Getting online is becoming nearly as critical today as having reliable access to water and electricity. Broadband, a term used to describe high-speed data/internet access, is the lifeblood of the modern economy, and it determines who has access to information and which communities are positioned to flourish.
The Covid-19 pandemic unceremoniously revealed the digital divide that exists in rural and underserved urban/suburban communities across the country. To address this digital divide and promote digital equity, the U.S. Congress and the Administration identified affordable broadband as a national priority and stepped in to make a “once-in-a-generation” investment in broadband infrastructure through the America Rescue Plan Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Cities and counties, large and small, can use the funds to deploy community-wide broadband and enable their residents, businesses, and communities to flourish.
Nationwide cellular carriers and wired Internet Service Providers have not served all communities equally well. Small- and mid-sized communities generally have not fared well because they are not deemed as attractive markets by the national players. NODABL, on the other hand, is laser focused on small- to mid-sized communities and aims to assist government leaders in determining the unique value proposition of broadband in their communities, and to simplify the broadband procurement process. NODABL’s ConnectedCommunity broadband networks and ownership models are custom designed to address the needs of the community. The networks are cost-effective and incorporate state-of-the-art fiber and wireless technologies. NODABL offers the ConnectedCommunity solution as a managed service so that the community is not burdened with the task of managing a sophisticated broadband network.
What NODABL Does:
• We act as a strategic advisor for broadband infrastructure.
• We engage community leadership to understand goals and objectives.
• We evaluate the broadband service and identify unserved and underserved areas in the community.
• We determine if the community requires fiber, wireless, or both, and design a customized solution.
• We work with community leadership to design an acceptable model for network ownership and operation
• We ensure that network financing and procurement is consistent with laws and regulations.
• We provide turnkey services from network design to installation to launch to post-launch network monitoring.
ConnectedCommunity broadband is
versatile and scalable, and can simulta-
neously support many business-critical
and community-critical uses.
• Free WiFi Access in Public Spaces
Cellular coverage is often spotty in wide open public spaces such as city parks, playgrounds, and softball fields. Communities can address this problem using the ConnectedCommunity broadband network to provide “umbrella” cellular coverage along with an “underlying” network of public WiFi access points.
• Enhance Public Safety
Security can be enhanced by deploying video surveillance cameras and “blue light” emergency call stations in public spaces to deter crime, protect residents, and safeguard government property.
• Digital Equity in the Community
In many rural communities, and even in some urban/suburban communities close to large metropolitan areas, broadband access is not evenly available across the entire community. ConnectedCommunity broadband can be leveraged to address the unserved and underserved areas of the community with Fixed Wireless Access to homes and businesses.
• Improved Operational Efficiency
Local governments have facilitie such as remote lift stations, waste treatment facilities, community centers, senior centers, and storage garages for public works throughout the community that require constant monitoring. By connecting HVAC sensors and controls, cameras, and other Internet of Things (IoT)
appliances to the network, cities can leverage the power of data to improve operational efficiencies, digitally transform their operations, and reduce broadband costs.
• Innovative SmartCity Services
SmartCity services refer to innovative new services that are specifically enabled due to the presence of a community-wide broadband network. Examples include automated water or electricity meter reading, smartphone app-based parking assistance, Uber-like arrival schedules for public transport, smart street lighting control, and in the future, autonomous vehicles.
• Promote Economic Development
The availability of community-wide broadband and 5G cellular technologies can entice businesses to move to an area and create jobs. Broadband availability can also benefit primarily small businesses that leverage internet sites such as Airbnb, Etsy, and eBay, and mobile or temporary concessions at Farmer's markets and community events for secure point-of-sale transactions.
• New Revenue Opportunities
A significant cost of broadband infrastructure deployment is in the initial development of physical assets such as communication towers, data centers, and fiber and wireless connectivity. Once developed, these assets become attractive for commercial entities to leverage, and can produce revenue for the local government.
Broadband service comes in many forms, including wired (e.g., cable, fiber) or wireless (e.g.,
cellular, microwave, satellite) service to the home or business. Wireless networks are easier
to deploy and do not involve excessive digging or trenching of city streets or other right-of-way
and permitting issues. Wireless broadband service based on Long Term Evolution (LTE) and 5G
cellular technology Fixed Wireless Access are new, cost-effective, last-mile alternatives to
routing fiber or cable directly to each home. The cellular networks have the further advantage
over microwave or satellite wireless services of providing mobile access (e.g., access to
broadband connection in a moving vehicle) in addition to stationary Fixed Wireless Access.
Cellular networks, therefore, are a versatile form of broadband infrastructure. NODABL’s
ConnectedCommunity broadband networks leverage both fiber and standards-based LTE and 5G wireless technologies. The networks are state-of-the-art, secure, scalable, easy to implement, affordable, and are custom designed for each community to optimize coverage, capacity, and cost. The networks are managed remotely via the cloud and offered “as a service” so the community is not burdened with the task of managing a complex fiber and wireless network.
Customization to the community’s needs and full control over the network by the community differentiates the ConnectedCommunity solution by NODABL from broadband services offered by nationwide cellular carriers, fiber network operators, and Internet Service Providers.
Local Ownership and Control
According to a National League of Cities analysis, approximately 900 communities
have already made significant investments in publicly owned broadband infrastructure.
Working with NODABL, the ConnectedCommunity network ownership and operations
business models can be tailored to suit each community’s preferences.
With local ownership and control, in addition to using the network to address the local government’s business critical functions, excess network capacity may be used to offer broadband services directly to residents and businesses to address any digital divide in the community. Alternatively, the ConnectedCommunity network can act as a “neutral host” and lease excess capacity to internet service providers and cellular carriers who can then provide retail services to homes and businesses in the community. By providing public broadband infrastructure, communities can lower the cost barrier to entry for private service providers, provide better coverage and competitive service rates to its residents.
Best-in-Class Technology and Turnkey Solution
NODABL has technology sourcing relationships with three world-class companies that are innovators in wireless networks, namely, Nokia, Motorola Solutions, and Celona. Acting as a strategic advisor to the community NODABL helps select the most appropriate technology and provides hassle-free network ownership with end-to-end services.
• Network Funding
The America Rescue Plan Act and the Bipartisan
Infrastructure and Investment and Jobs Act together
are providing billions of dollars of funding to
cities, counties, and school districts
specifically to improve broadband
infrastructure in their communities.
• Last Mile Solution
Community broadband networks based
on LTE and 5G cellular technology as
offered by NODABL are cost-effective last
mile solutions for providing broadband
access to unserved and underserved
rural and urban/suburban communities
to address the digital divide.
• Local Control
Although NODABL offers the broadband network as a managed service, local governments retain full control over their networks. Network ownership and operation and maintenance business models can be tailored to suit each community’s preferences.
• Digital Equity
With a versatile network based on fiber and LTE and 5G technologies, local governments can simultaneously promote digital equity i in their communities, while also offering residents SmartCity services and improving the efficiency of government operations.
The FCC defines broadband service as a data connection with minimum 25 Mbps download (DL) and 3 Mbps upload (UL) speeds which are sufficient for a household to perform basic browsing tasks on the internet. Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to the billions of physical devices around the world that are now connected to the internet, all collecting and sharing data.
Last-mile refers to the connectivity gap between an internet service provider’s broadband infrastructure and a customer’s home or workplace. Last mile connectivity is one of the biggest costs many businesses and homeowners face when trying to access broadband services outside urban areas. Cloud/cloud hosting refers to outsourcing of an organization’s computing, storage, and IT to a service provider who shares resources over multiple customers. Cloud/cloud hosting is a cheaper alternative to the traditional model of organizations managing their own infrastructure.
Institute for Local Self-Reliance, “Community Network Map,” January 2020