Gig.U, a collaboration of more than 30 universities across the country has just released The Next Generation Network Connectivity Handbook: A guide for Community Leaders Seeking Affordable, Abundant Bandwidth. The handbook, published in association with the Benton Foundation, is available as a PDF online.
One of the authors, Blair Levin, has been a guest several times on the Community Broadband Bits podcast, last visiting in January 2015 to weigh in on public vs. private ownership of broadband networks. As many of our readers know, Levin was one of the primary authors of the FCC National Broadband Plan in 2010.
In a PCWorld article about the report, Levin commented on funding and on local control:
“Nearly every community we worked with saw public money as a last resort, when no other options for next generation networks were available,” he said. “But our group view was that the decision should be made by the local community.”
The report underscores the importance of local decision making authority, whether each community chooses to go with a municipally owned model, a public private partnership, or some other strategy.
Levin and his co-author Denise Linn also address issues of preparation, assessment, early steps, things to remember when developing partnerships, funding issues, and challenges to expect. They assemble an impressive list of resources that any group, agency, or local government can use to move ahead.
Add this to your library.