Future-Ready City: Planning for Broadband

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 | 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
CM | 1.25
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You'll learn about:

  • How to leverage the Internet of Things (IoT)  to advance your communities goals, and how how appliances can interact over your broadband network to control city lighting; utilities, and services.   

  • How planners  can integrate this knowledge into our planning projects to build future ready communities that automate services, eliminate redundancies, save money, and improve quaility of life.

  • Why broadband access and adoption is important and how it impacts healthcare, education and workforce development.   

  • What are best practices in planning for a future-ready city, including sourcing and securing financing?

  • What are the pros and cons of different technologies; and how does modeling and setting benchmarks and and baselines help improve network capacity?

  • How can Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) impact a community’s broadband deployment plans?

  • Why are affordable, high speed home broadband important to CAIs and their work?

  • Why is digital literacy important to CAIs and their work?

  • how can new tools accelerate broadband planning?

  • Why are public-private-partnerships important to community broadband networks

Broadband planning is a critical component of future-ready communities.  The benefits of smart cities are compelling: using the Internet of Things (IoT), communities of all sizes can realizereductions in energy consumption, decreases in traffic, lower crime rates and fiscal savings across the board in city services like, waste water, law enforcement and healthcare:  Ubiquitous broadband is a prerequisite for smart cities.   Whether you are planning for a small, isolated and rural community, an urban center, or places in between, having robust, redundant, low-latency broadband is the driver of the new economy.   Broadband is the engine that makes possible all smart cities.  Delve into why broadband has proven economic impact on communities, and the best practices for incorporating broadband into comprehensive community plans.

Start with an overview to broadband planning, including financing, infrastructure and technology, public-private-partnerships, municipal broadband models, community engagement, and innovation. The focus is on how cities can plan for next generation broadband access to enhance the economic vitality of businesses, the education of students and the well-being of local citizens.

Get a primer on the basics of planning a broadband network, and the tools and best practices that are rapidly shaping today’s gigabit cities. Find out how cities become future-ready, what digital technologies create efficiencies, why faster internet paves the way for improvements in healthcare, education, transportation, utilities, water and waste management services, and more. 

Learn the basics of high-speed broadband infrastructure, and the importance of public-private-partnerships in funding infrastructure builds.  Examine the factors that enable or prohibit all communities from having the ability to chose tools that right for their community.  Understand why and when you should work with incumbent providers, and discuss a variety of broadband models.  Learn why broadband is a key to economic development and sustainability. Understand the value of feasibility studies; the role of information management and how to leverage census data, land-use patterns, circulations patterns and infrastructure availability of vertical and horizontal assets to plan your sustainable broadband network,

Discuss the unique challenges of remote, rural, small and tribal communities in planning for future-ready communities..  Take away the Five C”s of broadband planning :  Connectivity, Capacity, Cost, Choice and Community.   Join in the discussion about wired and unwired communities, and why you should be technology-neutral.   Learn the trends leading to smart cities, and the technological, political, environmental, and  social  bellwethers that can shape and accelerate your planning efforts.

Hear tales from leaders on the innovation front on what to prioritize, what to forget, challenges, and surprises in planning a future-ready community. Learn about  San Leandro, California’s broadband deployment and the public private partnership that was developed for San Leandro’s expansive  fiber project;  the city’s renewable energy micro grid project; and  the cost savings "fun" project for trash removal on "main" street.

 Finally, learn how to be a beta tester of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s  newly launched interactive “Community Connectivity Initiative” interactive online tool, which aggregates local, regional and national data for a blueprint you can use to accelerate planning and implementation.  This new tool collects information about broadband, cellular services, and digital access from the Internet and creates local graphs and maps that put that national data into a local context. The in-depth assessment incorporates data from questions about leadership, partnerships, public assets, fixed broadband access, mobile broadband access, technology infrastructure, social infrastructure, broadband use, inclusion, digital skills, and “purposes” such as economic development, education, healthcare, transportation, public safety, government services, culture, or community sustainability. The result is a blueprint for broadband planning that can turbocharge broadband planning for a future-ready city.


Barbara Brown , Brown and Partners Strategic Communications and Special Events , Bloomfield , NJ (see bio)
Kathleen McMahon , AICP , Applied Communications , Whitefish , MT (see bio)
Eric Frederick , AICP , Connected Nation, Inc. , Charlotte , MI (see bio)
Karen Rosenberger , AICP , , Bloomfield , NJ (see bio)
Greta Byrum , Resilient Communities, New America , New York , NY