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Examination Of Broadband Deployment: Public Vs. Private Sector

2291 words - 9 pages

Introduction
The purpose of The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners reviewing broadband accessibility to North Carolina General Assembly is to provide information concerning the deployment of high speed broadband services and establish a legitimate recommendation using practical and current significance. The NCACC was founded in 1908, and considered one of the most active statewide local government associations in the nation. “The Association employs a professional staff to run the day-to-day operations and to provide expertise in the areas of lobbying, fiscal and legal research, communications, intergovernmental relations, information technology, field visits and risk management services” (NACC, 2010).
“The term broadband refers to advanced communications systems capable of providing high-speed transmission of services such as data, voice, and video over the Internet and other networks. Transmission is provided by a wide range of technologies, including digital subscriber line and fiber optic cable, coaxial cable, wireless technology, and satellite. Broadband platforms make possible the convergence of voice, video, and data services onto a single network.” (FCC, 2009)
In 1996, Section 706 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act was established to encourage the deployment to all Americans in the USA and established a deregulation of government. The 2009 results from the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina (MCNC) revealed that North Carolina’s rural areas were being underserved and un-served by private companies. Later that same year legislative members authorized the establishment of a joint select committee on high speed internet in rural communities to study local government owned and operated communication services. Meanwhile, great efforts were developed and achieved by The North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center (E-NC Authority), and North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) to continue planning and building the new “middle-mile” fiber across the state of North Carolina. The “middle Mile” consists of a $121.6 million dollar initiative to build and improve connections to communities lacking sufficient broadband access. (E-NC, 2009) In April 2010, at the E-NC Authority Commission Meeting, Jane Patterson (Director) expressed that one of the upcoming broadband issues that exist will be who operates the “last mile” efforts. Additionally, Last Mile efforts consist of a “$51.4 million initiative to connect end users like homes, hospitals and schools to their community’s broadband infrastructure (the middle mile).” (E-NC, 2009)
Private companies (telecoms) fear that municipal broadband deployment in counties such as Wilson and Salisbury, which began operating broadband throughout the entire county delivering excellent faster service at lower costs possibly resulting to a decline in private industry profits. For example, in Wilson county Municipal government created “Greenlight” broadband which produces...

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