Daily Yonder’s look at broadband at the Rural Assembly

I wish I coud l have attended the Rural Assembly since it was in my own backyard. Unfortunately I was out of town. I was glad to see the Daily Yonder cover it. Specifically Bill Bishop shares Mark Erickson’s (from Sibley County MN) view on the barriers to community FTTH…

But Erickson and others are running into difficulties and opposition on multiple fronts:

* Local non-fiber providers are resistant of new competition, and FTTH will be hands-down faster than older technologies.

* It’s hard to get right-of-way to lay down fiber networks. This process often involves dealing with city and state governments, who may not be immediately cooperative.

* It’s not easy to get local community support.

Erickson also points out that you need a local champion. Part of the problem underlying the specifics above is money – but part is education and persuasion – and that takes a local champion.

This entry was posted in Community Networks, Conferences, FTTH, MN, Rural by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

5 thoughts on “Daily Yonder’s look at broadband at the Rural Assembly

  1. For years, I have heard network builders complain of ROW processes, but local officials have dismissed their objections. Erickson’s comment that Rights of Way are an issue is very interesting, especially since his group is a joint powers board of city and county officials. Seems like an area that community broadband advocates and private sector providers share some common ground.

  2. I think the real question is do providers and others like the process? Working across the US there are different permitting processes for municipalities, counties and state governments. Some work more diligently to protect their right-of-way while others do not. Understanding the permitting requirements of any project is an important component to any business plan requiring the laying of fiber or for that matter the placement of towers for wireless plans.

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