If you picked up the Institute for Local Self-Reliance dictionary, under “public-private partnership,” it would say “See Westminster and Ting fiber-optic network.” We discussed it with Westminster City Council President Robert Wack in episode 100 of Community Broadband Bits and he rejoins us for episode 252 to update us on the progress they have made.We get an update on the construction process and the exciting developments around the Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory (previous accomplishments noted here). One piece of good news is that they are hitting the milestones needed in the business plan for the network to break even financially. We also discuss the importance of finding a good partner to work with. Communities seeking a similar partnership cannot just copy this arrangement – they might start with it as a blueprint but will have to mold it to their circumstances and partner.To learn more about Westminster, read our paper on partnerships and the Westminster tag on this site. Also, this interview from last year… Read the transcript of the show.We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.This show is 30 minutes long and can be played on this page or via iTunes or the tool of your choice using this feed.You can download this mp3 file directly from here. Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index.Thanks to Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.
Today, Lisa and I are joined by Eric Lampland for a discussion of how a community could justify building a community owned network from the indirect benefits that it would create, including the savings that each household realizes from competition driving down prices. Eric Lampland is the CEO and principal consultant of Lookout Point Communications, which helps local governments that are building a network or considering an investment.
Eric and I start by discussing how quickly the cost savings per household add up to equal more than the cost of building a network and we digress from there, covering other topics related to community owned networks. This includes how big cable companies would respond to this approach.
I have to note that most community networks have not been justified on this basis – the vast majority of community networks were designed to pay their full costs and they are doing so. Here, we discuss the general benefits of these networks that are often sidelined in the policy discussion and how they alone may justify a fiber network.
Toward the end, we begin discussing open access, something we will likely return to in the future as Eric has long both advocated for open access and has some insights into the technical challenges of building such a network.
Read the transcript from this episode here.
We want your feedback and suggestions for the show – please e-mail us or leave a comment below. Also, feel free to suggest other guests, topics, or questions you want us to address.
This show is 25 minutes long and can be played below on this page or via iTunes or via the tool of your choice using this feed.
Listen to previous episodes here. You can can download this Mp3 file directly from here.
Find more episodes in our podcast index.
Thanks to Haggard Beat for the music, licensed using Creative Commons.