Community Broadband Feasibility Study: Does It Do More Harm Than Good?
It could be time for communities to re-think the feasibility study process. They can spend up to $150,000 to complete a study, but are communities really resolving the questions they need to pursue? Some feel that a process with its roots in the 1970s needs an upgrade to keep pace with 21st-Century infrastructure. Richard Frank created custom GIS and other technologies to streamline the engineering-planning and design phase. He feels the typical feasibility study for a public network adds costs and time to address questions already answered, while failing in other areas because “communities don’t know what they don’t know.” Frank explains how to use available data to get many of the answers needed to do appropriate engineering design, better use existing technology assets, use best business practices to plan the network and address the common good. Communities need to understand better the applications and databases that can improve network planning, think more like a business and adopt sound marketing principles.