November 19, 2018

The range of broadband issues relevant to municipal leaders continues to grow.  Pressing issues at the national and local level include the role of communications on economic development, the lack of competitive options for internet access, the high cost of services, requests by wireless companies to site 5G cell towers around the city, the impact of the digital divide on underprivileged citizens, privacy issues and net neutrality.

Until now, municipalities have mostly been watching from the sidelines while private companies have taken control...

July 25, 2018

In 1998, Wired Magazine’s founder Kevin Kelly wrote a brief treatise called New Rules for the New Economy.  Kelly’s e-book turned out to be about more than the new economy.  It isn’t surprising, even in 1998, that Kelly could see an economy that would become increasingly dependent on communication networks.  What is surprising is that Kelly could forecast the depth to which networks would penetrate our lives: 

“Communication is the foundation of society, of our culture, of our humanity, of our own individual identity, and of all e...

August 10, 2017

Cities considering a municipal broadband project should start with Strategy and not Feasibility.

Today’s feasibility studies tend to be lopsidedly tactical. They tend to do hand waving toward strategic issues and then dive heavily into tactical matters like: 1) Assessment of the local market, 2) Network requirements, 3) Network design, 4) Cost estimates, and 5) Financial projections.

It is possible to do an excellent job doing things right (Tactics) like building a network that is functional and still do the wrong thing (Strategy) like building a...

August 1, 2017

In September of 2016, Ammon launched its ISP Cloud. Think of this as a marketplace for ISP’s or Open Access for a Cloud World.  In Ammon’s cloud, a subscriber can change ISP’s in 20 seconds. Point - Click - Subscribe. Point - Click - Unsubscribe. No customer service calls, no waiting, no truck rolls. Since going live 10 months ago, ISP prices in Ammon have fallen from $44.95 to $9.99 (per month) for a 100 X 100 Mbps ISP connection. The timeline is as follows:

Choice and a true competitive environment is good, but what Ammon and EntryPoint h...

July 6, 2017

The City of Ammon Idaho has deployed the first fully automated Open Access, SDN based, Virtualized Municipal Fiber Network in North America (perhaps worldwide). The financial model developed by Ammon to fund its fiber buildout is as unique and innovative as the technology behind the network. 

Key Concepts in Ammon’s Financial Model Include: [Note: Items in bold are distinguishing features of the Ammon model.]

  1. Network infrastructure funding is structured in a Local Improvement District (LID). [The name for this structure varies by State i.e. S...

March 2, 2017

Communications Should Work Like Roads

An important strategic question for Cities, Counties, and States to consider is the significance of communications infrastructure to their future vitality and livability. Is it possible that communications infrastructure will be as important to society during the next 100 years as roads have been over the past 100 years?

The dominant communications model in the United States today is one where the physical infrastructure and services are intertwined and controlled by incumbent service providers. The result of...

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