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Build partnerships with local businesses, schools, libraries and your city

Chances are: you’re not the only one who thinks your community needs better broadband. Fiber builds empowered communities: boosting government services, supporting economic development and improving health and education outcomes for community residents. Local businesses, schools, libraries, economic development organizations, and nonprofits like the Boys and Girls Club can form strong and diverse coalitions that will give policymakers and providers ample support to build better broadband. 

Every successful next generation network project has had a single individual or core group of individuals willing to champion the project from start to finish. Your community or region may have a structured broadband leadership development and support program that gives these efforts official sanctioning and support from elected and other key community organizations. The following resources should jumpstart your efforts: 

National Telecommunications and Information  Administration (NTIA)'s Planning a Community Broadband Roadmap

The National Telecommunications and Information  Administration (NTIA) has produced a roadmap with practical information on bringing partners together to build a broadband roadmap which includes case studies on individual communities. Find it here: Planning a Community Broadband Roadmap

Tapping Into a Community's Pulse

Gary Evans, President and CEO, Hiawatha Broadband Communications, Winona, MN, writes about the early challenges of building an ultra high speed network, the importance of building community support for the project, and the need to ensure that you don't "get so wrapped up in the busy-ness of planning and construction that you forget the elements that can make the network successful – sometimes even before activation." Find his paper here: Tapping Into a Community’s Pulse

FTTH at the Local Level

Mayor Joe Reardon, former Mayor Kansas City, KS and CEO of Wyandotte County was critical to the success of Kansas City KS in attracting Google to its first gigabit fiber investment. In this webinar, Joe discusses how to articulate a vision to garner widespread support for FTTH projects, build leadership and consensus among disparate community groups, and create a viable plan that builds on community assets and needs. Find his presentation here: FTTH at the Local LevelFTTH at the Local Level (audio) 

Engaging Stakeholders

Bell Aliant, a successful FTTH provider in Canada, offers this presentation on best practices for engaging stakeholders and preparing communities for the roll out of ultra-high speed, all-fiber services. Find the presentation here: Engaging Stakeholders

Community Decision Tree

The Blandin Foundation on how to drive community decisions to pursue ultra-high speed networks. Find it here: Community Decision Tree