"Did the chicken or the egg come first?" (Municipal Fiber Deployment Playbook)

Mark Zuckerberg walks into Town Hall and offers to fully fund and operate a FTTP network in Portsmouth.  Could he do it on his own?  Rewind back to early 1990s, did cable companies just pull up in their utility trucks and just start installing coaxial cable?  A private company would not be able to conduct an installation unless there was a minimum level of cooperation from the host municipality.

Regardless of the overall FTTP (fungible) solution (private/public-private/public/NGO coordinated/co-op) the minimum level of support required from a municipality is as follows:

  • Town Council:
    • Award contract(s) to the most qualified bidder(s) in the RFP process.
      • Determine if space in Town Facilities can house a small and secure telecom space (2 half racks of equipment).
        • Town Charter allows for land to be used for purposes of a utility.
          • "In-kind" contributions of land or structure.
    • Identify Stakeholders and Governing Structure.
      • Designate an official liaison with other entities and vendors (serving on behalf of municipality).
        • Apply on behalf of municipality for Universal Service Fund monies, and if applicable unlock any additional state and USDA funds.  https://www.usac.org/
          • E-rate (school ring network).
          • High Cost (Prudence Island)
            • Verizon's Service Level Agreement (SLA) provides for a ADSL download of only 2 Mbps and a upload speed of only 784 Kbps.
  • Zoning Board:
    • Require primary and secondary (buried) electrical conduit for all new developments (similar to requiring stormwater management, etc.).
  • Town Administrator et al.:
    • MOU with RIDOT.
  • Town Finance Director:
    • RFP calls:
      • Physical construction.
      • Middle mile provider.
      • Break-fix.
    • Collaborate with Tax Assessor for any mail-outs.
      • Save on postage.
  • Town Solicitor:
    • Verify presence of rights of way agreements:
      • PWFD buried.
      • Municipal gain space.
      • Streetlight fixture attachments.
  • Town Planner:
    • Coordinate "rights of way" (ROW) buried under/alongside town roads.
    • Share GIS database (ESRI shapefile) that catalogs:
      • Number of utility poles/streetlights, and ownership data.
        • All utility poles, not just poles with Town-owned streetlights.
        • Utility pole owner(s) will provide this information upon request.
      • Electrical manholes (such as for traffic and crosswalk signals), etc.
    • Provide total count of street miles served by aerial utilities and underground utilities.
  • DPW:
    • Furnish distance of all Town roads.
    • Coordinate microtrenching across town roads and/or directional boring under town roads.
  • Police (if needed):
    • Coordinate traffic control.