Broadband Communities

OCT 2017

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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OCTOBER 2017 | | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | 45 go around, so they will deploy networks in the most profitable communities. But if the localities can do the financing, manage the rights of way and permitting, and then open up the networks for private operation, we believe that can be the best of both worlds. We work with national carriers, too, and we see that they want to dictate the terms of these partnerships. Municipalities have to stick to their guns a little bit. When a private carrier wants to be the sole provider on a municipal network, that's the line that needs to be defined. at's the challenge in front of us. ere will be different models for partnerships, but there still have to be general standards. For example, Seattle did a study about whether it should have a municipally funded network and came back with a recommendation of "No" because the municipality would not get the take rates to be viable. … Sometimes a municipal network is appropriate, and sometimes it's not. ere has to be a responsible assessment of how these networks can be profitable. BBC: How can municipalities encourage competition on their networks? CB: Personally, I believe that putting separate fibers in the same trench is the best model because it allows providers to have control over their planning. e most expensive part of the build is connecting homes … but even there, a city can lay 1-inch conduit in the ground all the way to the premises and allow multiple providers to use it. Service providers can lay pushable fiber or additional microduct inside the conduit to leverage the city's deployment. If you can separate the network builder from the operator, that expands the pool of operators beyond utility providers. Cities are good at building infrastructure and at tax financing – those are advantages they can leverage. By laying separate fibers, they avoid the other challenges of open access. Providers don't have to share fiber, and they have autonomy. e biggest challenge is with video service, because without scale it's difficult to be competitive. … ere are two ways to deal with it: Either be a renegade and work with over-the-top video, or be transparent about programming costs and help create a consumer backlash. A lot of municipal providers find they can't compete without a bundle that includes video.

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