[Davisgig] PLEASE SHARE - Version for Next Door

Robert Nickerson rob at omsoft.com
Fri May 31 19:05:47 PDT 2019

Subject - DAVISGIG UPDATE - Task Force Positive - City Staff Negative - 
Next Step for Community Broadband Needs your Help

You can tell people to email help at dcn.org if they have questions.

Hi Davisites

Last Wed was the final Broadband Advisory Task Force meeting. 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. 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.

This is because it 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 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.

Talking Points: 

Template: http://wheel.dcn.davis.ca.us/~help/Template_CC060419.doc

Thank you for your support

Davis GIG Committee of DCN

Robert Nickerson
UCD Class of 1996
CEO, Om Networks

cell: 5308483865

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