Broadband Communities

AUG-SEP 2016

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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32 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016 COMMUNITY BROADBAND A Community Capacity Checklist What comes after "We'd like broadband"? Here are issues for communities to consider. By Bill Vallée / State of Connecticut M unicipal leaders are already experts in evaluating infrastructure projects such as bridges, roads and schools, so they are, in general, well prepared to implement fiber networks. However, providing telecommunications services has not traditionally fallen within the bailiwick of municipalities but has been the province of private companies. Broadband is just beginning to be regarded as a public necessity, requiring municipal leaders, businesses and residents to assess future internet access requirements even if current needs are satisfied. e following checklist presents issues that municipalities should consider before entering into serious planning for broadband. Towns must carefully evaluate their capacity before they solicit authorization from legislative bodies to contract and finance projects. Many excellent resources are available to towns starting to develop fiber network projects, including articles, primers and toolkits. But before engaging an expert or devoting in-house staff to a detailed exercise, a town must address these basic questions. IS YOUR TOWN READY TO PLAN FOR BROADBAND? • Has town leadership assessed the demand for broadband by residents, businesses and community anchor institutions? Health care, education, public safety, economic development and government services all have growing needs for broadband. – Can the town develop relationships with representatives of these sectors who are knowledgeable about technology implementation and digital inclusion? – Has the town assessed the ability of individuals and groups to access and use information and communications technology? • Does the town have personnel and resources to evaluate, negotiate and construct a fiber network? – Does the town have the capacity to manage construction projects and enter Before engaging an expert or devoting in-house staff to a lengthy, detailed exercise, address these basic questions.

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