Preconference Session ~ Broadband Networks: Community Considerations

The Border to Border Broadband conference has begun! Folks are enjoying a reception and talking about the pre-conference session. There was something for everyone – starting with a discussion on “what is broadband” and ending diagrams of various iterations of fiber networks, comparison between fixed wireless and DSL and a super quick primer on satellite.

As Bill Coleman pointed out, “Broadband knowledge is a mile wide and a mile deep. Community doesn’t need to know everything; they just need to find some good partners.” And the room was full of good community leaders and good potential partners.

The discussion wasn’t only technical. We observed that broadband in rural areas is always about economics. How do you make broadband affordable? Get value from the connections. One difficulty is that the value isn’t always realized by the provider – often it’s the community that benefits. (For example by providing social services online.) But that’s just another good reason to look for public private partnerships!

A few good resources were mentioned:
Google Fiber City Checklist
FTTH Community Toolkit

Bernadine Joselyn did a great graphical representation of the session:

bjs bb map

And Pat Sims brought us some pretty detailed tech diagrams:

Here’s the official description:
Bill Coleman and guest experts will illustrate the tech and policy choices facing communities. Without getting too bogged down in tech terms and jargon, this presentation will help
community leaders to better understand their current situations, prospective choices and the impact of those decisions on the future economic vitality of the community or region.

And the Speakers:
Tim Johnson, MVTV Wireless
Andy Sackreiter, AT&T Radio Access Network
Pat Sims, FTTH Network Architect

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