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Ten Caveats for Cities Considering Municipal Broad Band (BB)

As the leading authority and principal architect on Municipal Broadband Networks in Michigan, PROTEC offers several tips to those many communities considering building their own or partnering with other communities and/or with the private sector:

  1. Leadership: First and foremost, whatever you do on BB, many others will be watching. For that reason alone, it is important to “do it right”;
  2. More fiber is a good thing, especially if it is done correctly. Massive BB improvement is critical to our future;
  3. Any City attention to BB issues is a good start;
  4. Historical cost of installation of fiber ranges from $1-2,000 per connection;
  5. There are many cities nationally and multiple Michigan cities, offering and preserving and assuring high quality services, speeds and affordable competitive rates unparalleled by the private sector...but only when developed correctly;
  6. Be careful skirting the applicable Municipal BB Laws and making “special deals” for ROW access;
  7. Control: In any Municipal BB plan, partnering with a private entity must be done with great care. Your goal presumably is better service, full city wide build-out and affordable rates. If control of those items does not remain with the City, you risk creating just another monopoly;
  8. Vet your intended private partner very carefully;
  9. Never use the network builder for your feasibility study and project management;
  10. Micro trenching: A recent fad: Vet the long term aspects of the concept carefully;

PROTEC and its national expert team, is available to support and consult on any PROTEC Member Municipal project and where desired, provide in depth assist pursuant to a private agreement through its General Counsel.

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