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Business Models for Municipal Broadband Networks

Business Models for Municipal Broadband Networks
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Author(s): Christos Bouras (University of Patras and Research Academic Computer Technology Institute, Greece), Apostolos Gkamas (Research Academic Computer Technology Institute, Greece), George Theophilopoulos (Research Academic Computer Technology Institute, Greece) and Thrasyvoulos Tsiatsos (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 9
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch076

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Abstract

This article examines the most effective business model for the optimal exploitation of the currently developing broadband metropolitan area networks in various municipals around the globe. The proper exploitation strategy of the municipal broadband networks to be deployed could boost the demand for broadband connections and applications. The article describes the relevant, available business models in detail, including ways for broadband infrastructures’ expansion, and deals with viability issues, regarding the managing authority which is responsible for the broadband metropolitan networks. A business model, specifically in the current article, determines the way in which the exploitation of a metropolitan, community-owned, optical network will be effectuated. Municipalities may play a critical role in enabling the deployment of broadband infrastructures by the private sector (Government of Sweden, 2007): • Placing open conduit under all freeways, overpasses, railway crossings, canals and bridges. • Allowing over lashing of fiber on existing aerial fiber structures. • Forcing existing owners of conduit, such as electrical companies, telephone companies, and so forth, to make 100% of their conduit accessible to third parties. • Coordinate construction of all new conduits, especially by building entrances to minimize the “serial rippers” and make all such conduit open to third parties. However, the development of such broadband infrastructures raises several questions regarding the business model that shall be used for their exploitation (e.g., what will be the role of the municipality, what will be the degree of government interventionism, how healthy competition is going to be promoted, how the network’s viability is going to be ensured, etc.). Therefore, this article intends to: • Record international experience with respect to broadband business models for the exploitation of broadband infrastructures. • Summarize the available business models and present, through comparative analysis, the advantages and disadvantages of each business model. The remaining of this article is structured as follows: The next section presents the international experience in developing broadband metropolitan area networks in various municipalities around the globe. Next, the aticle presents and compares the available business models for the optimal exploitation of the broadband municipal networks, and presents the future trends in the area. Finally, the article is concluded.

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