural economic development and touted as a unique use of funds from A grant to improve port security allowed Nashville to jump-start improvements to its communications infrastructure.