Investing in Broadband for Your Community

Deciding to own your broadband future is critical. Making the investment decision that is right for your community makes it happen.

There is a reason that many communities continue to have residents and businesses that are unable to access adequate broadband services. These unserved (no broadband) and underserved (poor quality broadband) areas remain primarily because the business case for private sector ISP investment is insufficient. Private sector investment is drawn to opportunities for higher revenues and profits.

Changing the broadband status quo requires community leaders to take control of their own broadband future, recognizing broadband as essential infrastructure for their citizens. Community leaders need to evaluate the ramifications of continuing with the broadband status quo versus investing in broadband infrastructure for the betterment of the community. For more on this topic read our article How can municipalities take control of their broadband future?

Making the broadband investment decision

For municipalities and other local government administrations the decision to invest in broadband infrastructure often requires making choices within limited and constrained budgets or seeking additional sources of funds. This decision requires a clear understanding of both the investment required and the beneficial outcomes from that investment. The costs and benefits need to be estimated to a degree that the right decision can be made with confidence.

When considering investments in broadband infrastructure community leaders have an opportunity – even an obligation – to look beyond the typical private sector business case toward the broader community benefits. These benefits include:

  • Cost reductions for municipal services as well as vital community institutions, such as schools and libraries.
  • Cost savings for residents and businesses that make broadband more affordable, increasing broadband access and use.
  • Economic growth opportunities driven by the availability and use of improved broadband services across the community.

In addition to these quantifiable benefits the improved broadband opens up new opportunities for innovative municipal services, including smart city services, for the benefit of citizens. The overall improved vitality of the community can have further positive impacts on property values and local taxes.

What kind of broadband investment?

An increasing number of municipalities have chosen a path to build and operate their own municipal broadband networks or have done so through municipal utility networks. While building and operating a network as a broadband provider is one solution, it is not the only option available to community leaders. Establishing the right broadband infrastructure in the right way, considering all the factors, leads to sustainable, long-term solutions. The right solution and its costs need to be consistent with the benefits that will result from the investment.

SNG has applied our unique and extensive research and experience to assist community leaders in evaluating the costs and benefits beyond the business case to reach the right investment decision.

Evaluate Broadband Benefits

Evaluating broadband’s costs and benefits is the first critical step toward owning your broadband future.

Learn how SNG’s Economic Feasibility Assessment can quickly and affordably get you to the right broadband investment decision.

Assess Broadband Demand

Clearly identifying demand for improved broadband is a critical element in planning your broadband project.

Learn about SNG’s unique Market Assessment and Economic Baseline tailored to your broadband strategy to optimize your success.