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  • Does the current state of digital access merit this action by the town?
    The gaps in internet affordability, availability, and reliability are becoming increasingly important. Today’s technology-based interactions link and mediate our culture, the economy, and society. Connectivity expands opportunities and enlarges possibilities when affordable and available to all. People experience adverse outcomes because of existing barriers to digital access. A key consideration the town is evaluating is whether digital infrastructure should be treated as essential infrastructure and should the town take an active role in ensuring every resident and business can connect.
  • Why is fiber optic infrastructure important?
    Any public capital investment in infrastructure must also consider its usefulness and capacity to handle the projected growth of consumption. Over the past 30 years, the amount of data created, captured, copied, and consumed has increased. This trend will continue, and fiber-optics has a significantly longer lifespan than other media. Fiber’s capacity, durability, lower installation costs, and lower maintenance costs compared to other media makes fiber-optic cable a significantly better up-front investment with long-term payoffs.
  • Will fiber cost too much?
    Many municipalities have demonstrated that they can install a fiber-optic network and provide internet access at or below the cost of cable or DSL.
  • What about 5G or other technologies?
    All wireless technologies depend on fiber-optics. Wireless works best the faster it gets to fiber-optics. Major companies like AT&T & Verizon are now pursuing both a fiber-to-the-home strategy and a 5G strategy – stating publicly that these technologies are complementary.
  • Can the town afford this investment?
    The average cost of internet access in the U.S. today is $68 per premise. It is possible for nearly all communities in the U.S. to install a municipal fiber-optic network that gives residents a lower monthly cost and exponentially greater speed and capacity.
  • Where will the town get the funding?
    A key component of the analysis work the town is doing will focus on whether the town should become a digital infrastructure provider. The analysis will focus on three main cost categories for a municipal network: (1) Infrastructure, (2) Maintenance & Operations (M&O), (3) Services. The analysis will inform whether the town should pursue this initiative and potential sources of funding.
  • What does this mean for incumbent providers?
    The town recognizes and appreciates the historical investment already made by incumbent providers. The town does not plan to force existing operators to change their current operations.
  • How can I communicate questions, concerns, or support for the plan?
    There is a page on the fiber-optic website for residents and businesses to communicate questions, concerns, or support. Public input from residents and businesses is welcomed and encouraged.
  • How will the infrastructure support equity?
    Equity is a key consideration for this analysis. The town seeks to understand how focusing on digital access investments can facilitate greater economic, educational, and other local goals and priorities for all residents. Service subsidies do not effectively solve these problems long-term but are designed only to manage the problem. The town can include necessary structural reforms as part of plan execution and could start by connecting those most disadvantaged first; something industry cannot do.
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Frequently asked questions

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