Executive Summary

One of the significant challenges facing network operators today is the high capital cost of deploying next generation broadband network to individual homes or schools. Fiber to the home only makes economic sense for a relatively small percentage of homes or schools. One solution is a novel new approach under development in several jurisdictions around the world is to bundle the cost of next generation broadband Internet with the deployment of solar panels on the owners roof or through the sale of renewable energy to the homeowner. Rather than charging customers directly for the costs of deployment of the high speed broadband network theses costs instead are amortized over several years as a small discount on the customer’s Feed in Tariff (FIT) or renewable energy bill. There are many companies such as Solar City that will fund the entire capital cost of deploying solar panels on the roofs of homes or schools, who in turn make their money from the long term sale of the power from the panels to the electrical grid. In addition there are no Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) and Green Bond Funds that will underwrite the cost of larger installations.

For further information and detailed business analysis please contact Bill St. Arnaud at bill.st.arnaud@gmail.com.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Customer Ownership of the Local Loop: Its Effects on Competition

[Here is an excellent web site on the regulatory and competitive aspects on the advantages of the customer owning the last mile. Although the arguments are couched in terms of telephony service, they equally apply to internet connections as well. Thanks to Alfredo Bregni for this pointer – BSA]

Full competition in telephony requires the solution of numerous problems, some of which appear truly intractable. This paper deals with three of the most serious difficulties that competition in telephony must overcome: interconnection among local exchange service providers, interconnection between local exchange and interexchange service providers, and the transition from monopoly to competition. This paper shows that customer ownership of the local loop provides an elegant, uniform solution to these problems; it causes each of these problems to virtually disappear. The paper also discusses the likelihood that customer ownership of the local loop will create a competitive loop construction industry. This does not directly solve an obvious problem with competition in telephony, but it is clearly desirable, because it permits loop construction to be demand driven rather than supply driven. The paper concludes with an explanation that customer ownership of the local loop does more than solve several individual problems with competition in the provision of telephony. Rather, it constitutes an elegant, integrated solution to many of the problems with competition in telephony.
For more information also see:

Google policy paper
Home with tails – what if you could own your Internet connection

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