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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66 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | MAY/JUNE 2016 COMMUNITY BROADBAND Seven Models For Community Broadband Municipalities that want to improve broadband services for their communities should consider the benefts and challenges of multiple approaches before they make their decisions. By John Honker / Magellan Advisors C ities across the United States are becoming aware of the importance of next-generation broadband services to support the future of their communities. Evidence suggests that broadband services have a net positive economic and social impact on communities by enhancing economic competitiveness, workforce development, educational capabilities, municipal operations and smart-city deployment. Each local government must determine the right broadband business model to efectively meet community needs. To select the right model, a locality must understand its community's needs, know the competitive market factors that defne its infrastructure options, and assess its organizational and operational capabilities. PUBLIC POLICY ONLY In the public-policy-only model, a municipality utilizes its public policy tools to infuence how broadband services are likely to develop in its community. It shapes public policies to streamline the processes of designing, constructing and managing broadband infrastructure in its jurisdiction. Focus areas include right-of-way access, permitting processes and costs, construction practices and placement methods, franchises and utility fee assessments. Examples of policies and standards include joint trenching and dig-once policies; utility relocations; and funding mechanisms for design, labor, and materials. Tis option is not a true business model, but it does impact the local broadband environment and is therefore included in this list. Santa Cruz County, Calif. In 2013, the board of supervisors approved an overhaul of broadband infrastructure plans and regulations. Among other initiatives, it reduced permitting fees and proposed a dig-once ordinance to facilitate installation of fber optic cables during other work on area roads or utility lanes. Zach Friend, Santa Cruz County Supervisor, said, "Many regions throughout the country face a situation similar to ours: deemed too rural for real capital investment by the internet service providers but urban enough that this lack of investment really puts us at an economic and community disadvantage. To have these policies recognized at a national level shows their applicability and value throughout the country." Te county's initiatives were crafted into a comprehensive set of policies: • A dig-once process that requires the county to notify broadband companies and provide opportunities to lay fber whenever a street is open • Development of master lease agreements to simplify access to county facilities