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