Originally published: October 8, 2009
Last updated: October 8, 2009 - 10:04pm
In developing a National Broadband Plan, the Federal Communications Commission is relying on a variety of data to fully evaluate the costs of deploying broadband infrastructure throughout America. On October 5, 2009, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation filed a cost model and cost estimates of providing fiber optic connectivity to anchor institutions, such as public schools and libraries, community colleges, and hospitals. On Thursday, the FCC sought comment on questions raised by the estimates including:
1) Are there other categories of buildings that should be considered anchor institutions?
2) How well do the four categories of population density (dense urban, urban, suburban and rural) segment anchor institutions? Is there need to further divide, for example, the rural grouping to treat more remote areas differently?
3) How accurate is the assumption that 80% of anchor institutions lack fiber? Does it vary across the different population-density groups? Does it vary by type of anchor institution?
4) To what extent are the cost estimates for bringing fiber to individual buildings accurate?
5) What incremental inside-wiring, or campus-wiring, costs should be added to these estimates? For what type of institutions in what geographies?
6) To what extent will right-of-way issues lead to incremental costs not reflected in these estimates? How will right-of-way issues impact the timeline of build-out to these institutions?
7) Should operating expenses be a consideration when calculating cost for connecting anchor institutions to fiber? What operating expenses would be associated with running these networks, and how would those vary by type of institution and geography?
8) To what extent will providing fiber to these institutions improve the build-out economics in currently un- or under-served areas?
9) To what extent will providing fiber to these institutions directly assist last-mile build-outs in currently un- or under-served areas? For example, will bringing fiber to local schools generally provide shorter loop lengths to surrounding homes, or is the location of the communications plant relative to the school and community the primary driver? How will that vary by population density?
Comments are due October 28, 2009.
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