First there's the infrastructure: the physical network comprised of fiber optic cables underground and on utility poles, and the electronic equipment necessary to operate the network.
Then there are the services: the universe of digitally accessible products delivered via the infrastructure (for example, internet access provided by ISP's is a service). Other types of services include home security, education, gaming, and telehealth.
In other words broadband is comprised of conduit delivering content.
Our vision is to build a community-owned fiber optic network (the infrastructure), accessible by private enterprise to offer their services.
In other words, an open-access network. By contrast Comcast, RCN, and Verizon's networks are closed networks because they don't allow competitors access to their infrastructure. An open access network will lower prices, foster competition, and enable opportunities for economic development and innovation that big telecom simply won't permit on their networks.
MMFI's vision is based on the premise that telecommunications infrastructure is as important to communities as streets, electricity, and water, and should not be controlled by monopolies like Comcast.
Milton's municipal broadband network's core mission will be to lower prices for all stakeholders, ensure fair and universal access, encourage competition between private service providers, and foster innovation by providing Milton residents fast and reliable connections to the 21st century economy.
These videos illustrate different aspects of MMFI's vision:
Municipal Broadband Infrastructure (3:11) - Essential to everyday life
Community Broadband Networks (1:35) - Big telecoms and internet access. Towards the end of this video it mentions the big telecoms working to crush local efforts to create municipal broadband. It may sound a little over-the-top, but it's true. MMFI thought it'd be important to underscore the threat municipal broadband poses to monopolists, a sure sign that muni broadband is the right choice for communities.
NextLight: Longmont's Broadband (1:51) - Promotional video for the city of Longmont CO's municipally-owned fiber broadband network.
These next two videos are from Entry Point Networks, a Salt Lake City-based company. They're the company managing the planning for Quincy's new municipal fiber network. They're also the company that helped develop Ammon Idaho's municipal fiber network.
We're including these links for the simple reason that Entry Point Networks is actively and successfully helping to change the paradigm around America's broken broadband ecosystem, dominated as it is by monopolies.
Infrastructure and Economic Development (13:04) - TEDx Talk by Jeff Christiansen, Entry Point Network's CEO
The Internet Disruption Every City Needs (13:28) - TEDx Talk by Jeff Christiansen
Access to the internet is key to Milton’s prosperity, right now and decades into the future. When we build a state of the art, fiber optic broadband network, we'll be creating a public resource purpose-built to lower costs for everyone who connects, thereby raising the quality of life for all Milton stakeholders.