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Designers of fiber networks for electric utilities and communities.

News and comments on community broadband networks, the communities deploying them and the technologies that support them. Published by Denise Frey and Al Bonnyman.

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Thursday, September 25, 2003


Washington: Grant County PUD faces possible lawsuit from one of its' ISPs

Grant County PUD is prohibited by state law from offering FTTH (fiber to the home) service directly to end-users; they sell network access to ISPs who in turn provide voice, data and/or video to end-users. Setting up this arrangement has been tricky and now at least one of the retail service providers is threatening the PUD with a lawsuit.

At Fiber Planners, we think such "open access" requirements complicate FTTH network development. FTTH is by now a proven technology, but we're not sure all of the bugs have been worked out of the business model for open access. It's telling that this sort of requirement is often slipped into state legislation by telco and cable TV lobbyists; clearly they see complicating a municipal utility's broadband business model as an impediment to effective municipal competition.

Other municipalities with FTTH systems such as Bristol, Virginia not only provide the network but also handle the services provided over the network and all aspects of the customer relationship. This business model, like FTTH technology itself, is well-established and a much better approach for municipal broadband utilities.



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