Reports Highlighted by MuniNetworks.org

Broadband Policy: Beyond Privatization, Competition, an Independent Regulation

Publication Date: 
April 6, 2009
Author(s): 
Larry Press, California State University, Dominguez Hills

Larry Press takes a rather quantitative approach to demonstrating that the deregulatory telecommunications policies of the past few decades have failed to produce the desired outcomes. We are currently at a key turning point in history: the policies we enact today will have repercussions throughout the entire decade. Fiber is replacing copper, the question is who will own it because owners make rules.

Open Access Fiber Networks

Publication Date: 
March 2, 2009
Author(s): 
telecomDE.com

At a high level, everyone understands what it means for a network to be open: (1) whatever else it might do, the network offers a pure “transmission” service, so that users can freely communicate with each other; (2) users can connect any devices they want, as long as they don’t harm the network; (3) the network connects to other networks; and (4) the network doesn’t discriminate among users or among the services, information, and applications users want to provide to each other. None of these points should be controversial. The concept of open networks is at least 40 years old in the US. The FCC’s seminal 1968 Carterphone decision held that a network operator may not forbid the use of devices on the network that benefit the user and do not harm the network itself. A decade later the FCC established its equipment registration program requiring interfaces to the telephone network to be standardized and fully disclosed.

Municipal & Utility Fiber Optics Guidebook

Publication Date: 
September 9, 2008
Author(s): 
David Chaffee
Mitchell Shapiro

Distributed by Public Technology Institute, the Municipal & Utility Guidebook to Bringing Broadband Fiber Optics to Your Community is a free, comprehensive guide to the economic and quality-of-life benefits of robust fiber infrastructure. It examines in detail four communities that have successfully deployed fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) services to their citizens and businesses.

Burlington Telecom Fact Sheet

Publication Date: 
July 14, 2008
Author(s): 
Christopher Mitchell

Much misinformation has been disseminated about Burlington Telecom (BT). Here are the facts. BT is a city department of Burlington, Vermont, which owns a fiber-to-the-home network and offers triple play services (phone, cable, internet). The network depends entirely on subscriber revenues and is not subsidized in any form by the City. BT has saved the City money while being built entirely with investor money -- no tax dollars have been or will be used.

ILSR issued a report in 2011 that updates this case study: Learning from Burlington Telecom: Some Lessons for Community Networks

Bigger Vision, Bolder Action, Brighter Future

Publication Date: 
June 2, 2008
Author(s): 
Jim Baller - Baller Herbst Law Group
Casey Lide - Baller Herbst Law Group

Jim Baller and Casey Lide of the Baller Herbst Law Group produced this tremendous white paper for e-NC. It covers the importance of broadband, relationship to economic development, and offers some recommendations.

Build Versus Rent: Tropos Wireless White Paper

Publication Date: 
April 15, 2008
Author(s): 
Tropos Networks

Municipal and industrial organizations that want to take advan­tage of the significant benefits of large-scale broadband infra­structure face the option of whether to build, own and operate their own infrastructure or “rent” services from incumbent cellular providers. In this paper we lay out the substantial business and technical benefits that are associated with organizations opting to own the latest generation of outdoor wireless networks.

Municipal Fiber to the Home Deployments: Next Generation Broadband as a Municipal Utility

Publication Date: 
April 9, 2008
Author(s): 
FTTH Council

Deployments by municipalities were among the first FTTH systems operating in the United States. Though, in aggregate, they do not approach the number of FTTH subscribers of a Verizon – which currently accounts for two-thirds of all FTTH deployments in the U.S. – municipal systems do have a significant percentage of all non-Verizon subscribers. Further, they represent an important aspect of national FTTH deployment, namely, the option and opportunity for local elected officials and civic leaders to upgrade local connectivity - when private enterprise will not take on the job.

Municipal Broadband: Demystifying Wireless and Fiber-Optic Options

Publication Date: 
January 15, 2008
Author(s): 
Christopher Mitchell - Institute for Local Self-Reliance

The United States, creator of the Internet, increasingly lags in access to it. In the absence of a national broadband strategy, many communities have invested in broadband infrastructure, especially wireless broadband, to offer broadband choices to their residents.

Newspaper headlines trumpeting the death of municipal wireless networks ignore the increasing investments by cities in Wi-Fi systems. At the same time, the wireless focus by others diverts resources and action away from building the necessary long term foundation for high speed information: fiber optic networks.

Bureaucrats as Entrepreneurs: Do Municipal Telecommunications Providers Hinder Private Entrepreneurs?

Publication Date: 
January 14, 2008
Author(s): 
Janice A. Hauge, University of North Texas
Mark A. Jamison, University of Florida
Richard J. Gentry, West Virginia University

We consider how government-owned enterprises affect privately owned rivals. Specifically, we compare the types of markets that municipally owned telecommunications providers in the United States serve to the types of markets that competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) serve. We find that CLECs focus on potential profitability while municipalities appear to respond to other factors, such as political considerations or the desire to provide competition to incumbents. As a result, municipal providers tend to serve markets that CLECs do not.

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