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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48 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 BROADBAND POLICY A Broadband Policy Agenda From Next Century Cities Government at all levels, as well as philanthropies and private citizens, can contribute to making broadband accessible to all. N ext Century Cities (NCC), a nonpartisan, city-to-city collaborative with more than 100 members, is dedicated to elevating the voices of communities in the broadband policy discussion and sharing resources and knowledge among members. Tis policy agenda ofers policies that will move communities in the direction of fast, afordable, reliable Internet access available to all. Expanding high-quality Internet access in a community, whether large or small, can yield a multitude of benefts for residents – from improved health services to new opportunities for small businesses, higher property values and a stronger local economy. LOCAL GOVERNMENT Local governments occupy a critical role in the success of broadband projects and are ideally equipped to identify and address a community's specifc Internet access needs. Local governments are better equipped than any other level of government to decide whether the community is well served and the needs of residents, businesses, and anchor institutions are being met. Tey are also best poised to understand community challenges and assets that will impact the success of any project. Some policies for efective local government engagement include Promoting "dig once" for efcient building. Tis is a collection of approaches that collectively aim to get conduit, fber and other assets placed at a very low cost as part of other projects – for instance, by installing conduit underground as part of a sewer main replacement or requiring that a new housing development include multichannel conduit when it is being built. Te conduit and fber may later be used by the local government or leased to other providers. Over a period of 10 years or more, this policy could result in fber throughout the majority of a community. Creating broadband-ready buildings. New providers may fnd it all but impossible to serve potential subscribers in existing multitenant residential and commercial buildings. Requiring buildings to have wiring or ducts that facilitate multiple providers can go a long way toward facilitating more investment in higher-quality networks. Streamlining permitting and rights-of- way management. Local governments should make permitting as easy as possible for building these essential networks. By streamlining permit processes, local governments can reduce the cost of a potential deployment and ensure that a network owner will begin to collect Te following is adapted from "Connecting 21st Century Communities: A Policy Agenda for Broadband Stakeholders," published by Next Century Cities in July 2015. Access the full report at http://nextcenturycities.org/connecting-21st-century-communities-a-policy-agenda-for-broadband- stakeholders. Te full report has examples for each policy suggestion.

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