It’s Time for Private investment in Community Digital Infrastructure
Investing in community digital infrastructure is a low-risk impact investment with steady returns – and a solid alternative to traditional investments where there is increasing volatility (stock markets), uncertainty (e.g. oil and gas industry), or marginal yields (investment grade bonds). Private investors and patient capital are part of the solution for communities.
Patient capital enables pivoting to an economic case for investing in community digital infrastructure, capturing new revenues from local economic growth by growing the local economy through broadband and digital transformation. Revenue from increased local economic activity is captured through additional subscriptions (higher take-rates), higher value-subscriptions, and value-added services.
An economic case for investing in digital infrastructure is what communities and the broadband industry have been waiting for – now it is time to execute. The COVID-19 pandemic has sharpened the argument that the case for broadband is not just economic – but existential. Elected officials, local decision-makers, and community leaders have to understand that:
- Investing in broadband cannot be put off. Leaders can no longer wait for their replacement to take on a broadband initiative. Even if they do not have the experience, know-how, or time left in their term – their community needs reliable broadband now.
- The need is real and growing —the escalating transition of work, healthcare and education to a digital platform means that broadband can no longer be considered a luxury, it is essential to competitiveness and sustainability. Heavily increasing network traffic and burdening networks that were not built for such loads.
- A new norm has emerged — COVID-19 is driving home the reality that gaps in broadband access, quality, and affordability are endangering the very survival of citizens and businesses in communities that do not have digital infrastructure.
Communities seeking better broadband need solutions now. Investors are looking for steady returns. SNG has established an economic case to engage investors and bring private capital to deliver community digital infrastructure, digital transformation, and workforce development.
We start with digital infrastructure for the new economy, which is more than simply fast internet access. Community digital infrastructure is a network platform that connects all residents and businesses (like roads) so that every community member can access and effectively participate in the increasingly online economy. Digital transformation and workforce development increase local innovation and digital inclusion, which grow the local economy and workforce – whose growth further expands the local market for broadband and value-added service revenues for the digital infrastructure network. This virtuous cycle yields indirect community benefits, such as local business retention and growth, new good-paying local jobs, increased local GDP and tax base, increased autonomy and quality of life, among many others.
You have a new way to bring private capital and community digital infrastructure together and get this done.