Friday, August 17, 2012

Using the Public Safety Broadband Network to Deliver Rural Broadband Access to All Americans

It’s always nice to have comments come back on my blog entries and posts…it stirs up the creative thought process. One recent comment was about the use of the USF (Universal Service Fund) and wholesaling the under utilized PSBN broadband access to the carriers as to accommodate broadband access to constituents who reside in rural areas. It got me to thinking about alternative methods of fulfilling those needs.

It will, should, be a given that the rural areas will be covered by the PSBN footprint. This will ensure cohesive coverage for all First Response and Emergency situations…wherever they happen.  These critical traffic patterns will follow strict guidelines of prioritization and control. There will also exist secondary traffic patterns that are related, and necessary, when an event happens, i.e. power outages, traffic controls, etc., but aren’t necessarily classified as critical unless prioritized by the incident commander during an event – which is perfectly doable given the capabilities of LTE. Even with all those traffic patterns there will still be an abundance of bandwidth available for tertiary users, i.e. rural broadband coverage for Americans.

Utilizing a Public Private Partnership, where as a private entity is setup to operate the PSBN for the long-term, will be the necessity to collect service fees and revenue to meet the “self-funding” capabilities required by the Federal Legislation. As part of those revenue-collecting functions, to which State entities would pay for an annual usage fee to ride the PSBN network, we have additional revenue producing scenarios that can be played out for the rural broadband access initiative.

One such scenario will be initiating an RFP process to allocate available, unused, bandwidth, off the PSBN, to a commercial carrier (can be local or regional players as well). In essence just porting all the rural users through the PSBN infrastructure to a waiting carrier and classified as a tertiary service offering that could be pre-empted in any given emergency situation.

Another option will be the wholesaling effect of bidding the service to a local, or regional carrier, for a managed services offering via the Public Private Partnership. Essentially this makes that local or regional provider a team member on the P3 RFP process.

Yet, another option is the functionality of a Utility adding additional annual payments for more PSBN bandwidth; to which they could administer (most likely through another managed service offering) broadband access to their rural footprints for additional service offerings to their power clients via monthly billing patterns. That would be a nice feature; being able to add your Internet access charge to your monthly Utility bill.

These are just three such options and there is no limit to actually allowing all scenarios to operate at the same time. I can think of a bunch more depending on the characteristics and make up of any given State’s entities. 

Just some guy and a blog…

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