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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SUMMIT COVERAGE Communities Rise To the Gigabit Challenge There are many ways to improve broadband access and use – and communities are looking at all of them. A BBC Staf Report F or a decade, communities throughout the United States waited for ultra-high-speed broadband. Tey waited to see whether they would be on the list for Verizon's FiOS or other telephone company fber builds. Tey waited to see whether they would be on the broadband stimulus list, and they waited to see whether they would be on the Google Fiber list. Some were lucky – fber to the home now passes about one in fve U.S. households. More were not so lucky. A few took the plunge and decided to build their own networks. In 2010, Chattanooga, Tenn., became the "Gig City" when its municipal broadband utility ofered gigabit speeds citywide. Over the last year, one fber community after another followed suit, raising the stakes by dialing network speeds up to a gigabit. At the same time, Google began lighting its gigabit network throughout the Kansas City region and announced new builds in Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah. In addition, AT&T announced plans for a gigabit-capable network in Austin (lucky Austin!), and CenturyLink will build one in Omaha, Neb. Now the waiting game may fnally be over. At the 2013 BroadBand Communities Summit in Dallas, many attendees said they thought the United States had reached a tipping point for ultra broadband. Encouraged by Chattanooga, by Google Fiber, by Gig.U, by US Ignite and by the FCC's Gigabit City Challenge, communities – even those that do not wish to build and operate their own FTTH networks – are taking steps to improve and leverage their broadband infrastructure. Following are highlights of Summit presentations on these topics. Finding and Leveraging Community Assets Diane Kruse, NEO Fiber: With Internet usage doubling each year and cellular data growing explosively, public agencies are now talking about fber as critical infrastructure – and as an asset that can be leveraged. Google's initiative in Kansas City raised their awareness, as did the FCC's Gigabit City Challenge. Many cities are now rising to the challenge. Service providers and communities are beginning to come together, hold meetings and learn what 56 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | assets exist so everyone can beneft. I'm working with a municipality whose excess conduit is now being used for the cellular network. From the city's standpoint, this means less disruption in trafc, and for the service provider, it accounted for 80 percent of the capital cost. Tat's signifcant! It incents further broadband deployment. By using installed assets, a deployer can reduce capex, which attracts investors – so cities should always put in extra fbers when | May/June 2013

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