The Economic Feasibility Assessment is a process SNG offers as an alternative to longer and more costly broadband feasibility studies. It is the foundational planning step to answer an important question: Does this digital infrastructure investment pay off for our community/region?
Like electrification, broadband is essential infrastructure, where community benefits outweigh investment costs. Electrical infrastructure is a foundation on which communities and economies have been built – those with good quality, ubiquitous, and reliable networks have thrived. With everything going online, communities and economies now need dependable, sustainable and affordable broadband infrastructure for all.
The Economic Feasibility Assessment can up-front assess whether community benefits outweigh the costs of investing in broadband. This is critical when unserved and underserved areas do not represent enough of a business case for private sector investment in broadband (where revenues exceed capital and operational costs). Like other infrastructure investments, the significant long-term community benefits from broadband are drivers can make an economic case for public investment in broadband, as local leaders decided in Ammon, Idaho.
By quantifying the community benefits from broadband investments, a community return on investment (i.e. economic case for investing in broadband) can be assessed and compared to the expected costs to build the network. Local property owners, ratepayers and incumbent broadband providers can see where community benefits outweigh the costs and why this is essential local infrastructure. With empirical evidence on broadband access and use, communities and regions can then build buy-in and start a process that plans for outcomes and engages the community and its providers to address their broadband gaps and future needs.
The Economic Feasibility Assessment includes:
- Municipal/county broadband cost reductions compared to current costs for existing and planned municipal/county facilities
- Cost reductions to community anchor institutions, such as schools and libraries
- Cost savings for households, making broadband more affordable and creating consumer surplus for local spending
- Economic growth from increased business competitiveness and productivity
- Smart-neighborhood service benefits and cost savings
- Network build cost estimate
Read Ammon, Idaho’s Economic Feasibility Assessment
Any community considering taking its broadband future into its own hands needs to understand and quantify the financial benefits such an investment would require – and if cost savings alone actually help a community pay for a network.
SNG’s Economic Feasibility Assessment provides analysis and insights into the cost benefits as well as the flow-through economic impacts from enhanced business growth enabled by broadband. Municipalities that will benefit from the Economic Feasibility Assessment will be those that;
- Recognize that their current state of broadband quality, availability, or affordability is not meeting their needs.
- Understand that improving the current state of broadband is essential to the continued well-being and economic growth of their community.
- Are ready to take action and ownership of their broadband future, including the possibility of building municipal broadband infrastructure.
Watch the Webinar: Is a Locally Owned Broadband Network Right for You?
Watch the ICF Broadband Agendas Webinar: The Economic Case for Municipal Broadband
Listen to the Podcast: Ammon Examines Muni Fiber Impact – Community Broadband Bits
For episode 259 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast, we are going back to the well in Ammon, Idaho – one of the most creative and forward-thinking fiber network deployments in the country. SNG has completed a study examining the impact of Ammon’s open muni fiber network on local businesses and residents. Click to listen >>
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