Strategic Action Plans for High-Speed Broadband
Affordability is as important as access.
HUNT continues to support municipalities and organizations as they deploy broadband in rural, suburban, and urban environments. Those project successes are highlighted by the provision of large-scale accessibility and affordability.
Strategic Action Plans
Broadband as a Utility
Open Access Network
1. Geographic P3 — Requires a municipal commitment to the proper action plan that leverages substantial grant funding. The grant creates an attractive arrangement as an Internet Service Provider (ISP) operates the network, and the County receives a share of the revenue. A Geographic P3 plan also aggressively expedites the deployment.
2. Broadband as a Utility — A municipal infrastructure model like water and sewer, this plan utilizes municipal ROW, controls user cost, and subcontracts operations.
3. Targeted Affordability — Applies to new and existing multi-family housing, whether public or private, affordable, or market-rate. This plan develops an affordable system that allows many owners to include internet service in rental payments and subcontract operations to ISPs.
4. Open Access Networks — This is the construction of area-wide, middle-mile infrastructure. Project sponsors receive payment from ISPs that rent network capacity and complete optical Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH).
HUNT GUIDE to a Successful Action Plan:
1. In developing an action plan, a simple “gap analysis” identifies deficiencies and can be bolstered by a funding plan that includes census tract data that has been examined and thoroughly vetted. A successful grant application would include HUNT’s unique mapping method, preliminary network design, environmental review, financials, and a business model. Maximum coverage is the objective. The project needs to deliver a minimum of 100 Mbps Down/100 Up. HUNT recommends symmetrical speeds via optical fiber for future applications.
2. The probable cost of construction needs to be engineering-based. HUNT enhances project planning by calculating a contingency/incidental amount that meets the funding guidelines. This total project cost establishes the grant and local match amounts, after which HUNT advises clients during revenue-sharing negotiations with ISPs.
3. For Geographic P3 plans, it is essential to engage ISPs early. ISPs’ willingness and capability are key to the partnership. A business model is developed that includes revenue sharing with the ISP, take-rates, and schedule. HUNT advises municipalities in these negotiations.
4. Broadband as a Utility projects allow municipalities to establish the cost to users. Overhead is avoided by subcontracting all operations, including customer support and solution management.
5. HUNT’s Targeted Affordability approach places the owner in a strong position to negotiate with ISPs for
long-term economical service that extends beyond a single bulk-rate contract. Systems operations will be supported by a technology contractor, thus eliminating overhead costs. This approach will let owners assure low-cost internet to their tenants.
6. Open Access Networks connect county buildings, schools, healthcare, and emergency response providers. This plan provides competition between ISPs wishing to rent network capacity.