Municipal Broadband Toolkit: Approaches to broadband

Broadband projects can transform a community in terms of economic development, access to services, access to educational resources and many other things. 

These projects tend to be extremely complicated. Technology, geography, topography, and financing are among the many considerations associated with these undertakings.

While the outcome of each project may look different, there is an increasingly consistent set of steps municipalities are following to navigate and complete broadband projects. They are:

  • Initial High-Level Study – These provide an understanding of the impact(s) of bringing broadband into the region, technology options, along with various considerations specific to the area
  • In-Depth Assessment – The outcome of these assessments will provide a clear understanding of ‘what’ and ‘how’ a broadband project should look, in order to prepare the organization for procuring in accordance with its expected approach.
  • Procurement – Along with identifying suitable vendors, many of these market solicitations including potential funding partners.
  • Build – Often the most resource-intensive part of the project, this step features a number of unique challenges, which often includes ‘future planning’ for upcoming municipal infrastructure and development.
  • Operationalize – Putting  various operational capabilities and processes in place, including network management, customer service, (potential) solicitation and management of ISPs.
  • Sustainment – Ensuring the role(s) of all involved parties are properly executed, management, and overseen / governed.

For more information, take a look at the Municipal Broadband Toolkit that Alberta Municipalities developed to help members navigate these types of projects.