[Davisgig] Fwd: Task Force Positive - City Staff Negative - Next Step for Community Broadband Needs your Help

Robert Nickerson rob at omsoft.com
Fri May 31 18:36:14 PDT 2019

Hi All

This went out to the announce list just now.  Please share far and wide.

I'll make a modification that is suitable for next door and fb and post 
that next



-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: 	Task Force Positive - City Staff Negative - Next Step for 
Community Broadband Needs your Help
Date: 	Fri, 31 May 2019 18:32:16 -0700
From: 	help at dcn.org
Organization: 	DavisGIG Committee of DCN
To: 	davisgig-announce at list.davisgig.org 
<davisgig-announce at list.davisgig.org>

Hi Davisites

We need your input at the next City Council meeting on Tuesday 6/4/19.

Last Wed was the final Broadband Advisory Task Force meeting. After 
fulfilling its charge The BATF unanimously approved its final product, a 
3 page letter, which unequivocally states a Fiber Based Community 
Broadband network is feasible, should be further analyzed and pursued by 
technical and financial professionals in coordination with city 
engineering staff, and urges timely action.

This process went on 3 full years and was entering its 4^th . It 
produced an excellent Feasibility Study Report, evaluated information, 
talked to vendors, and generated and reviewed the results of a phone 
survey and online poll in its final analysis.

Personally, I’m truly thankful these community leaders took their time 
to evaluate and follow this process of evaluating feasibility to this 
conclusion, and now it is time for DavisGIG to be more active again with 
the Council to help move it onward.

In stark contrast, the staff report that the BATF letter is attached to 
is very negative on cost alone due to the feasibility report we wrote 
about last year.. Not a surprise for a report that states an $800 per 
house marketing cost just to get the customer to join the community 
fiber network.

The staff report draws on the very conservative Feasibility study report 
which describes the costs of building the most expensive type of fiber 
network, all at once, and with a business model of a traditional ISP 
that competes against the Very Large ISPs. It also relies on the phone 
survey about broadband we advised would be lackluster due to the fact 
that no one does phone surveys any more.  It really parrots points put 
forward by the large incumbent carriers, to discourage municipal 
broadband, and does not refer to any of the many economic development, 
social justice, and pro competitive, smart city benefits a municipal 
fiber investment would make. The staff report does not examine any 
alternative designs, financing mechanisms or future needs which make 
local control of Internet infrastructure desirable.

It completely ignores further analysis put forward by a subcommittee of 
the BATF, as reported in a memo approved unanimously at the 3/27 meeting 
that shows that the electronics are substantially cheaper, and a phased 
installation approach allowing for project expansion based on revenues 
from the initial phase. That memo advocates for the construction of the 
core backbone ring and sub rings, that go throughout the entire city, 
has substantial numbers of homes businesses and apartments passed, and 
serves as an anchor ring that will generate immediate revenue and allow 
the build out remaining neighborhoods.

It makes no mention of the network as a valuable asset that the City 
would realize revenue from from citizens, business, and other companies 
through leases. It makes no mention of working with community partners. 
It ignores the fact that city and school buildings would have permanent 
usable Internet connections for a one time cost. City Community and 
Business Engagement staff, wants to end the effort and bring in big 
fiber provider Grande/Wave/RCN, owned by private equity firm TPG Capital 
to just carry on with the status quo, cherry picking neighborhoods and 
giving away valuable city conduit for little return. This will setup 
another monopoly control situation over physical Internet infrastructure 
and fiber will be the last one installed, like Comcast’s control of 
Coax, and ATT’s control of Copper.

So we need to put some effort into encouraging Council to do the right 
thing here, which is follow the BATF letter and not the staff report. 
Continue the effort of technical and financial analysis for a phased 
build approach to a city-owned, community-operated open access fiber 
ring or more.

This will be presented at the City Council on 6/4/19. Please provide 
public comment via email or in person at the beginning of the meeting. 
The BATF item is at the end of the evening, and I’d hate for you all to 
be stuck at the meeting very late.

In support of that, we have generated a “talking points” type document 
which refers to benefits identified by the Feasibility Study and 
addresses concerns citizens identified in the DavisGIG broadband poll. 
We hope you can use this to educate your neighbors and colleagues as to 
why this will make everyone's quality of life better. As well, attached 
is a sample letter you can use to send indicating your support for 
community owned broadband and DavisGIG. Send it to 
citycouncilmembers at cityofdavis.org

Thank you for your support

Davis GIG Committee of DCN

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