[Davisgig] Feasibility Study is done and OUT - Presented at City Council SOON

Robert Nickerson rob at omsoft.com
Fri Mar 9 15:44:08 PST 2018

Hi Y'all

So finally have a complete Feasibility Study in regards to municipal 
broadband for Davis. We got a great report from an excellent consultant. 
The Broadband Advisory Task Force and City staff did a great job reading 
and checking the report, and requesting pertinent changes, which were 
completely addressed by the Consultant. I'm very proud of everyone's 
effort to get this far. Tentatively this report will be presented to 
City Council on April 3rd, but that is not yet definite. We will email 
again about that at a closer date, and its very important that people 
that support this effort come and give public comment.

The charter of the Broadband Task Force is now completed, yet the Task 
Force members feel the project requires more analysis in an effort to 
hopefully continue it forward. Please let City council know you 
appreciate their effort, and you want to see this continue.

I'll also be starting a letter on Google Docs that I would like some 
help with. We'd be looking to get this letter, from DavisGIG,  to city 
staff by March 19th so it can be included in the packet that goes to 
City council along with the study, and other letters of support from 
other entities.

Here is a link to the Study: 

Here are some thoughts:

     1. The network design is about twice the cost we were considering 
in 2016. There are a couple of reasons for this.
         - The network design is all Active Ethernet, not Passive 
Optical Network. This means 2 lasers for every user. It is very 
expensive, but it is very easily upgrade able and expandable in the     
           future. Its a 99.999% uptime design. Major distribution ring, 
100 Gbps, between 6 well sites around town. 10 Gbps sub rings to 
neighborhood fiber huts with electronics at most            arterial  
roads feeding neighborhoods. PON would have less electronics and less 
         - All labor is at California Prevailing Wage.
         - Its assumed purchase of all new buildings for the CO, all new 
         - There is a 10% construction contingency which can be 
eliminated with good work by the BATF going forward and hard numbers and 
bids are delivered.

     2. The Construction and Operation of a municipal Fiber network will 
not "pay for itself" with revenue bonds, at the pricing that is 
established. If there is some other form of public support from a parcel 
tax or utility fee it is cash positive. This study is very very 
conservative, and really only looks at residential and business parcel 
revenues solely at a very middle/low retail rate.
         - There are no revenues included from leasing fiber for 5G cell 
phone networks
         - There are no revenues included from general "economic 
development" that comes along with having an innovative Internet 
platform in the community.
         - There are no revenues from potential institutional partners 
         - The revenues from Apartment Complexes are uncertain, and low 
due to the uncertain nature of operating in MDUs
         - There are no comparative costs and benefits for any Smart 
City type applications or benefits the City might see.

     3. The most feasible model of all is a RETAIL model, where the City 
works with one entity or vendor, could be a local ISP, co-op,  or not 
for profit to operate and manage the network on behalf of the City, 
which would retain all revenues. The DavisGIG OPEN access model, with 
one wholesaler concessionaire "operating and maintaining the network" 
and multiple ISPs selling services is NOT as feasible because the city 
would only get wholesale revenues, versus full retail revenues. The 
consultant also feels smaller ISPs are under capitalized and not as 
successful populating the network with users.  This is just based on 
other communities doing this in the US, not Europe, and not here in 

     What is really important from my Point of View, is that the 
Broadband Advisory Task Force, as a whole, thinks that some sort of 
publicly owned fiber network is good for Davis. It is interested in 
continuing its effort to try and make it happen by working closely with 
Apartment Complex owners, surveying residents for interest, getting 
commitments from institutional partners, and hard costs from vendors.

     This effort is very much still dynamic, alive and moving forward. 
Please tell your neighbors, and keep your eye on the Council agenda to 
come and speak in support. ALSO - READ The study we all had a hand in 
getting DONE!

     Take Care

Robert Nickerson
UCD Class of 1996
CEO, Om Networks

cell: 5308483865

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