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Publication Title | Utility Lines Creating Advanced Telecommunications In Your Community: Where to Begin

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Fall/Winter 2000

News and strategies for municipal utilities published by Virchow, Krause & Co, Certified Public Accountants & Consultants

Creating Advanced Telecommunications In Your Community: Where to Begin

Tom Asp & Ron Holcomb, Consulting Managers, and



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Throughout history, the development and continuing success of a region’s well-being has depended upon access to major transportation routes. Economic centers first developed along rivers, then railroads, and later the interstate highway system. Lack of access to the best transportation route can have devastating effects on a community, as exemplified by Route 66. Many businesses and communities along Route 66 disappeared when the interstate system was constructed because their access to a major transportation route vanished. In today’s economy, the continuing success of a community depends upon the ability to provide and obtain services on the “Information Highway”. Access to a vibrant telecommunications infrastructure has become key to future prosperity.

Telecommunication providers are currently focusing their efforts in major metropolitan areas leaving smaller communities low on the priority list. Leaders from small communities may find it necessary to become proactive in implementing affordable telecommunication services for their own and surrounding communities.

Avenues to Obtain Advanced Services

Three avenues are available to implement advanced telecommunication services:

1. Develop a public telecommunication

services business.

2. Encourage a new or existing organization to

enter into the telecommunication business and offer advanced services.

3. Encourage an existing communication service provider to offer advanced telecom- munication services in the community and the surrounding area.

While some communities have successfully convinced new or existing telecommunication providers to offer advanced services, others have not. If the private sector does not fill this gap, it may be necessary to develop a public telecommunications business. Some may argue that telecommunication services are best left to the private sector, but as our dependency on telecommunication services increases, a vibrant telecommunication infrastructure is required to ensure any community’s competitiveness and future survival. When the private sector fails to deliver essential services, the public sector can fill the gap, often more effectively.

Public Telecommunication Involvement Models Policymakers of

locally owned

utilities have a unique opportunity to bring the newest telecommunications technology to their communities. By leveraging existing easements, human resources and customer relationships,

Continued on page 5

Utility Lines Newsletter

Technical information is presented in generalized form — professional advice should be obtained prior to implementing specific ideas. Our Public Sector offices, listed here, can provide you with additional information on our services.

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