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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52 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 COMMUNITY BROADBAND Key Issues in Public-Private Partnerships When a city negotiates a broadband contract with a private-sector partner, what should it ask for? And what is it likely to get? By Blair Levin and Denise Linn / Gig.U F or cities that choose public-private partnership models, diverse issues arise in network negotiations. Every municipality will have unique challenges, but it helps to know how others have approached these arrangements. NEGOTIATING WITH PARTNERS Te Kansas City–Google Fiber negotiations created a new model for how cities can facilitate upgrades to next-generation networks – a model that later Google Fiber negotiations advanced, as did negotiations involving other cities and providers. Tese negotiations – over provisions that afect city operations, personnel, property and fnances – can become very complex. Tere are assets and levers that city ofcials can use at little or no cost to improve network construction economics for providers. Understanding these helps parties reach win- win positions more efciently. WHERE TO BUILD One primary concern is the geographic areas that the network will cover. Te network builder's construction costs and risk of recouping those costs must be balanced against the community's economic development and spillovers. Te builder will naturally lean toward deploying frst (or exclusively, if the municipality will allow that) to areas in which the risk of recovering upfront costs is lowest and the potential for proftability is highest. Te municipality likely will want to bring access to as many residents and businesses as possible, perhaps even prioritizing certain areas in which the city believes the economic and social benefts to the entire city are the greatest. Te parties can resolve these divergent interests in a number of ways. Te following was adapted from "Te Next Generation Network Connectivity Handbook: A Guide for Community Leaders Seeking Afordable, Abundant Bandwidth," published by Gig.U in association with the Benton Foundation. Read the full report at www.gig-u.org. WHERE TO BUILD: KEY CONSIDERATIONS FOR COMMUNITIES • Are there areas of the city that the provider must connect and, if so, on what timetable? • Are there public facilities the provider must connect? How many and on what timetable? • Is there a minimum coverage area that the provider must commit to as part of the agreement?