Blog

FEB

15

Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition Publishes CTC’s Fiber Cost Estimate and Approach to Connecting Rural Communities

With an open, competitive, and coordinated effort, it would cost $13 billion to $19 billion to connect all unserved schools, libraries, health providers, community colleges, and other anchor institutions (outside of Alaska) to fiber. That’s the estimate CTC developed in its study for the Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition—part of an effort to develop a concrete strategy for addressing the rural digital divide.

The cost estimate takes into consideration the different infrastructure requirements posed by the county’s various geographies and population densities. It focuses on connecting anchor institutions because, based on our analysis, doing so would bring fiber to within the ZIP code of 95 percent of the U.S. population.

Read the full report here.

Published: Thursday, February 15, 2018 by CTC Technology & Energy

JAN

31

CTC President Joanne Hovis Testifies Before U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on “Closing the Digital Divide: Broadband Infrastructure Solutions”

CTC’s president, Joanne Hovis, testified yesterday before a House subcommittee about the critical importance of local participation in broadband planning. She noted that successful local efforts include ones that leverage public assets to build infrastructure and attract private investment. Around the country, such approaches are closing the digital divide in rural areas and “urban deserts” alike.

Despite this, local governments are being vilified at the FCC and elsewhere in Washington as the primary impediments to wireless broadband deployment. And a surge of state legislation threatens to preempt local authority in wireless siting on public property.

In CTC’s experience, local governments are among the most important players addressing the broadband challenge. Joanne refuted the suggestion that preemption of local authority would incent private deployment. Such preemption would not change the challenging economics of deploying in rural and other unserved areas—it would simply make deployments more profitable in already-served metropolitan areas. Joanne noted that this is especially true when it comes to 5G wireless deployments, which are not being planned by wireless carriers for rural areas—and are not technically appropriate in such areas—and so should not be used as a policy rationale for preemption.

Joanne’s full testimony—delivered to the Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology—follows below. (A PDF copy of Joanne’s testimony can be downloaded here.)

Chairman Blackburn, Ranking Member Doyle, Members of the Subcommittee—thank you for having me here. And thank you for your commitment to bridging the digital divide. My name is Joanne Hovis. I am president of CTC Technology & Energy, a communications engineering and planning consultancy serving the public sector.

I am also CEO of the Coalition for Local Internet Choice, a non-profit entity that brings together public and private entities that believe solving our nation’s broadband challenges requires a full range of options. And this includes locally-driven efforts to deploy networks and create public-private collaboration.

As we look forward to Super Bowl Sunday, I suggest today that our country’s drive to bridge the digital divide is a critical test of our ability to develop a winning strategy on one of the most important playing fields of the 21st century.

My comments focus on two critical questions about this essential effort. My first question is, do we actually have a winning strategy? Much of the current discussion here in Washington seems premised on the idea that a winning broadband strategy will smash so-called barriers, such as environmental permitting, local process, and costs of access to public facilities. The premise is wrong. In reality, the fundamental reason we do not see comprehensive broadband deployment throughout the United States is that areas with high infrastructure costs per user, particularly rural areas, fail to attract private capital. This is not surprising. Nor is it a value judgment. It is simply how private investment works. If return on investment is low or nonexistent, the investment will not be made.

To solve this, state, local, and federal governments can take steps to improve the economics of broadband deployment in areas where investment has been insufficient. These areas include not only rural communities, but also underserved urban areas such as small business locations in cities and suburbs, as well as low-income areas where adoption is low and incumbents see no return that justifies network upgrades. Particular attention and support must be directed to those areas; without such efforts, private dollars will continue to flow primarily to the most profitable areas.

A better game-plan would involve these plays:

  • First, support public–private partnerships that ease the economic challenges of constructing rural and urban infrastructure
  • Second, incent local efforts to build infrastructure—ones that private service providers can use—by making bonding and other financing strategies more feasible, potentially through reduced interest payments or expanded use of tax-exempt bonds
  • Third, target meaningful infrastructure capital support to rural and urban broadband deserts, not only to attract private capital but also to stimulate private efforts to gain or retain competitive advantage
  • Fourth, empower local governments to pursue broadband solutions of all types, including use of public assets to attract and shape private investment patterns, so as to leverage taxpayer-funded property and create competitive dynamics that attract incumbent investment
  • Fifth, require all entities that benefit from public subsidy, including access to public assets, to make enforceable commitments to build in areas that are historically unserved or underserved
  • And, maximize the benefits of competition by requiring that all federal subsidy programs are offered on a competitive and neutral basis for bid by any qualified entity

Such strategies directly address the core reason the digital divide persists: lack of return on investment in many areas of the country.

Let me be very clear why the current strategy doesn’t squarely face the challenge. Current efforts are focused on reducing the private sector’s costs of doing business, such as by removing local processes, waiving environmental protections, and forcing local communities to subsidize carrier access to public property. All of this simply makes more profitable the already profitable areas of the country. Reducing those requirements does not fundamentally change the economics of broadband deployment in areas where return-on-investment is challenging because the local processes and environmental and historic protections are such a small part of the economics of reaching and serving a rural area.1 Rather, at best, these efforts tinker at the margins of broadband economics; at worst, they distract from the key issues and misdirect resources.

If we want to solve deployment issues in rural and low-income areas, we must target our solutions to those areas, and the solutions we choose must be adequate to the task. One-size-fits-all approaches will not bridge the digital divide because they effectively provide most of their benefit to providers in better-served areas that don’t need incentives, without requiring the providers to invest some of their windfalls in more challenging areas. In other words, legislation or regulatory activity that purports to remove so-called barriers like local processes and fees may make for more profitable carriers in well-served areas. But they won’t be sufficient to incent deployment in rural and urban broadband deserts.

Furthermore, if these strategies are premised on the idea that removing so-called barriers will lead to rural deployment of the emerging wireless technologies known as “5G,” it’s critical to know that no credible engineer, market analyst, or carrier is claiming that 5G deployment is planned or technically appropriate for rural areas. This is because 5G, which is still in developmental stages, is a wireless technology for very fast communications over very short distances. No wireless carrier would use 5G to serve low-density rural areas, any more than a team would focus on short-yard plays when far from the end zone, behind at the end of the fourth-quarter. If the goal is to attract private capital to rural communities, making wireless deployment more profitable in high-return metropolitan markets is exactly the wrong way to do it.

In summary: Doubling down on existing broadband investment patterns by making them even more profitable will not close this nation’s digital divide. Rather, this approach is like moving the ball a few inches and calling it a touchdown.

My second question about our digital divide strategy is: Do we have the right players on the field? Let me suggest that local governments have proven themselves most valuable players in creating and incenting broadband deployment for many years—and that it’s counterproductive to vilify localities based on the evidence-free assertion that local efforts and local processes restrict or disincent private deployment.

The assumption that the federal government is more motivated to enable deployment of this critical economic development infrastructure ignores the immediacy of the broadband need and the digital divide for local officials. And the assumption that the federal government is more competent to develop strategies to incent broadband deployment ignores the experience of the past decade, which demonstrates that local governments, given the opportunity, will apply creativity, local resources, physical assets, and diligence to try to solve broadband problems. For example, when Google Fiber first got started, more than 1,100 communities offered access to infrastructure, data, and other help to try and attract the company.

And they are not alone. Hundreds of localities have reached out to companies like AT&T and other incumbents, C-Spire, Ting Internet, Metronet, ALLO Communications, and many others to offer what amount to economic development packages and other incentives in return for commitments to deploy broadband infrastructure. Local collaborations are in formation between public and private sectors in hundreds of communities, to the benefit of both. The federal and state governments should not disrupt them.

Make no mistake: It is in areas where localities have been free to use their creativity, public assets, and legal authority to incent opportunity where we have seen some of the most robust broadband deployment. Observe the small towns in the Tennessee Valley that are connected with ubiquitous community-owned fiber optics; the Google Fiber cities where incumbents, led by AT&T, have greatly increased their upgrade investments to react to the threat of competition; the communities in Mississippi that competed to attract C-Spire investment; the Indiana towns that developed economic development packages to attract Metronet; and so many others. The data are clear: The areas of the country with the best infrastructure and the liveliest competition are areas where localities have been able to engage in addressing their broadband needs based on local strategies and local needs.

Is it wise or appropriate for the federal government to interfere with those and many other potential local initiatives? Is the federal government better able to understand how to work with companies to meet both private and community needs? And is it really accurate to assume that industry giants like AT&T and Verizon cannot ably negotiate with localities—and require the intervention of the federal government to protect them?

Broadband is an existential issue for many local governments. No one recognizes better than an elected local official the importance of broadband to the economic vitality of a community, and its attractiveness for residents, workers, and businesses.

In short, it’s counter-productive to tie the hands of the public officials—the very people who have the greatest incentive to solve these problems effectively and efficiently.

Let me share a few examples of the local motivation and creativity I see throughout the country:

  • In Spring Hill, Kansas and Pikeville, Kentucky, local communities are seeking to deploy fiber optic infrastructure to enable private sector service provision and competition as part of a broader economic development strategy. In Pikeville, the goal is to replace the declining coal economy with a coding economy, which is possible only with robust and plentiful broadband.
  • Seattle has sought ideas from the private sector and has developed strategies for enabling wireless broadband service to low-income communities and users; the City is considering strategies to incent companies to serve lower-income parts of the City.
  • In Gallup, New Mexico, the city’s utility seeks to deploy infrastructure for public safety that will also enable private sector services in an area where private sector infrastructure deployment has not emerged.
  • San Francisco is considering establishing an innovative public–private partnership that would ensure deployment and provision of ubiquitous best-in-class services with particularly attractive and affordable pricing for the 150,000 San Francisco residents who are not currently able to purchase existing high bandwidth products.
  • In Michigan, a number of rural townships that are unserved with broadband are seeking to build broadband infrastructure in their rights-of-way and partner with private entities for service provision. A local non-profit, the Michigan Broadband Cooperative, formed to work with and coordinate among the townships so that they can learn from each other and build sustainable partnership strategies.
  • In Sublette County, Wyoming, and Huntington, West Virginia, the local governments are seeking to deploy infrastructure to business districts to enable private sector services in an area where private sector infrastructure deployment has not emerged. Bowling Green, Kentucky has done exactly that: the city built fiber infrastructure to businesses and has enabled local companies to compete in the global marketplace.
  • Boston has developed an innovative partnership with an open access fiber and wireless infrastructure provider in which the City incented new, open fiber deployment by leveraging the needs of schools and public safety facilities for fiber-based services.
  • Rural Queen Anne’s County, Maryland has been working with local incumbents seeking partnership opportunities to support broadband deployment.
  • New York City late last year released a request for information seeking industry ideas for how the city and private entities can collaborate to bridge the considerable digital divide in which low-income New Yorkers have fewer broadband choices and challenges affording high bandwidth options where they exist. In a clear indication of the potential for city-led public-private collaboration, the city received more than three dozen substantive responses.
  • In Wilson, North Carolina, the public utility extended gigabit internet to rural areas in its electric footprint. It enabled a large family farm to export its sweet potatoes to the European market by meeting Europe’s high food monitoring requirements. At the same time, the utility was the only carrier to help the 600-home rural town of Pinetops with free connectivity to the local church and shelter during the 2016 flood following Hurricane Matthew.
  • In Lafayette, Louisiana, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and dozens of other communities, local governments have developed their own advanced communications networks after finding the incumbent providers unwilling or unable to upgrade their networks in a timely manner to meet local needs.

Blaming localities for the digital infrastructure divide ignores these and thousands of other local efforts. At the same time, tying the hands of localities reduces their ability and incentive to work creatively with partners of all sorts to solve these problems. And preempting local authority over infrastructure assets such as light poles removes from the local toolkit incentives that localities can use to attract and shape private broadband deployment.

In short: Preempting local efforts and authority is not a winning strategy; it simply removes from the playing field one of the most important players: local government. Let me suggest that the urgency of this task, bridging the infrastructure digital divide, calls for all players to take the field.

My thanks for your consideration of my comments and for your commitment to this enormously important issue.

On March 21st, 2017, Joanne also testified before this Subcommittee on “Broadband: Deploying America’s 21st Century Infrastructure”. Click here to read the full testimony.

Published: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 by CTC Technology & Energy

DEC

19

New Mexico Broadband Program Publishes Broadband for Businesses Study

This document is the result of the New Mexico Broadband Program’s request for CTC to create an actionable roadmap that provides recommendations for improving access to affordable and reliable broadband services for businesses in support of economic development. CTC previously prepared a preliminary report in late 2016 discussing tools and recommendations for both State and local government policymakers regarding expanding gigabit broadband facilities to businesses.

This report elaborates on those insights by evaluating the current broadband infrastructure available at business locations in the State and develops a range of strategies for improving the broadband services to underserved areas. Further, it identifies the range of State and local entities that would likely be involved in the implementation of new broadband facilities.

Read the report, “The New Mexico Broadband Program, Broadband for Businesses Study,” here.

Published: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 by CTC Technology & Energy

DEC

05

The Holiday Season Brings More Great Broadband News From Kentucky

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray recently announced that the City has secured significant new fiber broadband investment and will soon be one of the country’s largest gigabit cities—with the potential for even faster speeds in the future. Over the past couple of years, CTC has been honored to work with Lexington on this effort—undertaking tasks from design engineering to financial modeling to discussions with potential investors—and we are thrilled to see the City’s vision and work pay off.

The City is on track to finalize a new cable franchise agreement with MetroNet, an Indiana-based cable and internet provider. MetroNet has agreed to spend between $70 and $100 million building a new fiber-to-the-premises network in Lexington.

Significantly, the agreement includes a robust build-out provision, ensuring that no part of the Lexington community is left out of the gigabit era. MetroNet has agreed to build out to 70 percent of the City in the first four years, with the remaining 30 percent to be added as the company achieves certain subscriber benchmarks. This outstanding agreement is testament to the City’s commitment to digital equity and to MetroNet’s willingness to bring fiber to everyone, rather than exclusively to the neighborhoods that offer the highest return on investment.

Mayor Gray’s announcement is also testament to the citizens of Lexington, who had clearly communicated to their elected officials their desire for better broadband services and more competition. Once MetroNet’s network is built, Lexington’s residents and businesses will enjoy more choice and dramatically better services, all offered over a robust fiber-to-the-premises infrastructure.

Our team here at CTC is proud to have worked with the City on this effort, and we see this successful outcome as a demonstration of how collaboration between the public and private sectors can lead to a better broadband future.

Our congratulations to Mayor Gray—and to his spectacular City team, led by Chief Innovation Officer Scott Shapiro and Chief Information Officer Aldona Valicenti.

Joanne Hovis
December 5, 2017

Published: Tuesday, December 5, 2017 by CTC Technology & Energy

OCT

20

Communications Workers of America Files CTC Expert Report with FCC

Are mobile broadband technologies a substitute for wired broadband? That question is at the heart of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) assessment of whether Americans are well-served with broadband. To support its filing with the FCC, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) asked CTC to prepare an independent analysis of the issue. CTC’s report concluded that, in light of the technical and business restrictions inherent in existing mobile networks, mobile service cannot be considered an adequate alternative to robust wireline broadband. Rather, mobile and wireline have been—and will continue to be—essential, complementary services. Those Americans who have access to only one of them will face significant disadvantages relative to their peers.

Read the report, “Mobile Broadband Service Is Not an Adequate Substitute for Wireline,” here.

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 by CTC Technology & Energy

OCT

18

City of San Francisco Considers an Innovative New Way to Deliver Ubiquitous, Open Fiber to its Residents and Businesses

We at CTC have had the honor of advising the City and County of San Francisco on broadband planning for a dozen years, and we’re proud that the City today released our new study on “Fiber for San Francisco” and is also, with the leadership of Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Mark Farrell, initiating an innovative procurement to select a private partner to finance, design, build, and operate a fiber network that would reach every home and business in San Francisco.

We’ve been working on this initiative since early 2017, with a project team that includes our friends at IMG Rebel, a creative and experienced financial advisory and P3 structuring firm that provided the perfect expertise to match our broadband engineering and business planning capabilities.

The City directed us to develop a delivery strategy for ubiquitous fiber-to-the-premises to every home and business in San Francisco that would be open, offering equal potential access to the network by multiple ISPs enable competition. The City directed that we consider the potential for (1) fully public, (2) fully private, or (3) public–private partnership (P3) arrangements for financing, designing, constructing, maintaining, and operating the network—with the policy goals of enabling equity, innovation, and local authority.

As part of this engagement, our engineers developed a technical design and cost estimate for deployment of a fiber network that would connect (on an open access basis) every home and business in San Francisco, and then we evaluated how such an infrastructure could be delivered.

What we found is that private broadband investment is resulting in new broadband competition in unevenly distributed ways across San Francisco. AT&T is upgrading its network to fiber in certain areas, but not, to our knowledge, on a ubiquitous basis. Comcast has recently upgraded its residential service footprint with DOCSIS 3.1 electronics that will allow speeds of up to a gigabit in the downstream direction, but this network still relies on coaxial cable for distribution and the gigabit service is priced in excess of $150 per month. On the competitive side of the industry, a new class of competitors including Sonic, Webpass, and Monkeybrains is making important investments in fiber and other technologies in some San Francisco neighborhoods, but these new networks are available only in certain areas and to certain buildings or consumers. In addition, none of the incumbent or competitive providers in San Francisco operates its network on an open basis, allowing its competitors to reach consumers over its infrastructure.

We therefore concluded that the private sector is not currently poised to deliver the City’s stated goals of ubiquitous, open, fiber-based service throughout San Francisco.

A purely public network could meet goals for ubiquity and openness, but the City has raised a number of areas of concern, including internal capacity to build and operate a new utility; public finance challenges in light of the many important project vying for public financing, and the substantial risks of proceeding on a purely public basis. Indeed, in a purely public model, the City would meet its policy goals but would assume all project risk, including construction, operations, performance, customer service, demand and market considerations, and technology change. A parallel set of concerns relates to public sector capacity and interest in building, maintaining, and operating a communications utility, including the particular challenge of operating a communications network in an area of the country where hiring professionals in that field is most competitive.

As an innovative alternative, we evaluated the potential of P3 delivery. This mechanism enables the City to own the core infrastructure and use it to achieve policy goals such as competition and equity—at the same time as shifting some risk to the private sector and leveraging private sector delivery capabilities. In a formal P3 structure, a selected private partner takes responsibility for some combination of design, construction, financing, operations, and maintenance, at least partially funded or guaranteed by the public partner over the period of the concession.

Formal P3s have emerged in the broadband sector in other parts of the world where infrastructure is more frequently delivered through a P3 than in the United States. In the past few years, a range of creative broadband P3 structures has started to evolve in the United States. The nature of these P3s range from public sector facilitation of private broadband investment (through process, regulation, and economic development incentives) to public deployment of infrastructure for use by the private sector.

What is novel about the Fiber for San Francisco Initiative is that it contemplates application of the “classic” P3 structure to a broadband network that would reach 100 percent of the homes and businesses in the community.

Our report includes extensive technical, business, and financial analysis of how a P3 delivery mechanism could be structured to meet the City’s goals. For more (much more), download our report here.

We welcome your comments or questions—feel free to reach out to us at info@CTCnet.us. I hope to hear from you.

Joanne Hovis

October 18, 2017

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 by CTC Technology & Energy

APR

25

City of Seattle Releases Plan for Facilitating Equitable Access to Wireless Broadband Services

The City of Seattle has released its Plan for Facilitating Equitable Access to Wireless Broadband Services.

This report represents a strategic approach for deploying Wi-Fi and other wireless technologies as a tool for addressing Seattle’s digital equity and digital inclusion needs. The plan balances the City’s two key project goals: The need to serve the public by filling broadband gaps (due to lack of availability or affordability), and the need to deploy services through a financially sustainable business model.

Read the report in its entirety here.

Published: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 by CTC Technology & Energy

APR

14

A Technical Guide to Dig Once Policies

Our latest white paper, A Technical Guide to Dig Once Policies, is a discussion of technical considerations regarding dig once conduit, a comprehensive process for developing dig once policies, and examples of dig once policies across the country. Read it here.

For more information on the benefits of dig once policies, see CTC’s Gigabit Communities

A Technical Guide to Dig Once Policies

During his campaign, President Trump vowed to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, with a plan to spend more than $500 billion fixing the country’s aging roads and highways. This type of investment could also provide an opportunity for local and state governments seeking to increase the deployment of broadband networks.

While internet service providers are often trying to reach new consumers, the process of installing fiber networks can be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming. Local and state governments can ease the process by adopting a “dig once” policy, which requires public and private excavators to coordinate with local government on the installation of extra fiber or conduit whenever ground will be broken in the public right-of-way (PROW).

“Dig once” policies were identified as a best practice for local governments by the Obama administration’s Broadband Opportunity Council as a means of enhancing competition in the broadband market.[1] The Council noted an important truth: “While sound national policies and programs are important, most decisions on broadband investment are made by Local governments in partnership with the private sector, guided by State law.”

Dig once policies have many benefits, including:

  • Protecting newly and recently paved roads and sidewalks
  • Enhancing the uniformity of construction
  • Ensuring efficient, non-duplicative placement of infrastructure in the PROW
  • Reducing overall costs of all underground work in the PROW, both utility- and telecommunications-related, for public and private parties
  • Facilitating private communications network deployment by reducing construction costs
  • Leveraging construction by third-party entities for the deployment of a public communications network, or deployment of conduit that can be made available to other entities

While dig once policies are beneficial, they are not a one-size-fits-all policy prescriptive. To develop “best practices” guidance for local governments, we surveyed the approaches adopted or proposed by jurisdictions across the country. In the process, we interviewed representatives of cities and other government entities that have adopted such policies, and reviewed the treatment of costs in dig once scenarios.

Based on our survey and our own experience, we identified three general approaches:

  1. Some communities require an excavator applying for a permit in the PROW to notify utilities and other relevant entities about the project and invite their participation.
  2. Localities with a “shadow conduit” installation policy require the excavator to install excess conduit for future use; depending on the policy, the excavator or the jurisdiction may then lease that excess capacity.
  3. Other localities undertake a longer-term process, coordinating multi-year plans with excavators.

We recommend that localities consider the following steps in developing an ordinance or policy:

  • Prioritize projects suitable for additional construction, based on a scoring mechanism
  • Develop a refined estimate of the incremental costs during the design stage
  • Develop a standard engineering specification for dig-once conduit
  • Develop a procedure to systematically track and manage the construction and to create a repository of existing infrastructure

For state and local governments and the public, the advantages of dig once policies are significant and easily understood. But, while fiber and conduit materials are relatively inexpensive, dig once construction is still costly—so many factors should be taken into consideration to ensure dig once policies are implemented in a cost-effective and useful way. Communication between local government and the companies that would potentially use the conduit is critically important. Localities should also establish a system to track its planned, ongoing, and completed construction.

Read the paper in its entirety here.


[1] “Broadband Opportunity Council Report and Recommendations,” U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Department of Agriculture, August 20, 2015, https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/broadband_opportunity_council_report_final.pdf (accessed July 26, 2016). See also: “Executive Order on Accelerating Broadband Infrastructure Development,” Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, May 5, 2016, http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/otps/exeorder.cfm (accessed July 26, 2016).
Published: Friday, April 14, 2017 by CTC Technology & Energy

APR

12

Producing Value through Effective Governance

CTC just published a new paper on the steps community broadband network operators can take to develop an effective governance process to maximize value to the community.

Operating a community broadband network entails complex technical, financial, and strategic business considerations—and those decisions are all made within a governance framework.

Effective governance enables a locality to organize its decision-making to produce the greatest value. While value is measured in terms unique to that community, the key to good governance is that the network’s value will reflect the community’s needs. For example, a local government might construct a broadband network to lower the cost of its internal communications services, promote economic development, or serve local schools and libraries. In each of those scenarios, the locality’s governance should ensure that the network delivers on its stated goals.

In this brief white paper, we describe a high-level approach to adapting a governance process to support identified needs and produce effective value. This approach includes:

Identifying key goals and objectives

As a project unfolds and stakeholders and needs are identified, goals and objectives are often added and shaped in the context of what is realistically achievable with available resources.

Identifying key stakeholders

While a more comprehensive stakeholder analysis needs to be completed as a project’s objectives and operational model are fleshed out, the initial core goals and objectives point to natural leaders, advocates, and stakeholders who need to be active participants in the project.

Focusing on needs and value

Periodic re-checks help to keep your governance development aligned with the issues that matter to your community—and to ensure that you have the right stakeholders engaged in the right roles.

Identifying strengths and weaknesses

What changes need to be made in terms of organization and staffing to effectively manage operations?

Developing an appropriate organizational structure

Strengths and weaknesses are always relative to something—some idea of what the network should deliver, and to what extent the necessary pieces for delivery exist.

Managing strategic governance

Identify roles of stakeholders depending on whether the stakeholder represents a service provider, service partner, or client; and what resources and information the stakeholder brings to the table.

Retooling organizational structures as needed

The degree of organizational change necessary to support a fiber optic network can vary widely, and depends heavily on the phase of the project. Newer projects can involve drastic change, while those undertaken by mature organizations may only entail modest changes.

Developing key performance indicators

The industry standard is the balanced scorecard, which considers leading and lagging indicators from different perspectives, and ties those back to strategic objectives and goals. What makes most sense for your network should be something you continually discuss with your stakeholders.

Read the white paper in its entirety here.

Published: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 by CTC Technology & Energy