Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2012

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.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 26 of 118

117 Models for Community Broadband – and Counting destinies to improve their quality of life and economic viability. O ver the last year, this magazine's count of public and public- private fiber-to-the-premises networks rose from 106 to 117 – an in- crease of 10 percent. Te additions to the list include several new projects, a few older projects that were missed in earlier counts, and one network (iProvo) that was returned from private to public ownership. Early-stage projects are continuing to move forward, and many already op- erating networks are expanding or add- ing new types of customers and services. In addition, a number of public broad- band projects are being planned today and are likely to be added to the list in the next year. Public entities build fiber networks to give their communities a competi- tive edge. However, there is no single model for public broadband – in fact, it would be more accurate to say there are 117 different models. Municipalities face a variety of legal and competitive landscapes, employ different financing methods, enter into many kinds of part- nerships, operate their systems in diverse ways, deliver different sets of services to different types of customers, and bring varying resources and competencies to the task. Local differences far outweigh the simple fact of public ownership. Although a number of municipal broadband projects have met with noisy opposition, including lawsuits and legis- lative action, the majority appear to be uncontroversial. Many are altogether under the radar, and others are sources of civic pride. By Masha Zager ■ Broadband Communities An increasing number of communities are taking charge of their broadband In many communities, publicly owned fiber-to-the-home networks are sources of civic pride as well as economic renewal. WHO'S ON THE LIST? All the network deployers on this list • Are public entities, consortia of public entities, consortia of public and pri- vate entities or, in a few cases, private entities that benefited from signifi- cant investment or participation by local governments. • Own all-fiber networks that con- nect local homes or businesses to the Internet (or are actively developing such networks). • Make available – directly or through retailers – such services as voice, In- ternet access or video (or are plan- ning such services). Excluded are the many municipali- ties that provide broadband services ex- clusively for city facilities and schools, those that serve private entities only by leasing dark fiber and those that provide broadband services only over cable or wireless networks. Tis list includes only organizations with functioning networks or with ap- proved plans and funding. However, About the Author Masha Zager is the editor of BROADBAND COMMUNITIES. You can reach her at 20 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | MAY/JUNE 2012 plans do not always materialize; several projects well beyond the wishful-think- ing stage that were reported on earlier versions of the list failed to survive. Oth- ers, although still in existence (and still on this list), are behind where they ex- pected to be at this point. Some of these projects may never become operational. Multiple-municipality projects are becoming more common. Such projects can achieve economies of scale in con- struction and operation and, by aggre- gating 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 proj- ects are ECFiber in Vermont, SMBS in Minnesota (featured in this issue) and FastRoads in New Hampshire. Other examples include a number of county- wide networks as well as LENOWISCO, which includes three counties and a city in Virginia. Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband is a consortium initiated by the University of Illinois (a state agency)

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Broadband Communities - MAY-JUN 2012