Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Guide to Broadband Development

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The following short guide is meant to aid municipalities in their first planning steps towards a successful broadband development project.
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For the planning and implementation of a broadband project a structured approach is recommended.  Please feel free to use the list below to create your own checklist and develop an individual plan for your broadband projects.

I  First Steps

  1. Set up a clear information- and communication-structure in the municipality.

  • Name one or more responsible persons with a sufficient contingent of time.
  • Create a plan of action, which includes short-, mid- and long-term planning, as well as temporary actions (analysis of needs) and continuous tasks (infrastructure atlas).
  • Use external experts (e.g. committed citizens, consults) if needed.
  1. Conduct a market exploration study, by asking all relevant telecommunication providers for non-binding offers.

II   Regional analysis of demand

  1. Create a questionnaire to collect the status quo of the demand and the overall supply rate.

  • Explain in the beginning the aim and the importance of the analysis of demand.
  • Consult data protection officer and verify the use of geo-referred data which is possible.
  • During the conception take into account the different requirements of private households and companies.
  • Ask for the willingness to pay for the speed, which is wished.
  1. Check for the demand analysis the requirements and possibilities in the respective aid program.

  1. Arrange the distribution of the questionnaire on the most possible ways of communication (official journal, local newspapers, internet forms, and individual letters).

  2. Speak with local multipliers (e.g. schools, societies, trade and repair businesses) and link them to the planning.

  3. Check the number of returning and filled out questionnaires. A return rate of at least ten percent should exist.

  4. Evaluate the results. Focus should be given on evaluation of the already existing supply rate, the demand of broadband access per household, the expectations of internet speed and the willingness to pay.

  5. If possible, transfer the results of the analysis to a geo-information system, to make future planning easier.

  6. Compare the results of the analysis of demands (spot tests) with the availability checks of telecommunication providers on their respective website.

III   Establishment of the framework requirements

  1. Start with an interest determination procedure to collect binding offers, if the market exploration study did not provide cost-covering offers.

  2. Assign a feasibility study, with the aim of concrete recommendations for the use of the different technologies.

  • Explore the technical possibilities taking into account the topographical and demographical preconditions.
  • Clarify the existence of already installed infrastructure and its potential for future use (e.g. possible places for antenna, existing fibre or TV-cables).
  • Gather data about the infrastructural recourses of telecommunication providers, but also train and transport companies.
  • Based on these examinations all data shall be implemented into an infrastructure atlas, which should provide information of all existing infrastructure and every relevant plan of construction.
  1. Check the financial possibilities, taking into account the results of the studies and the returning offers.

  • Calculate which financial share has to be financed by whom.
  • Keep an eye on the development of prices and compare direct costs with additional offers.
  • Ask for measures which may reduce costs (e.g. use of existing infrastructure, internal labour, rented cables).
  • Speak to possible partners, who might want to partly finance the project.
  • Calculate the existing operating expenses of a planned infrastructure including the continuous earning situation.

IV   Development of a regional aim

  1. Set up a regular exchange on actual and future planning and topics on a regional level.

  • Consider together how the future cooperation could look like to create economical and sustainable solutions.
  • Adjust planned construction works to the greatest part possible. For example, by regular adjustment of the respective infrastructural atlases.
  • Use regular round table discussions and work groups to coordinate the long-term development of the planned constructions.
  1. Maintain regular contact to the telecommunication provider. Keep a close focus on a clear communication and discuss project planning in detail.

  2. If required, set clear priorities for the order of single development projects. This may be required under the circumstances of different supply precognitions and/or financial bottlenecks.

V   Project development and planning

  1. Before taking a decision, use the possibility to talk to the citizens during information events and in face to face discussions. Valuable impulses might come from these.

  2. Choose an open market model for the network. This creates new possibilities of competitiveness.

  3. Plan the installation and the development of the supply net together with providers, experts and citizens.

  • Compile the technical planning of the project based on the result of the feasibility study and additional consolidated findings.
  • Define a detailed time schedule, fixing the responsibilities and the single work steps in it.
  • Install a long-term cost planning, regarding different scenarios of earnings.
  • Exchange with all involved actors on a regular basis on the current status of planning and future steps.
  • Check if and in what form single calls for tenders are required.
  1. Assign the first technical crews for preparation works.

VI   Development of Broadband infrastructure

  1. Accompany the phase of installment and development. Especially with bigger projects, pay attention to a good coordination of the individual responsible persons.

  • Coordination of the important developments steps should be done by you with the highest accuracy, to deeply influence the future steps of the project.
  • During the installation and development process keep constant contact to the executing provider and supplier and all otherwise involved auteurs. A good exchange on all levels is required if possible planning anomalies occur.
  • Adjust and update the time schedule, especially in the case of delays, which would prolong the project runtime.
  • Check, if the cost calculation relates to the actual expenditure and if applicable set up additional measurements.
  1. During the phase of construction and installation document all results and experiences.

  2. Inform the affected citizens and local media after finalization of bigger single development projects and access connection.

VII   Evaluation and amendment

  1. Make sure about the carrying out of the concrete construction work. If applicable arrange a final acceptance of the construction work.

  • Note specifics that occurred due to the unforeseeable area related conditions or other unplanned events.
  • Review the findings from the project process with the involved auteurs, especially if additional construction steps or projects are planned.
  1. Set additional dates for information events and direct discussions with citizens after finishing the development project to exchange the experiences made during the time.

  2. Collect all results in a project documentation. Make sure to arrange them in chronological order and by including all single steps.

  • Note short-term and constant developments in the project documentation (for example new developments of costs or competitions).
  • Update the network planning. By using a geo-information system additional future development projects can be mapped.
  1. Follow a strategic approach for the future development of the net. Set up a regular exchange with neighbor municipalities and communes.