Is Municipal Broadband the Right Solution for Your Community?

Is Municipal Broadband the Right Solution for Your Community?

The future is bright for municipal fiber broadband.

According to the 2021 Fiber Provider Study, the U.S. is entering the largest investment cycle ever. And thanks to updated rules from the U.S. Treasury, more communities will qualify for ARP funding under new eligibility requirements for municipal broadband projects.

With the influx of funding, large and small New England towns and cities considering broadband investment are grappling with the same question: Should we partner with an existing internet service provider to expand broadband or bypass telecom monopolies to build a municipally owned fiber network?

Many towns already have formed broadband committees to find the right answer for their communities. While the benefits of municipal ownership are clear and compelling, it is important to consider the options and make informed decisions.

Underserved areas with multiple providers must be prepared to compete against entrenched incumbents for subscribers. The challenge for unserved areas is finding affordable ways to provide universal service. It’s not easy, but it is possible with community support.

A growing number of towns in our region, including Sertex customers Crossroads Fiber in Chicopee MA, and Fibersonic in South Hadley MA, are reaching and exceeding take-rate targets with smart consumer marketing campaigns. In remote unserved areas, Sertex is working with small towns including Shutesbury MA, New Shoreham RI, and Sharon CT, to use innovative financing to install drops and recover costs.

Before embarking on a full-blown feasibility study, here are three fundamental questions to ask at the start of the planning process:

  1. Is universal, equitable access to all homes and businesses a top priority?
  2. Do you want to control the network infrastructure, service levels, and pricing?
  3. Are you prepared to galvanize community support?

Achieving alignment around these three questions can help guide decision-making and lay the foundation for successful broadband initiatives. If your town wants to own the fiber future, Sertex is ready to help.

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If you would like your community to be open for business with a revenue-generating high-speed fiber network, give us a call.

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