Craig Settles’ Broadband Question of the Day (July 27)

Today’s question comes from David Allen of Midwest Energy Cooperative

What is the minimum customer density per mile necessary to get attractive financial results for a fiber project?

I would actually come at this question from a different perspective. Determining financial sustainability based on population density assumes a community is banking on subscriptions from consumers being enough to sustain the network.  I strongly believe this is the weakest pillar holding up your business plan, whether you’re a private or public sector organization.

The two reasons a residents-first strategy is shaky is that 1) consumers can be expensive to close, plus they’re difficult and expensive to retain, particularly once a competitor comes into the market; and 2) in many rural areas, even with concentrated pockets of homes, the total number of houses may be insufficient to cover CapEx (buildout) and OpEx (operating/upgrading costs).

Continue reading

The Old Spice Man, the FCC’s 706 and Broadband

I was oblivious to the Old Spice Man YouTube buzz for days before seeing a tweet by a friend swooning over this guy. So I checked out several vids. When I stopped laughing, three thoughts hit me.

Holy midlife crisis, Batman! I gotta start getting to the gym earlier now to beat the rush. Then my subconscious kicked in with: business communication is being seriously transformed and a lot of people are going to miss this boat. Finally, a familiar theme rolled up. We’ll soon see once again that the incumbent emperors don’t have any clothes, for I truly doubt they’re ready for the looming transformation.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this week’s FCC 706 Report on broadband in the U.S. delivered to Congress slaps down again a lot of the industry’s b.s. about the “perfect competitive world” of broadband. The Old Spice dude fits into this discussion, how? His rise to icon status and what that rise portends ties directly to one of the key findings in the FCC’s report: less than half of broadband connections in the U.S. are capable of receiving a high definition video stream and less than 2% can send such a stream.

Continue reading

Craig Settles’ Broadband Question of the Day (July 26)

I’m two Webinars into a six-session series and they’re going very well. But I’m getting more great questions than I can answer in my sessions. So every day – well, Monday-Friday – I’m going to answer some of the ones I didn’t get to.

You’ll have no excuse for missing any. You can subscribe to this blog’s RSS feed, follow me on Twitter (@cjsettles), or hook up with the Facebook page for Communities United for Broadband to get a heads up on the day’s question.

Today’s question comes from Roel Coert (didn’t provide organization name).

With open access, is it difficult to attract service providers to offer the basic triple play plus innovative services?

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: