Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 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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SUMMIT COVERAGE 5 2 | B R O A D B A N D C O M M U N I T I E S | 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 | M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 8 Putting the Gigs to Work Highlights of the 2018 Broadband Communities Summit held in May in Austin, Texas A BBC Staff Report E ach community has unique reasons to demand better broadband. e Great Communities session at the Summit presented two very different California communities, built a half-century ago about 100 miles apart. One is a small, urban condo apartment building, and the other is a luxurious private oceanfront community with award- winning architecture and a world-class golf course. Until recently, both communities had inadequate broadband, and in both cases, the resident owners eventually succeeded in securing FTTH networks. Both have increased their property values as a result. Of the 38 units at 407 Orange St. in Oakland, a majority were occupied by people who worked from home at least some of the time. Residents were frustrated that the DSL network in the building provided only 6 Mbps at the best of times. As time went on, their bandwidth needs increased, and the network became increasingly inadequate. ey researched the possibility of installing an FTTH network in the building and even requested bids for constructing such a network. However, with bids in the $60,000 to $80,000 range, they eventually decided the cost was too steep. Finally, in 2016, Associa, the management company retained by the condo association, learned that AT&T had begun to install gigabit fiber in Oakland and suggested that AT&T Fiber might be a good fit for the condo. AT&T proposed a solution that met the condo's aesthetic and connectivity needs and proposed to cover the entire cost of the deployment. e new network went live in May 2017, and by March 2018, 60 percent of the residents subscribed to fiber services. A hundred miles north of Oakland, residents of e Sea Ranch – a primarily vacation-home community that includes both owner-occupied and rented units – suffered from even worse connectivity. Obsolete cable plant kept broadband speeds below 3 Mbps, and internet access was often nonexistent. Cellular service was also spotty. Deployment challenges included the oceanfront location, large lots and California's strict environmental reviews, which required permits from 23 state and local entities. e Sea Ranch was unsuccessful in attracting a provider to invest in a fiber network. However, its homeowners had deep financial resources and ultimately decided to pay for their own network through a special assessment. Why Do Homeowners Want Fiber? Heather Burnett Gold, Fiber Broadband Association: I served on the FCC's Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, and no one knows the purpose of it or how the model codes will be used. I'm proud of some things, such as the creation of asset inventories that communities need to have in place to inform the investment case. … And there was good language on the one-touch make-ready process. But what are these codes for? Heather Burnett Gold, FBA

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