Broadband Communities

JAN-FEB 2014

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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44 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 COMMUNITY BROADBAND from $300 to $750 per apartment unit, depending on the design of the building, the availability of false ceilings and cable pathways, the existence of wiring closets and permission to attach moldings or other materials. Each building is diferent and requires new strategies. Pricing and challenges are similar in multitenant ofce buildings. Te cost per unit can be reduced by half if there is sufcient capacity in the horizontal riser and if conduit, duct or raceways exist from the riser to individual units. Another strategy a locality can pursue is to require developers or building owners to install fber as part of new builds or renovations. Tis strategy has the same benefts as installing conduit and further reduces costs by eliminating the need for a new provider to pull cables through a raceway or conduit. It is best suited to communities where broadband providers are already building according to a particular standard (for example, single-mode fber pair to each unit). 7 Tese strategies represent a small burden for developers and a potentially noteworthy incremental beneft to the locality – especially if the community is likely to see extensive rehabilitation of existing residential units over time. Te city of Loma Linda, Calif., through its Connected Community Program, pioneered this model in the United States. In conjunction with the city's development of a citywide fber optic network, the city council added connectivity standards to the building code. Te city building code now requires all new commercial and residential developments (or remodels involving more than 50 percent of a structure) to equip the new structures with a fber optic interface and copper cabling throughout. 8 Loma Linda has received international recognition for its ordinance. Te city of Sandy, Ore., also passed an ordinance requiring developers to place conduit all the way into a home and to deed that conduit to the city. 9 A model such as that used in Loma Linda or Sandy will have greater impact in areas of new construction and in rapidly expanding cities (such as Sandy, which is the fastest-growing city in Oregon and is developing into previously uninhabited areas). In established communities with less growth, the results are likely to be more modest. MAKE DATA AVAILABLE Most localities already devote considerable resources to collecting key data in such databases as geographic information systems (GIS); these databases can potentially facilitate communites' broadband goals if certain data sets are made available to network deployers. GIS databases already hold such information as street center lines, home and business locations and demographics. Other data sets can be extremely helpful for a locality's own broadband planning, a public-private partnership or a potential network service provider entering a community. For example, CTC recommends that localities compile information about existing utilities, locality infrastructure, rights-of-way, available easements and locations that are potential colocation sites. With this information, conducting the high-level planning phase of a large- scale broadband construction project in which the prospective builder examines options and determines what assets are needed both to plan and to build becomes easier, faster and cheaper. DOCUMENT AND PUBLISH DATA REGARDING ASSETS By making available to potential partners data regarding their existing fber, conduit, poles and other assets, localities can enable providers to consider leasing public fber and conduit as part of their network designs and business plans. Access to this information may attract and speed new construction by private partners and also enable the community to meet its goals for new, better broadband networks – and potentially to realize revenues for use of the assets. Public fber and conduit must be well-documented during the locality's planning and construction to make the data usable to future private partners and to make the fber and conduit marketable (as well as to allow the locality itself to use the assets). Keeping conduit and fber well-documented requires efort, consistency and regular updating. Initiatives such as community fber optic construction, utility improvements and community development need to include documentation and GIS mapping as part of the initial and life cycle budgets. A fber or conduit network is a classic example of an asset that benefts from appropriate documentation from the outset and loses reliability and integrity as it grows and ages without that documentation. STRATEGIES FOR PROCESS EFFICIENCY Smooth processes enhance broadband buildout and deployment, whether public or private. Most localities understand this based on their own experiences – they recognize, for example, that an efcient procurement process is enormously helpful in any public project. Similarly, efcient processes for permitting, rights-of-way access and inspections can help with broadband construction. Subject, of course, to the needs of the community to protect public interests and public safety, as well as to the resources available, CTC recommends a few strategies for streamlining processes and publicizing them to maximum beneft. STREAMLINE AND PUBLICIZE PROCEDURES Efcient, streamlined processes can help broadband projects proceed expeditiously, whether the entity building the broadband facilities is the locality itself or a private entity. A locality, unlike a private-sector partner, cannot focus its internal processes and eforts on a single goal. Local governments must account for costs, implications and other priorities that are not of interest to the broadband industry. However, there are strategies that localities can use to facilitate broadband projects BBC_Jan14.indd 44 1/29/14 9:59 AM

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