The Broadband GSD Ten – September

The GSD Ten highlights communities from among the dozens that are Getting Stuff Done with effective broadband networks. This monthly listing challenges false assumptions from detractors by presenting strong testimony to the fact that local government can indeed operate successful networks.

As a primer, read this post that debunks three leading myths about these projects, and explains why many of the broadband stimulus grant proposals are for community-run networks. Then check out this month’s GSD Ten.

These networks are a good cross section of those run by local governments, public utilities and public/private partnerships in which everyone has skin in the game. I also pulled in a mix of city, county and regional networks, as well as Prestonburg, KY’s limited-reach network that covers its downtown area.

Franklin County, VA

Population: 52,000 Square miles: 721
Network Type: Fixed wireless, unlicensed Sq Miles: ~650
Date started: January, 2006 Network owner: Public/private
Initial investment: $90,000 Source: Fed. grants, General Fund
Business subs: 250 – 300 Individual subs: 1,500 – 2,000
Speeds offered (down/up): 1.5 – 3.5 mbps/1.4 – 2.0 mbps
Institutional stakeholders subscribing:

  • County government
  • Libraries
  • Public safety

Key contributors to sustainability:

  • County government
  • Individual/residential subscribers
  • All business subscribers collectively

Wilson, NC

Population: 49,000 Square miles: 23
Network Type: Fiber Sq Miles: 23
Date started: November, 2006 Network owner: City government
Initial investment: $28 million Source: Bank loans
Business subs: 200 Individual subs: 3,400
Speeds offered: 10 – 100 mbps
Institutional stakeholders subscribing:

  • City government
  • 4-year colleges
  • Public safety
  • medical facilities
  • community college
  • 1 or more of top 10 private companies

Key contributors to sustainability:

  • Individual/residential subscribers

Cedar Falls, IA

Population: 38,000 Square miles: 29
Network Type: Hybrid fiber-coax Sq Miles: 29
Date started: January, 1996 Network owner: Public utility
Initial investment: $8 million Source: G.O bonds
Business subs: 400 Individual subs: 11,000
Speeds offered (down/up): 8 mbps/512K (home) 8 -100 mbps (commercial)
Institutional stakeholders subscribing:

  • City government
  • Libraries
  • Public safety
  • K-12 public schools
  • 4-year colleges
  • medical facilities
  • 1 or more of top 10 private companies

Key contributors to sustainability:

  • Individual/residential subscribers
  • All business subscribers collectively

Allegany County, MD

Population: 73,600 Square miles: 430
Network Type: Wireless (900MHz, Wi-Fi, 4.9GHz, 5.XGHz) Sq Miles: 430
Date started: June, 2005 Network owner: Gov’t. + stakeholders
Initial investment: $5 million Source: OpEx, other savings, grants
Business subs: 55 Individual subs: 1,400
Speeds offered: 1 – 3 mbps (residential) 10 – 100 mbps (commercial)
Institutional stakeholders subscribing:

  • City government
  • County government
  • Libraries
  • Public safety
  • K-12 public schools
  • 4-year colleges
  • Medical facilities
  • 1 or more of top 10 private companies

Key contributors to sustainability:

  • County government
  • City governments
  • K-12 public schools
  • 1 or more of top 10 private companies
  • Libraries

Tacoma, WA

Population: 196,000 Square miles: 49
Network Type: Hybrid fiber-coax Sq Miles: ~ 28
Date started: December, 1999 Network owner: Public utility
Initial investment: $96 million Source: Tacoma Power surplus
Business subs: 6 retail service providers Individual subs: 18,000
Speeds offered (down/up): 3 – 15 mbps/256K – 1 mbps
Institutional stakeholders subscribing:

  • City government
  • County government
  • Libraries
  • Public safety
  • K-12 public schools
  • 4-year colleges
  • Medical facilities
  • 1 or more of top 10 private companies
  • Community colleges

Key contributors to sustainability:

  • City government
  • County government
  • Libraries
  • Public safety
  • K-12 public schools
  • 4-year colleges
  • Medical facilities
  • All business subscribers collectively
  • Individual/residential subscribers
  • Community colleges

Cambria County, PA

Population: 152,593 Square miles: 693
Network Type: Wireless (900MHz, Wi-Fi, 5.XGHz) Sq Miles: 693
Date started: June, 2008 Network owner: County government
Initial investment: $10 million Source: Capital lease from bank
Business subs: 100 Individual subs: 700
Speeds offered: 1 – 15 mbps (30 mbps wholesale)
Institutional stakeholders subscribing:

  • City government
  • County government
  • Public safety
  • 4-year colleges
  • Medical facilities
  • 1 or more of top 10 private companies

Key contributors to sustainability:

  • County government
  • Public Safety

Pulaski

Population: 8,000 Square miles: 6.6
Network Type: Fiber Sq Miles: 10
Date started: March, 2007 Network owner: Public utility
Initial investment: $8.5 million Source: G.O. bonds
Business subs: 160 Individual subs: 1,450
Speeds offered: 10 – 30 mbps
Institutional stakeholders subscribing:

  • City government
  • County government
  • Libraries
  • Public safety
  • K-12 public schools
  • 4-year colleges
  • Medical facilities
  • 1 or more of top 10 private companies

Key contributors to sustainability:

  • Individual/residential subscribers
  • All business subscribers collectively

Scottsburg, IN

Population: 5,900 Square miles: 5
Network Type: Fixed wireless Sq Miles: City + portions of 9 counties
Date started: April, 2004 Network owner: City government
Initial investment: $5 million Source: Grants, OpEx savings
Business subs: 128 Individual subs: 1,726
Speeds offered (down/up): 128k – 3 mbps
Institutional stakeholders subscribing:

  • City government
  • County government
  • Libraries
  • Public safety
  • Community colleges
  • Medical facilities
  • 1 or more of top 10 private companies

Key contributors to sustainability:

  • City governments
  • 1 or more of top 10 private companies

Santa Monica, CA

Population: 84,100 Square miles: 8.3
Network Type: WiFi hotzones, 2 Fiber Sq Miles: 8
Date started: November, 2004 Network owner: City government
Initial investment: $530,000 Source: OpEx savings
Business subs: 9 Individual subs: 0
Speeds offered: 1 – 3 mbps (wireless) 10 mbps – 10 Gbps (fiber)
Institutional stakeholders subscribing:

  • City government
  • Community colleges
  • Libraries
  • Public safety
  • K-12 public schools
  • 4-year colleges
  • Medical facilities
  • 1 or more of top 10 private companies

Key contributors to sustainability:

  • City government
  • Community colleges
  • Libraries
  • Public safety
  • K-12 public schools
  • 4-year colleges
  • Medical facilities
  • 1 or more of top 10 private companies

Prestonburg, KY

Population: 4,600 Square miles: 11
Network Type: WiFi Linear Miles: 2
Date started: January, 2008 Network owner: City government
Initial investment: $10,000 Source: City budget
Business users: 3890 (incl tourist customers) Individual users: 4752
Speeds offered: 3.5 mbps
Institutional stakeholders subscribing:

  • City government
  • Community college
  • Libraries
  • K-12 public schools
  • 4-year colleges
  • Medical facilities
  • 1 or more of top 10 private companies

Key contributors to sustainability: The city underwrites cost of network operations. The cost is justified through a tax revenue increase generated by new businesses and increased shopping in the downtown area.

Click here to read lessons we can learn from these communities.

One Response

  1. […] the good of consumers and businesses to appease companies whose technology is lagging. I compiled a list of 10 communities from dozens in the U.S. that have built their own networks, or partnered (i.e. have skin in the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,681 other followers

%d bloggers like this: