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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2 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014 EDITOR'S NOTE Broadband Communities (ISSN 0745-8711) (USPS 679-050) (Publication Mail Agreement #1271091) is published 7 times a year at a rate of $24 per year by Broadband Properties LLC, 1909 Avenue G, Rosenberg, TX 77471. Periodical postage paid at Rosenberg, TX, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Broadband Communities, PO Box 303, Congers, NY 10920-9852. CANADA POST: Publications Mail Agreement #40612608. Canada Returns to be sent to Bleuchip International, PO Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2. Copyright © 2014 Broadband Properties LLC. All rights reserved. CEO & ED I TO R IAL D I R EC TO R Scott DeGarmo / PU B LISH ER Nancy McCain / CO R P O R AT E E D I T O R , B B P L LC Steven S. Ross / E D I T O R Masha Zager / ADV ER T ISI N G SALE S A CCO U N T E X E C U T I V E Irene Prescott / O N L I N E N E W S E D I T O R Marianne Cotter / D E SI G N & PR O D U C T I O N Karry Thomas CO N T R I B U T O R S Joe Bousquin David Daugherty, Korcett Holdings Inc. Joan Engebretson Richard Holtz, InfiniSys W. James MacNaughton, Esq. Henry Pye, RealPage Bryan Rader, Bandwidth Consulting LLC Robert L. Vogelsang, Broadband Communities Magazine B R OA D BA N D P R O P E R T I E S L LC CEO Scott DeGarmo V I CE PR E SI D EN T, B USI N E SS & O PER AT I O N S Nancy McCain CHAI R M AN O F T H E B OAR D Robert L. Vogelsang V I CE CHAI R M EN The Hon. Hilda Gay Legg Kyle Hollifield B USI N E SS & ED I TO R IAL O FFI CE B R OAD BAN D PR O PER T I E S LLC 19 0 9 Ave nu e G • R o s e n b e r g , Tx 77471 281. 3 42 .9 655 • Fa x 281. 3 42 .1158 w w w. b r o a d b a n d co m m u n i t i e s . co m C ommunity broadband networks have generated controversy for more than a decade. Entire think tanks are devoted to proving these networks are unnecessary, dangerous and downright un-American. To some advocates, on the other hand, community networks are expressions of local autonomy and communities' best hope for economic transformation, revitalization, social inclusion and even net neutrality. BroadBand Communities has always held that building fber- connected communities is the paramount goal and that who builds it is of less importance. What's important is that someone do it – and generally, communities build fber networks precisely because private operators are not doing so. Te great majority of community networks are successful. However, for a variety of reasons – some avoidable, some not – some community networks fail to achieve what their proponents hoped for. Tese failures are particularly troubling. For one thing, they provide "proof " to naysayers that communities cannot competently operate telecom networks, despite abundant evidence to the contrary. (Oddly, the fact that three-quarters of new businesses consistently fail is never cited as a reason to outlaw private businesses and neither is the fact that large segments of the fnancial industry and the auto industry collapsed in 2008 and had to be rescued by the public sector.) More signifcantly, a failed public enterprise afects private citizens, some of whom never agreed to support the enterprise in the frst place. Public ventures such as broadband networks carry a special burden of responsibility because of both their potential costs and their potential benefts. A community that hopes to jump-start a lagging economy with the help of a fber network generally has only one chance to get it right. As we said in earlier years, building a community network is not for the faint of heart. GETTING IT RIGHT Tis issue of the magazine – the annual community broadband issue – focuses on how communities can make the best use of that one chance they get. Te articles don't present a single right answer, though Andrew Cohill, in Worst Practices in Community Broadband, ofers a number of common wrong answers. For the most part, the issue focuses on the many possible choices a community can make and the trade-ofs among those choices. Every community faces a diferent situation based on its political climate, its assets, its fnancial situation and its population. Communities must be creative in terms of whether and how they collaborate with the private sector, which business models they choose, how they fnance their networks, which technologies they select, how they market their networks, which services they ofer and much more. Te good news – as I believe the stories in this issue demonstrate – is that there are many paths to success. v Paths to Community Broadband There are many right ways to build a community fber network – as well as a few wrong ones to watch out for.

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