Financial Analysis

No final costing can be realized before network engineering, which cannot happen before community approval.  But we can make reasonable estimates.  Trunk wiring on poles or underground will cost our 25 communities about $113 million.  As wire with forty or more years of life without replacement or upgrades, we may be able to get 40 year debt terms at 3%, which will be less than $5.50 per month per home in our region…


What is Broadband

Broadband is an illusive term. Without putting numbers to it, the term simply means high capacity, much more than narrowband. But we must put numbers to it. We accept the FCC definition now, that broadband means 25 mbps download, 3 mbps upload. All uses of the term now for DSL lines or satellite links at speeds much slower are outdated and deceptive…


Simplified Broadband Network

We speak of Digital Packet Networks. They have one job—transfer a packet of binary digital information (bits) from one point on the edge of a network to another point on the edge based on addresses contained in the packet. It is just like the postal service sending letters. The network itself is fashioned from just two kinds of things—switches and links connecting switches together, rather like intersections and roads. The weakest link is the “last mile” created from old copper telephone and cable television wiring…


Our Proposed Network

We are proposing a regional network with fiber-optic last mile links operating at 1 gbps to every home and business in our region.  The network will have a community component—the wires on the poles called trunk wiring—and a private partner component—the drop wiring from the pole to the home, home networks, and a regional electronic network.  It will be just like we treat roads…

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What Others Have Done

Hundreds of communities in America have built their own fiber optic networks. Most are small, but the poster child for such networks, Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a medium sized city whose electric utility controls the Tennessee Valley Authority. No large city has undertaken the effort, but not for want of serious interest in doing so; San Francisco and Seattle circle the idea every year.  Our incumbent carriers are not connecting everyone, much like electricity a century ago.  And they are not moving swiftly enough to next generation networks because the incremental returns do not justify the costs. Just like electricity a century ago, communities are finding that they must build fiber optic networks themselves. Here are some of their stories.

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