Community Broadband

shutterstock_152324414CTC Technology & Energy specializes in advising local government clients about public broadband initiatives, from initial feasibility studies to network design and engineering to guidelines for network operation.

Our expertise include:

Feasibility Studies and Technical Models: The first steps in any public broadband initiative often include assessing the community’s existing networking infrastructure, evaluating the community’s broadband needs, and developing a high-level network design and cost estimate. CTC has extensive experience conducting feasibility studies, which are critical to informing the scope and expense of a proposed project. We also have deep knowledge of current communications technologies and have developed technical models and full engineering designs using a full range of technologies—including fiber, Wi-Fi, and microwave.

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Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

CTC Technology & Energy completed a business and technology plan for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to determine the feasibility of using the Department’s fiber network to offer services to the public and businesses. Our team assessed existing DWP communications infrastructure and interviewed potential customers for networking services. Based on these findings CTC Technology & Energy discussed the potential benefits and risks associated with different business models and deployment strategies. CTC Technology & Energy has also long served as technical adviser to the City of Los Angeles on fiber and cable matters and has performed long-term performance evaluation and inspection of existing broadband networks. CTC Technology & Energy designed a fiber-optic network for Los Angeles, and advised the City on the technical feasibility of open access networking.

Madison, WI

CTC wrote a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) feasibility study for the City in mid-2016. Over the course of the engagement, CTC engineers and analysts inventoried the City’s key physical infrastructure, including the Metropolitan Unified Fiber Network (MUFN); conducted interviews with representatives of City departments and stakeholders; researched the region’s available broadband services and costs; evaluated potential public–private partnership business models; and developed pro forma financial statements for a City-owned fiber network. In addition to those tasks, CTC conducted residential market research to supplement the report’s findings, and to help gauge the community’s interest in broadband.

Ocala, FL

CTC Technology & Energy provided a network feasibility study for the Ocala Utility Services as they evaluated how to expand their existing municipal fiber network. The report included a competitive assessment of existing private sector broadband services. We also conducted market research with statistically significant surveys of the local commercial and residential sectors to assess current and future demand for high-speed connectivity. Based on these results, our team offered three options for potential network expansion. Each of the proposed scenarios included in-depth analysis of financial costs, business models, and potential benefits to the community. CTC Technology & Energy also delivered an in person presentation to the Ocala City Council to summarize and explain the findings of the report.

 

Business Models and Implementation: CTC Technology & Energy has evaluated and designed a wide range of public broadband business models—from public facilitation of private investment to government ownership to hybrid arrangements. We are also familiar with a variety of project financing options, and have successfully helped clients prepare applications for federal and state broadband grants. In addition, CTC has developed requests for proposals (RFP), reviewed vendor submissions, and negotiated with private sector providers on behalf of clients.

Alameda, CA

CTC Technology & Energy conducted an exhaustive business case analysis and prepared expert witness testimony on behalf of the City of Alameda in a federal court case involving the business practices, business results, and ultimate sale of its fiber optic enterprise. The testimony included a comparative analysis of business models employed by municipal fiber networks nationwide.

Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER)

CTC Technology & Energy provided KINBER, a statewide fiber optic network in Pennsylvania and recipient of a $99.6 million federal BTOP grant, with extensive support in developing their business model and pricing schedule. Our team conducted interviews with KINBER project stakeholders to assess the statewide market for networking services. We combined this information with our existing, in-depth knowledge of public sector networking initiatives, markets, and pricing schedules. We then presented different business model scenarios based on varying take rates of the networking services offered. We gave preliminary marketing advice and conducted initial outreach on behalf of KINBER to potential new members. We also prepared engineering advice for how to provide networking services cost-effectively.

One Maryland Broadband Network

CTC Technology & Energy provided extensive business planning, business modeling, and pro forma preparation for the State of Maryland’s One Maryland Broadband Network (OMBN) program, a federal BTOP-funded initiative to build an interconnected fiber-optic broadband network to every county in Maryland and provide backbone and middle-mile capacity for commercial carriers. CTC also prepared a market analysis and marketing plan for the 10-jurisdiction Inter-County Broadband Network (ICBN), the OMBN’s largest subgrantee.

San Francisco, CA

CTC kicked off a major broadband strategic planning project with the City in February 2017. We are providing strategic, financial, and technical advisory services as part of a broad effort to analyze the City’s broadband options.

CTC also recently developed technical specifications for a municipal “dig once” policy to facilitate the cost-effective expansion of broadband infrastructure throughout the City.

We previously prepared a series of path-breaking analyses of the feasibility of the City building and operating a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network—including a system design and detailed analysis of candidate architectures and open access models. The project also included analysis of multiple business models and business recommendations customized for San Francisco’s unique circumstances.

In another strategic initiative, CTC assisted the City in developing and evaluating options for backhaul to serve City-operated Wi-Fi service to the public and to residents of public housing.

CTC also provided ongoing consulting and strategic guidance with respect to an FTTP pilot and related technology projects, and helped the City with business planning, financial analysis, and engineering design to support its preparation of an extensive application for federal grant funding. The market research analysis provided measurements to predict emission reductions and other ancillary benefits of facilitating work-at-home initiatives through an FTTP implementation.

In our most recent engagement, CTC developed guidelines for detailed implementation, and technical specifications for a municipal “dig once” policy to facilitate the cost-effective expansion of broadband infrastructure throughout the City.

Seattle, WA

As consultant to Seattle City Light and the City itself, CTC has delivered business, technical, and strategic guidance and explored options for FTTP network deployment in light of its changing local marketplace and the emergence of new business models.

In our current engagement, CTC is developing a strategic plan that will recommend technical approaches to filling broadband gaps (e.g., in underserved neighborhoods) and a sustainable business model for deployment. CTC is engaging various stakeholders and agencies on the City’s behalf, and conducting outreach to private sector entities—including internet service providers and wireless carriers—through an RFI process. CTC’s engineers and analysts will evaluate the potential for P3s, examine the feasibility of using the City’s fiber to support Wi-Fi, and provide a high-level financial and technical approach to fill the City’s broadband gaps.

This engagement follows on multiple significant projects we have completed with the City and its electric utility over more than eight years. In 2015, we completed a major FTTP feasibility study (http://www.seattle.gov/tech/initiatives/broadband/studies-and-history) that included residential and business market research, financial projections for multiple buildout approaches, and a risk assessment.

CTC has previously performed market research and developed a feasibility study, a business case analysis, and an “off-the-balance-sheet” benefits analysis for a proposed citywide FTTP network.

The first study, “FTTP Municipal Broadband Risks and Benefits Evaluation,” included an internal needs analysis, market research of both residential and business customers; an assessment of competing services and technologies; and an evaluation of the business case and business risks.

Following on that report, CTC researched and wrote an “FTTP Benefits Evaluation,” which explored the benefits of FTTP beyond the traditional balance sheet, including cost avoidance, monetary savings, and environmental impact. Notably, this report was one of the first of its kind to qualify and quantify (where possible) community-wide benefits of ubiquitous broadband connectivity such as enabling increased telecommuting, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and positive impacts on vulnerable populations such as the elderly and low-income residents.

In the third phase of the project, CTC advised the Mayor of Seattle regarding the U.S. communications market and business planning strategies for a citywide fiber enterprise. CTC led and facilitated a business planning working group comprised of the Mayor’s senior staff, the directors of the City’s electric and water/sewer utilities, and the City’s Chief Technology Officer.

 

Market Analysis: We analyze regional network markets to assess the availability and use of services across a broad range of user groups. We analyze each client’s goals with regard to market considerations and provide guidance for how to accurately price products and services.

Community Broadband Benefits: CTC Technology & Energy has analyzed and modeled a wide range of benefits from community broadband initiatives, from economic development to digital inclusion to environmental protection.

We have a deep understanding of the broadband technology landscape, and help our clients understand how to serve the unique needs of their communities.

North Kansas City, MO

CTC delivered a business performance evaluation study for liNKCity, North Kansas City’s municipal broadband network. CTC Technology & Energy examined liNKCity’s current operational status and provided strategic guidance for setting long-term organizational direction and vision. We gave input for the potential expansion of marketing efforts. The report concluded with specific recommendations for the development of future networking services to offer with an emphasis on supporting local commercial economic development.

Palo Alto, CA

CTC has a multi-decade relationship with the City of Palo Alto and Palo Alto Utilities. In two parallel projects in 2015, for example, CTC developed both a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) master plan and a wireless network plan for the City. In the fiber realm, CTC determined the extent to which the City’s infrastructure could be used to enable FTTP buildout. We developed a full FTTP feasibility study for a range of potential business models, including public, private, and P3. In the wireless engagement, CTC conducted a system-level requirements analysis and a needs assessment, and recommended wireless technologies, network designs, and business models.

CTC previously provided strategic guidance and advice to the City on expanding its dark fiber network to create opportunities for enhanced utility, municipal, and commercial services. We assessed how to leverage existing infrastructure to promote commercial wireless broadband deployment and improve municipal Smart Grid and public safety technologies. We also prepared a framework for establishing a public-private partnership to encourage greater infrastructure deployment.

CTC engineers are also currently developing a “dig once” ordinance and related processes for the City.

San Francisco, CA

CTC kicked off a major broadband strategic planning project with the City in February 2017. We are providing strategic, financial, and technical advisory services as part of a broad effort to analyze the City’s broadband options.

CTC also recently developed technical specifications for a municipal “dig once” policy to facilitate the cost-effective expansion of broadband infrastructure throughout the City.

We previously prepared a series of path-breaking analyses of the feasibility of the City building and operating a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network—including a system design and detailed analysis of candidate architectures and open access models. The project also included analysis of multiple business models and business recommendations customized for San Francisco’s unique circumstances.

In another strategic initiative, CTC assisted the City in developing and evaluating options for backhaul to serve City-operated Wi-Fi service to the public and to residents of public housing.

CTC also provided ongoing consulting and strategic guidance with respect to an FTTP pilot and related technology projects, and helped the City with business planning, financial analysis, and engineering design to support its preparation of an extensive application for federal grant funding. The market research analysis provided measurements to predict emission reductions and other ancillary benefits of facilitating work-at-home initiatives through an FTTP implementation.

In our most recent engagement, CTC developed guidelines for detailed implementation, and technical specifications for a municipal “dig once” policy to facilitate the cost-effective expansion of broadband infrastructure throughout the City.

Seattle, WA

As consultant to Seattle City Light and the City itself, CTC has delivered business, technical, and strategic guidance and explored options for FTTP network deployment in light of its changing local marketplace and the emergence of new business models.

In our current engagement, CTC is developing a strategic plan that will recommend technical approaches to filling broadband gaps (e.g., in underserved neighborhoods) and a sustainable business model for deployment. CTC is engaging various stakeholders and agencies on the City’s behalf, and conducting outreach to private sector entities—including internet service providers and wireless carriers—through an RFI process. CTC’s engineers and analysts will evaluate the potential for P3s, examine the feasibility of using the City’s fiber to support Wi-Fi, and provide a high-level financial and technical approach to fill the City’s broadband gaps.

This engagement follows on multiple significant projects we have completed with the City and its electric utility over more than eight years. In 2015, we completed a major FTTP feasibility study (http://www.seattle.gov/tech/initiatives/broadband/studies-and-history) that included residential and business market research, financial projections for multiple buildout approaches, and a risk assessment.

CTC has previously performed market research and developed a feasibility study, a business case analysis, and an “off-the-balance-sheet” benefits analysis for a proposed citywide FTTP network.

The first study, “FTTP Municipal Broadband Risks and Benefits Evaluation,” included an internal needs analysis, market research of both residential and business customers; an assessment of competing services and technologies; and an evaluation of the business case and business risks.

Following on that report, CTC researched and wrote an “FTTP Benefits Evaluation,” which explored the benefits of FTTP beyond the traditional balance sheet, including cost avoidance, monetary savings, and environmental impact. Notably, this report was one of the first of its kind to qualify and quantify (where possible) community-wide benefits of ubiquitous broadband connectivity such as enabling increased telecommuting, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and positive impacts on vulnerable populations such as the elderly and low-income residents.

In the third phase of the project, CTC advised the Mayor of Seattle regarding the U.S. communications market and business planning strategies for a citywide fiber enterprise. CTC led and facilitated a business planning working group comprised of the Mayor’s senior staff, the directors of the City’s electric and water/sewer utilities, and the City’s Chief Technology Officer.

Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband (UC2B), IL

CTC has been the strategic and business planning consultant to Urbana, Champaign, and the University of Illinois for more than seven years—since the coalition first conceived of constructing a middle-mile fiber network to connect community anchor institutions.

Following construction of the middle-mile fiber, we prepared a request for information (RFI) to enable the cities and the university to identify a private partner that would finance and operate an FTTP expansion of the network to serve 100 percent of the community. We evaluated potential partners’ proposals, then helped to negotiate with two partners to reduce the community’s risks and ensure that a partnership would achieve the coalition’s policy goals for digital inclusion.

As a result of the coalition’s final partnership, UC2B secured an open access Gigabit FTTP network buildout that, based on the negotiated agreement, would protect its public policy interest by providing the same opportunity for access to the entire community. In return, UC2B’s partner—the ISP and network operator iTV3—would have access to UC2B’s existing middle-mile infrastructure (which iTV3 would operate) and the foundation of a significant last-mile consumer network.