Do You Have Enough Money for Community Broadband?

The quest for money to build broadband networks is eternal, it seems. The schools, Health and libraries broadband coalition (SHLB) is hosting a webinar to help people on this quest.

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shlbTom Koutsky (Connected Nation), John Windhausen (SHLB Coalition), and Nick Alexander (Level 3 come together to tackle the question of how to reduce broadband costs through competition and infrastructure. You also should download a report I wrote last year that helps communities find new ways to fund broadband deployments.

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“If you don’t have broadband in a rural area by now, maybe it’s time to rely on somebody other than a telephone company,” Jonathan Chambers, former chief of the FCC’s Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, stated. “Cable providers aren’t building out in rural areas.”

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And lest there be any confusion about how you should respond to this sobering news, Chambers went on to say about telcos, “They make more money in wireless than they will building out fiber to rural areas. It’s their decision and an appropriate decision for them. But that doesn’t mean that people in rural areas ought to just live with whatever gets deployed to them.” You can amend that to add “urban and suburban areas” because some of them get less than ideal Internet service too.

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In quite a few communities, money – or the lack of it – is the reason given as to why they haven’t joined the ranks of Chattanooga, TN, Santa Monica, CA and the 400 or so cities, towns and counties that have publicly-owned broadband networks. Sadly, funding is not always the barrier that some people assume it is.

In reality, a real barrier can be the lack of creativity. When it comes to high-speed Internet networks, some communities have blinders on whenever stakeholders discuss money. They focus on the usual suspects – bonds, loans, capital funds, Google Fiber. When they exhaust those possibilities and come up empty, people throw in the towel and shelve the conversation.

This Community Broadband Snapshot Report is for people comfortable with thinking outside the box, and communities willing to do serious work to reach their goal of broadband independence. This report doesn’t show you new ways to raise money, it shows different ways to raise money that have been done, just not so much when it comes to raising money for broadband.

This report helps you ask the right question to determine what kinds of solutions broadband can deliver that those with money will pay someone to implement. The amounts that you actually raise from each funding source may not cover the entire build-out. You have to be adept at developing a logical fundraising game plan.

Get the report.

Register for the Webinar.

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  • Who’s Craig Settles?

    Industry analyst, expert broadband business strategist, runs on-site workshops to help clients create effective broadband plans.

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