Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Regional FTTP initiatives may have better odds of success than municipal projects

Broadband for all: 8 next steps for Seattle | Crosscut: According to the city’s study, Seattle would have to invest $460 million to $660 million in building this network. Seattle would need to get 43 percent of potential customers choosing the service at $75 a month in order to break even. Such a “take rate” is virtually impossible due to the serious competition already in place from Comcast, Wave, CenturyLink, Verizon, AT&T and other services. 

Seattle's situation shows that local government efforts to build universal fiber to the premise (FTTP) telecommunications infrastructure face high financial hurdles in urban areas where there are multiple incumbent providers.

Unlike municipal projects like these, regional FTTP initiatives in less urbanized parts of the United States where incumbent telephone and cable companies have less infrastructure and there are sizable areas lacking any landline Internet connectivity options may face better odds of financial viability. One such example is WiredWest, a cooperative of 44 Western Massachusetts towns that is in the formative stages and picking up speed quickly.

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