Gigabites: Anchor Institutions Aim High
TGIF. In this week's Gigabites, anchor institutions weigh in on gigabit broadband plans, Google Fiber postpones its Portland plans, the NTCA celebrates rural gigabit broadband success stories and more.
Among the themes that the SHLB touts are public/private partnerships and broadband competition. Notably, the coalition emphasizes the wide array of both technical and business model options available for gigabit deployments.
On the technology side, the SHLB highlights the opportunities around dark and lit fiber, WiFi, cellular and cable networks. On the business model side, the group cites options for working with traditional broadband providers, alternate service providers, municipalities and research and education organizations, as well as the possibility of institutions deciding to build their own networks.
The SHLB action plan comes as communities have increasingly experimented with new strategies for extending broadband access. Many of these strategies involve collaborative efforts that lead to innovative funding models and initiatives that tie together government, research and commercial interests. In one representative example, the city of Columbus, Ohio is leasing out its own fiber network to private service providers and also using those financial partnerships to encourage new investment and application development. (See CNX: Smart Software for Smart Cities.)
In another, more than 15 communities have now joined the US Ignite Smart Gigabit Communities program with a goal of creating and sharing new applications designed to propel further business interest and investment in gigabit deployments. (See White House Funding Seeds Smart Cities.)
In still another example, multiple broadband coalitions that partner municipal governments with universities have now sprung up in North Carolina, including the North Carolina Next-Generation Network and the Tri-Gig initiative. (See Gigabit Net Builders Share Lessons Learned.)
Contractors reportedly told the newspaper that the buildout is being postponed for at least several months. In a statement, Google Fiber said that exploring the possibilities in Portland "means deploying the latest technologies in alignment with our product roadmap, while understanding local requirements and challenges, which takes time." The response is leading to speculation that Google Fiber could be considering alternative technologies like fixed wireless broadband to bring gigabit service to Portland.
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading