Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Guide to high-speed broadband investment

Article
The following short guide is meant to aid municipalities in their first planning steps towards a successful broadband development project.
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Local and regional public authorities have a crucial role in the deployment of Next Generation Networks (NGN).

The goal of the guide is to assist public authorities in formulating the important questions, and to provide the conceptual tools and the information needed to make the right decisions matching their needs. The idea is not to provide ready-to-apply recipes on how investing in broadband in regions or municipalities should be tackled.
 

  1. Broadband Plan

Firstly, it is of utmost importance to define a detailed high level strategy of what a public authority wants to achieve. A sound broadband plan is a politically supported document containing an analysis of the current situation, the goals to be achieved, the financial support to be gained and a mechanism on how to implement it.

The guide presents four key strategy choices that need to be made in order to achieve the goals defined in the broadband plan:

  • Choice of the infrastructure type

Is it necessary to deploy a new future-proof broadband infrastructure or would it be sufficient to upgrade the existing infrastructure?
 

  • Choice of the investment model

What is the role of the public authority with respect to the implementation, operation, ownership and management of the infrastructure in order to choose the right investment model?
 

  • Choice of the business model

Should the public authority opt for a vertically integrated or an open-access network model? Which business model is most likely to maximise broadband coverage and penetration, the financial sustainability of the project, competition and the socio-economic development of the community?
 

  • Choice of the financing tools

How can the public authority ensure an adequate financial coverage for building and operating the infrastructure with the right financial tools? What can it contribute in terms of capital, expenditure and assets?
 

  1. Action plan

Once these choices are made, an action plan needs to be defined and executed. The process must be closely monitored to ensure the achievement of the previously defined goals.

 

Last updated on 03/07/2015