Drive Kicks Off to Move 1000 Communities to Broadband

Weary of the wait for broadband, and wary of Congress’ recent efforts to help, Communities United for Broadband (970+ members) has teamed with Broadband Properties Magazine to empower communities to deliver their broadband future now.

Next week, with the goal of assisting 1000 communities to move forward with broadband projects by 2011, Communities United for Broadband begins a program to give project teams basic broadband planning skills. Watching Congress spar with the FCC over the agency‘s effort to implement its far-ranging national broadband plan, an increasing number of communities believe the only way to get broadband that is sufficient to meet their needs is through local action. However, quite a few are uncertain as to how to proceed.

Pulling lessons from gigabit broadband offered today by Wilson, NC and Santa Monica, CA as well as from other similarly impressive networks, strategy expert and Communities United for Broadband Co-Director Craig Settles helps communities create their best solutions. Starting July 7, his series of Webinars guides project teams through the processes communities must address to be successful, from broadband needs assessment to resolving the myriad political challenges communities face.

“The FCC has established broadband goals they hope to achieve over the next 10 years, including 100 Mbps to 100 million homes,” states Settles. “However, many communities have or exceed this capability currently, including Lafayette, LA and Chattanooga, TN. We can achieve the FCC’s goals faster, more efficiently and probably cheaper if we set policy and pass legislation that facilitates communities’ efforts to pave their own way on the information superhighway rather than favors incumbents.”

This biweekly six-Webinar series, beginning July 7 (2:00 p.m. EST) with “12 Steps To Move Broadband From Ideas to Execution,” is one of several tools and tactics Communities United for Broadband is using in its national campaign to help communities initiate more projects. The organization relies on a full range of social networking tools, and will soon add a secure online resource for collaboration between local stakeholders and project teams from cities, towns, counties and states.

Those wishing to attend the first Webinar in the series should follow this link. The remaining session topics in the series are:

7 Ways to Make the Needs Assessment Pay Dividends – Wednesday, July 21

Finding the Right Business Model for Community Broadband – Wednesday, August 4

Show Me the Money: Financing in Rough Economic Times – Wednesday, August 18

You Can Never Have Too Many Partners in Broadband – Wednesday, September 1

When Broadband Becomes Political: 10-Point Survival Guide – Wednesday, September 22

Additional details and Webinar registration procedures will be released at Settles’ blog, “Fighting the Next Good Fight.”

Broadband Properties Magazine, the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for fiber-connected communities, is hosting the “Towns and Technologies” Webinar series. Steven S. Ross, the magazine’s Corporate Editor and Webinar moderator, is a technology writer and former Columbia University professor. He is an expert on broadband technologies, and has authored or edited 19 books. His extensive community government experience includes more than a decade serving on his local planning board and environmental commission.

One Response

  1. Communities in this context must also include new telecom cooperatives in areas where telecom coops were not formed nearly a century ago to provide voice telephone service.

    Many local governments lack the resources and political will to take on this major task given the difficult challenges they are facing in the current economy. They will look to coops to roll out IP telecom infrastructure as NGOs.

    Fred Pilot
    Camino Fiber Network Cooperative
    Camino, CA

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