Broadband Communities

AUG-SEP 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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AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 11 All the network deployers on this list • Are public agencies, public authorities, public beneft corporations, consortia of public entities, consortia of public and private entities or, in a few cases, private entities that benefted from signifcant investment or participation by local governments • Own all-fber networks that connect local homes or businesses to the Internet (or are actively developing such networks) • Make available – directly or through retailers – such services as voice, Internet access or video (or are planning such services) • Are in the United States or U.S. territories. Excluded are tribal authorities, municipalities that provide broadband services exclusively for city facilities and schools, those that serve private entities only by leasing dark fber and those that provide broadband services only over cable or wireless networks. This list includes only organizations with functioning networks or with approved plans and funding. However, plans do not always materialize; several projects that were reported on earlier versions of the list failed to survive. Others, although still in progress, have not met their deployment goals. Multiple-municipality projects have become more common because they can achieve economies of scale in construction and operation and, by aggregating demand, can attract third-party service providers more easily. UTOPIA, in Utah, is an example of an early FTTH network built by a consortium of cities. More recent projects include ECFiber in Vermont, SMBS in Minnesota and FastRoads in New Hampshire. Even a network owned by a single town or city may provide service beyond city limits. For example, Jackson Energy Authority and Chattanooga EPB in Tennessee both serve areas adjacent to the cities that own them. The city of Williamstown, Ky., used broadband stimulus funding to expand its community network beyond city borders. (Its original network was hybrid fber-coax, but it is using FTTH for its expansion.) In Washington state, though each public utility district builds and operates its own network, most or all belong to the Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet), a coalition of public utility districts that linked their fber optic networks together to achieve economic feasibility in underserved areas. NoaNet offers long-haul transport and last- mile access to wholesale communications providers throughout the Pacifc Northwest. Networks identifed as public-private partnerships are those in which both public and private owners made signifcant investments (which may include pre-existing conduit or fber). Of course, many other types of public-private partnerships are possible and are described in other articles in this issue. The private partner may be a retail service provider or an operator; the public partner may contribute low-interest loans, grants, access to rights-of-way, expedited permitting and so forth. Such partnerships are not considered public-private networks for the purposes of this list. new businesses and retaining existing businesses in their communities. Te most common rationale for building community networks is to provide businesses with afordable fber connections; in fact, many networks are built or extended to accommodate specifc requests by local businesses. WHY AREN'T THERE MORE COMMUNITY FIBER NETWORKS? In the last few years, some community networks, such as EPB Fiber Optics in Chattanooga, have achieved superstar status. Teir successes have been touted in the mainstream media and helped make "gigabit" a household word. Tey've inspired dozens of other communities to consider building their own networks; many of these have taken positive steps toward this goal, such as conducting feasibility studies and market research. A BroadBand C ommunities reader wrote recently to BroadBand Communities maintains updated information about community fber networks and other FTTP deployments in the U.S. in a searchable database at www.fberville. com. The database feld labeled "Community Benefts" contains a wealth of information on the economic development and other benefts of these networks. WHO'S ON THE LIST?

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