The Jefferson County Public Utility District is reviewing two options to bring broadband to the unserved and underserved markets in Washington state, reported the Peninsula Daily News. Randy Trost, a senior broadband consultant from Magellan Advisors, presented broadband survey results from 1,300 respondents and laid out the choices for building infrastructure.
The first would include a carrier partnership, possibly with T-Mobile.
“There are certain skill sets we either have to grow or obtain because you haven’t been a broadband company in the past, a and that’s OK,” said Trost. “Somebody like T-Mobile could bring that skill set here.”
The second option presented by Trost is to develop several local utility districts (LUDs) and turn them into clusters he called “fiberhoods.” In this scenario, customers in those areas would finance the infrastructure growth over 15 years.
According to Trost, in either case, the extension of fiber with a mix of fixed wireless services is necessary. Additionally, the PUD must partner with ISPs to bill for the service, since state law prohibits them from involvement in retail sales, according to Peninsula Daily News.
“The PUD may be the only entity that can effect real change in broadband for the region,” Trost said. “If a private company comes in, you’ll have what we have now — pockets of broadband and pockets without.”
October 2, 2019
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