TGIF. In this week's edition of Gigabites, start spreading the news, Westchester County in New York plans for gigabit broadband in four cities, AT&T drops its GigaPower brand name, Charter sues the city of Louisville and more.
According to a report in The Journal News, the cities of Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, White Plains and Yonkers have joined with the Westchester County Association to launch a public/private partnership aimed at raising funds and orchestrating the planned gigabit rollout. Participants in this initiative, which is being sealed with the signing of a Smart City ComPACT, estimate that the cost of the project will hover at around $750 million, but they acknowledge that it could approach closer to $1 billion.
So far, the Westchester cities haven't decided on a funding approach for their new project. However, three options are reportedly on the table. The cities could contract with a commercial broadband provider, shoulder the long-term cost of gigabit service by building and owning their own network or follow a hybrid model possibly combining city bond initiatives with a commercial partnership that would help spread the cost around.
The Westchester County Association calls the new venture "the first such compact between cities in the nation." But the approach emulates one followed in several other regions where counties or cities join together to pool their resources for gigabit broadband deployment. Other examples include the North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN) project and the Tri-Gig initiative covering the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina. (See Gigabites: NC Cities Issue New Gig RFP.)
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading