Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2017

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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MAY/JUNE 2017 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 53 public safety. But what happens when a community is not successful in its discussions with incumbents about upgrading the existing infrastructure? What if a community has already been through an unsuccessful RFI process trying to find a service provider that will build out a new infrastructure? A community may consider owning the infrastructure network and providing services directly or choose one or more internet service providers to do so on an open-access basis. ere are many benefits to owning the infrastructure. It maximizes the community's ability to • Create a controllable asset that will serve the needs of the community • Lower the capital cost of entry for service providers • Improve the way government communicates with its citizens and businesses • Eliminate the cost the community pays for leased communications services • Enable smart-city applications • Promote open access, ensuring the most competitive broadband pricing for the community • Provide assurance to its citizens and businesses that it is a progressive community • Show prospective businesses that affordable connectivity is achievable and available • Help existing businesses be more competitive with higher-speed connectivity • Keep rights-of-way clear for the community by offering existing infrastructure to new entrants • Invite competition for services to the community, including existing providers • Ensure equal access to broadband services for the entire community. ADVICE FOR COMMUNITY BROADBAND PROJECTS Perhaps the best advice is to reach out and visit with other communities that have recently completed community- owned broadband infrastructure projects and learn from their successes and failures. ose findings can be incorporated into a business model that meets the unique needs of the community. e following are a few industry best practices that will help increase project success: • Find a broadband champion and/ or create a group that can serve as a voice to the community and as a catalyst bringing together community stakeholders. • Use community relationships to build a solid base of support. Citizens, businesses, educational institutions, libraries, health care providers and public safety organizations have vested interests in improving the quality of life in the community. • Look for a partner to provide a turnkey solution. is can potentially provide numerous benefits, including significant cost savings, timely project completion and few administrative burdens. • Consider using the infrastructure as a revenue-generating asset. Carriers or other entities may have interest in securing the rights to dark fiber or duct on a network, which can offset build costs. e first step is the easiest. Start educating the public about the many benefits of broadband access. Unlocking your community's broadband potential can make the difference between a smart, connected community and one that is passed by. v Joel Mulder is vice president of sales for eX² Technology and can be reached at eX² Technology specializes in financing, designing, installing and maintaining robust broadband, intelligent transportation and critical infrastructure networks.

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