It’s been a pretty busy week, and a lot of my writing has been directed to other blogs instead of mine. Here’s a roundup of excerpts and links to a few to help your broadband stimulus grant prep work.
Within a 24-hour period last week, the Senate and House sent both bills to committees for study, effectively killing that line of attack for a year.
Instead of spending all that money on lobbyists and public campaigns to stifle community efforts, Time Warner, et. al., should be flying their designers into these rural areas to find out how they’re pulling this off. The argument that you need to legislate a level playing field is ridiculous. You don’t have a 100 Mbps product to compete with and it’s not clear when you will. These towns with far fewer resources than private sector companies are delivering the service with satisfied customers now. Don’t kill these projects, figure out how to clone them! Or partner with them.
After sitting through and reading about the numerous public comment meetings on the broadband stimulus bill, it’s clear to me that partnerships are all the rage right now. Rugged individualism is not a winning trait at the moment. Even if yours is the poster child for unserved communities, there’s too little money and too few federal agency staff facing too many entities wanting and needing a piece of the stimulus pie to realistically deal with oodles of small applications.
If the heart of your broadband network’s sustainability plan is selling subscriptions to individual residents, you should re-think your plan. Were the network a house, this is similar to fixating on making a classy roof while ignoring the strength of your foundation.
Smart cities go after financially superior alternatives. Towns such as Fredericton, New Brunswick in Canada bring the largest local businesses into a room and have everyone chip in to underwrite the network operating costs. Each business gets broadband superior service for a cheaper price. Or like Santa Monica, CA, you focus on selling fiber services to local businesses. This helped generate ver $2 million in operating capital for their network.
Not a post, but a recent article on the question in Christian Science Monitor