Thursday, March 24, 2011

More patient capital the key advantage of community telecom infrastrucuture

Craig Settles explains the advantages of community fiber telecom infrastructure in this Government Technology piece.  The key advantage over investor-owed infrastructure can be summed up in three words: more patient capital.  Telecom infrastructure built by local governments and cooperatives doesn't need a return on investment in just 3-5 years -- an inherent flaw of the investor-owed business model given the high capital cost of constructing and operating it. 

Settles correctly notes there is money to be made for private players -- if they are willing to partner with communities in open access fiber projects and abandon the outdated business model of 100 percent ownership and monopolistic control.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Communities must build fiber telecom infrastructure where incumbents cannot

As bandwidth demand grows exponentially for Internet protocol-based telecommunications, Geoff Daily aptly notes the debate over what infrastructure can best deliver it to customers is over. Only fiber can do the job, he writes on his blog App-Rising. The task, therefore, is to bring it to their doorsteps. "With this context we can now define fiber-to-the-home as bringing the full power of the Internet to your front door," Daily writes.

Indeed. Daily adds to get there, public policymakers and consumers must be educated on the significance of fiber telecom infrastructure. And we must end the useless demonizing of for-profit providers whose business models don't allow them to both bring fiber to consumers' premises and make money for their investors. Don't expect them to do something they can't.

Instead, I would add, consumers must find alternative business models to build vital fiber-based telecommunications infrastructure in their communities not served by investor-owned providers. I'm not just talking the talk here. I'm walking the walk in my own community. I encourage other communities to do so as well.

 
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