One of the big challenges in building broadband infrastructure can be accessing utility poles. As an electric cooperative or municipal power company, it is likely that you have both access to poles and the resources to hang fiber cable on these poles. Providing broadband service to your existing customers can be not only a huge community benefit especially in rural markets, but also a profitable additional line of business.
One of the most effective ways for a community to impact the broadband gap is through the work of a municipal effort or a community broadband group.
The Michigan Moonshot Broadband Framework serves as a community network primer and the basis for planning a community’s roadmap. Contained within, you’ll find overviews on policy and technology, community success stories, links to myriad resources and planning tools from national broadband leaders and a phased plan for building a regional network.
Merit has created a series of educational webinars that provide deep-dives in community broadband topics, such as data and mapping, financial modeling, broadband technology and more. View past webinars and register to attend future events.
- Full access to the Michigan Moonshot Broadband Framework
- Michigan Moonshot Newsletter
- Resources Library access
- RFP Templates
- Budget templates
- Document appendix
- Legal frameworks
- Evaluation matrixes
Paid Membership: ($1,500) Inclusive of all Complimentary Moonshot benefits, Merit Membership benefits plus:
- Complimentary open access workshop
- Eligible for Merit Community Supporter scholarships
- Complimentary Merit Community CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) consulting hours
- Trial participation in a Merit Community of Practice (networking, cybersecurity, information technology or esports)
- Complimentary trial of CISCO Scanner Service
Solving the lack of broadband infrastructure is not an inexpensive proposition – after all, if it were cheap and easy the problem would already have been solved by a private entity. It’s important to understand the potential scope of costs before exploring financing options. It’s important to note that the individual situations that communities face will vary widely, as will costs.
The best place to start for understanding costs and financing is to review the cost and financing sections of the Michigan Moonshot Framework.
Grant opportunities can be a moving target. For this reason, Merit has created an online resource to track current broadband grant opportunities in Michigan and nationally.
Not all broadband infrastructure is created equally, and there are many design decisions that go into a network’s architecture. While the details will be worked out later in the process, it is beneficial to understand the critical design decisions that will need to be made before a feasibility study is undertaken. (link to framework)