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Making the open access/wholesale model work for community broadband

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ATTENTION: There is heavy static in show's first 3-4 minutes, but it clears up after that.

The pride of the pack when it comes to community broadband business models is the open-access model in which the local government or public utility owns the physical network and private-sector ISPs deliver services to subscribers. It looks like a relatively easy model to pursue, and dozens of communities say this is their preferred option. In reality, making open access work is a monster challenge requiring intense, constant effort. 

Mt. Vernon, WA has built a small cadre of ISPs for its open-access fiber network. Information Services Director Kim Kleppe details how they overcame obstacles and seized opportunities to build a successful network that is financially sustainable. Listeners will learn:

  • why getting the second ISP is the hardest job in the world;
  • how to set pricing structure
  • tips for creating win-win situations
  • marketing tactics that attract ISPs and subscribers
  • how to keep everyone on the same page

Kleppe and his colleagues have 12 years experience building and refining their open access model. Communities just getting their networks off the ground can really benefit from the lessons of those who've been in the trenches a while.

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