ISPs and real estate developers should tango in public

9 March 2016 by Steve Blum
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It’s more fun when people watch.

Installing modern broadband infrastructure in newly built housing developments often involves a dance between developers, who increasingly want reimbursement for what they believe to be the full cost, and service providers, who want it as cheap as possible and might not be very interested in the first place.

It’s usually a private negotiation, with the results becoming apparent only after people start moving in. In Gonzales, California for example (full disclosure: the City of Gonzales is a client of mine) new housing developments have been left with conduit installed for cable broadband service but never used.… More

City of Gonzales approves simple dig once policy

A simple, one-page dig once/shadow conduit policy was adopted earlier this month by the Gonzales, California city council. The policy is a simple way to give public works staff the ability to include broadband conduit in road maintenance, utility digs and similar projects. It’s an adaptation of a staff-level policy that was implemented by the City of Salinas a few years ago, forming the basis for its recently launched commercial/industrial broadband network initiative.

Under the policy, the assumption is that conduit will be installed any time the city opens up a trench, subject to the public works director’s discretion…

Unless waived by the Public Works Director on the basis of undue burden, or an unfavorable cost-benefit analysis, or the consideration of other relevant factors, Gonzales will install or have installed communications conduit whenever the City undertakes or authorizes the following types of projects:

  1. New street, road, sidewalk, bike path, or other transportation infrastructure construction.

Broadband development game revealed to U.K. home buyers and local councils

5 March 2016 by Steve Blum
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British Telecom is putting its cards on the table for real estate developers (and prospective home buyers) to see. The company has been criticised for not providing fast broadband service to new housing developments. There’s been plenty of finger pointing and blame shifting along the way, with no easy way to tell why some homes get service and some don’t. That’s changing now.

If developers disclose their plans at least nine months (ideally, more) before the first residents are expected to move in, BT will provide

  • Confirmation of whether or not the site is covered by existing [fiber to the cabinet/node] infrastructure, which will be connected for free.

Broadband staff report examples posted to policy bank

31 December 2015 by Steve Blum
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For people who aren’t scared of dull.

It’s one thing to craft good policy, it’s another to get it all the way through the approval process. Which means getting it past, in succession, department heads, city managers and city council members. Which means making it possible for them to not only understand it, but also explain and justify it to members of the public who often have competing interests and deep attachments to their own ideas and priorities.… More

Brentwood FTTH ordinance posted on muni broadband policy bank

23 July 2015 by Steve Blum
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A decision made in 1999 led to a fiber to the home system for Brentwood, California in 2015. Or at least the beginnings of one. is building an FTTH network using conduit installed by developers and deeded over to the City as they built new homes over the past 16 years, the result of an advanced technology systems ordinance that the Brentwood City Council added to its land development code in 1999…

The developer shall design, install, test, and dedicate to the City two advanced technology system conduits, size to be determined, within the public right of way.


The municipal broadband policy bank is open

15 July 2015 by Steve Blum
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Withdrawals are free, deposits are welcome.

Writing good broadband policy is a lot easier when you start with good examples. So thanks to a nudge from the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership, I finally got around to doing something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time: post a collection of the best local broadband development policies that I know.

The result is the new Policy Bank page on this website. It has several examples – in both pdf and source formats – of dig once policies, specifications for conduit, requirements for newly constructed (or significantly remodelled) homes and businesses, tools for managing broadband assets, permitting practices, master leases for telecoms facilities, broadband master plans and general plans.… More