Broadband Communities

OCT 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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36 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | OCTOBER 2017 COMMUNITY BROADBAND Why Municipal Networks Should Be Disruptive The traditional telecom model is not working. For a locality to succeed with a municipal broadband alternative, it can't just duplicate the incumbent model. By Jeff Christensen and Robert Peterson / EntryPoint A city considering a municipal broadband project should start by thinking about strategy, not feasibility. Today's feasibility studies tend to be lopsidedly tactical. Typically, studies start with handwaving toward strategic issues and then dive into such tactical matters as assessment of the local market, network requirements, network design, cost estimates and financial projections. It is possible to do an excellent job building a functional network (tactics) and still do the wrong thing (strategy) by building a network that never gets broad adoption. A feasibility study that leads a city to do things the right way but not to do the right things will result in a network that cannot evolve in the rapidly changing future. A strategic mindset focuses on the future, articulates a vision, embraces change, scans the external environment, invites innovation and creativity and wonders what can be. By contrast, a tactical mindset focuses on immediate needs, sets achievable goals and objectives, prefers stability, focuses internally, has a bias toward reliability and aims to improve the way things currently work. THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF DISRUPTION Any industry that fails to build its strategies around serving its customers' interests should be disrupted. To disrupt means to redefine the way things are done. Whether cities articulate this or not, municipal broadband is about disrupting the dominant telecommunications model. Municipal broadband can – and should – redefine the technologies and business models used to deliver broadband. Many cities that have pursued municipal broadband projects have been weak on strategic planning as they focused on tactical Source: Sales Benchmark Index Table 1

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