Broadband Communities

JAN-FEB 2018

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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J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 | w w w. b r o a d b a n d c o m m u n i t i e s . c o m | B R O A D B A N D C O M M U N I T I E S | 4 1 networks if their citizens do not have access to robust, affordable broadband. Jim Baller, president of the Washington- based law firm Baller Stokes & Lide, believes public support for municipal broadband will grow in 2018, "particularly because the FCC's recent deletion of its rules protecting network neutrality has spurred a groundswell of support for public broadband networks as a potential alternative to dependence on the voluntary restraint of a handful of self-interested and unfettered corporate giants." Baller says communities increasingly believe advanced communications networks are vital for economic development and competitiveness, education, public safety, health care, transportation, environmental protection, urban revitalization, democratic discourse and more. "As a result," he says, "I expect that a growing number of local governments in 2018 will aggressively seek access to such networks by working with willing incumbents, partnering with new entrants, building their own networks where necessary or developing other creative options." Doug Dawson, owner and president of CCG Consulting, expects rural communities to be the most likely to take broadband matters into their own hands. "e digital divide between towns and rural areas is now obvious to everybody," he says. "Rural citizens are demanding that their local governments help them find a broadband alternative. is movement is accelerated by the numerous success stories from proactive communities that have found a broadband solution." In addition to public-private partnerships and other creative solutions, Dawson expects more communities to consider "bringing public financing to help solve the problem." CORD CUTTING WILL ACCELERATE e pay-TV market is facing a "perfect storm," Dawson says, with traditional programmers continuing to raise their rates and over-the-top (OTT) distributors investing in more and more original content. "In 2018, a lot more people are going to be lured into switching to one of the alternatives. e third quarter of 2017 saw the cable providers lose a million customers, and losses will accelerate in 2018." One of those cord cutters was Jaime Fink, chief technology officer of Mimosa Networks. (See "Breaking Up Is Easy to Do," p. 30.) Fink says that because of live sports, reasonable data caps and user-friendly apps, "cord cutting in 2018 will become an increasingly viable option for consumers not wanting to sacrifice their favorite content." Cord cutting is affecting the multifamily market, says Rader. ough condo owners and older renters have not significantly changed their viewing habits, younger residents are much more likely to watch OTT video than traditional TV. In multifamily communities that have a high proportion of young renters, owners that offered bulk TV packages for decades find that residents no longer consider it a technology amenity. In some buildings,

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