Submitted by acohill on Wed, 04/20/2005 - 15:06
Ray Buzzard, of Dalton Utilities, spoke about the Dalton, Georgia community broadband project. Dalton's community fiber project, only about two years old, has already had very positive economic development effects by keeping hundreds of manufacturing jobs in the community. The high performance, low cost network persuaded some local manufacturers to stay in the community rather than moving elsewhere.
Local government was a key anchor tenant by making an early commitment to use the system.
Dalton adopted a retail business model, in which the utility sells services directly to customers (voice, video, data). They had to do this because they could not attract service providers with the low number of potential subscribers. The project has achieved a 45% take rate in less than two years, and 47% is their break even point--they expect to meet that before the end of 2005.
Some of the advice Buzzard had included:
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