Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2013

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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COMMUNITY BROADBAND "The network will be a signifcant economic development tool with or without the small-business ofering Google has announced." in Kansas City, the connection fee here is only $30. Te city is working with some nonproft groups to guarantee that the $30 is not a barrier to anyone, so we expect the take rate to be much higher than in Kansas City. BBC: Will the gigabit upgrade and the completion of the buildout present new economic development opportunities for Provo? JC: I believe frmly that the network will be a signifcant economic development tool with or without the smallbusiness ofering that Google has announced (whose details haven't yet been revealed) – though it's clearly better with that ofering. Te business climate in Provo thrives on entrepreneurial spirit. Tere are two large universities As the premier consulting frm focusing on city and community-wide integrated broadband planning, we work with developers, public offcials and city planners to incorporate fber-based networks, applications and services into their communities. Driving Innovation Creating Value 702-405-7000 | w w w. b r o a d b a n d g r o u p . c o m 42 nearby, and we have deep entrepreneurial background and experience. Te startup community is very strong, and because many startups begin in basements and garages – that is, in environments that Google Fiber will serve – I think these businesses will grab it and run with it. And even though Google won't ofer service to large enterprises, which are almost always able to connect to fber in any case, the people who work in large businesses will be able to communicate back and forth with gigabit speed when they come home at the end of the day. BBC: How will you use the network to market the city as a place to live and work? JC: We've just cut the ribbon on Camp 4, a business incubator run by a public-private partnership among the city, Brigham Young University and some entrepreneurs. In addition, we'll be scheduling a trip to Kansas City later this month to take advantage of everything they've learned there. We hope to develop a good bond with Kansas City and Austin so we can fnd out what's worked there. What will this mean to our libraries? To our health care? What will it mean for every student to have access to the Internet? BBC: How have competing service providers reacted to the news? JC: CenturyLink sent a letter to the city asking us not to proceed. However, all the competitors were specifcally invited to do what Google has done, and they turned us down. It makes it difcult for them to complain when they had their shot. My hope is that they'll up their game, compete and ofer services. Tere are a couple of areas where Google left a lot of market share on the table, such as phone service and large businesses. Large businesses can be a lucrative market. BBC: When Google frst announced its fber project, it anticipated running open-access networks. We know that didn't happen in Kansas City, but is there any chance the competing providers will be invited to ofer services on the Google network in Provo? JC: Google has made it very clear that this will be their network, and it will not be open access. As they've refned their business model and learned from Kansas City, they've become more and more clear about how they want this to operate. BBC: What steps did you take to sell the network? JC: We went hard to market. We hired lobbyists in D.C., talked to brokers, talked to consultants, talked to a number of people – everybody we could fnd an audience with. One thing became painfully obvious: Nobody was willing to pay cash for the network. So with the Google Fiber deal, the win is not gaining cash but bringing value to the city. Tis network is a sunk cost for us. It doesn't help to say we shouldn't have built it or that they need to pay cash. Nobody ofered to pay us a million dollars. We did look! v | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | May/June 2013

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