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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COMMUNITY BROADBAND O N L I N E O N LY D I G I T A L B O N U S O N L I N E O N LY D I G I T A L B O N U S O N L I N E O N LY D I G I T A L B O N U S 47a | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 ENDNOTES 1 In stark contrast, some incumbent providers do not plan to invest to upgrade their existing networks to gigabit capability – but do ask localities to facilitate or subsidize their existing operations through access to public property and other benefts. It is our observation that this arrangement does not result in new, better broadband facilities; to the contrary, it serves merely to transfer some private costs of doing business over to local taxpayers and makes the status quo even more attractive for the incumbent company. 2 Tis is known as a "middle-mile" model, in which a network provider leases middle- mile fber from a locality to connect from the Internet/public network backbone to the neighborhoods. Te network provider then constructs "last-mile" fber to homes and businesses or provides wireless last-mile services. 3 Tis article frequently recommends leasing of public assets as a means of facilitating broadband deployment. Te article does not address the issue of pricing for leasing of public property. For a discussion of pricing mechanisms in the public and nonproft sectors for dark fber, see DarkFiberLease.pdf. In our experience, some jurisdictions charge market price for access to these assets; some have elected to provide these assets at no cost in return for other valuable services to the community; and some ofer economic development discounts or credits for providers who commit to expanding broadband service to unserved or underserved communities. 4 Because many utility poles do not have sufcient space for new attachments, existing attachments may have to be moved to accommodate the new provider. Moving utilities through the make-ready process can be time-consuming and costly, requiring weeks or months to coordinate providers and perform the move. Furthermore, the inefcient make-ready process has to be repeated each time a new entrant wants to attach. 5 Te Fiber to the Home Council Americas, for example, recently released a paper advocating that state and local governments "condition use of public rights-of-way to require incumbent users of this space to share their poles, ducts, and conduits on a nondiscriminatory basis and at reasonable (cost-based) rates, terms, and conditions." Fiber to the Home Council Americas, "State and Local Government Role in Facilitating Access to Poles, Ducts, and Conduits in Public Rights-of-Way," August 2013, ld/fd=47&tid=79&sid=1249. We are not qualifed to comment on the legal basis for these requirements or the challenges For little extra investment, communities that are laying fber for municipal use can install conduits with extra capacity that they can lease to broadband providers in the future. The availability of middle-mile fber helps last-mile providers reach customers more quickly. Source for all diagrams: CTC Technology & Energy Hovis_Jan14.indd 8 2/5/14 12:02 PM

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