Community Broadband Step by Step

Developing a communitywide or regional broadband digital transport system follows a set of steps similar to the process used to construct a building or to develop a water or sewer project. 

A set of five steps guides a set of parallel processes that ensure that telecom infrastructure invesments actually deliver measurable impacts to the community. During the master planning process, a planning framework is used to consider governance, business plans, network management, education and training, economic and entrepreneurship development, and service provider development. 

Community Broadband
Office Building
Water or Sewer Project

Project Manager
Information architect
Building architect
Civil engineer

Phase One

  • Develop a Technology and Telecommunications Master Plan
  • Assess community broadband needs, review various technologies
  • Develop a vision for the effort tied to broader community goals
  • Tie technology investments to economic development and workforce development
  • Develop a schematic design for the building
  • Assess building occupant needs and functions
  • Develop a vision for the building that fits in with surrounding buildings and landscape
  • Perform an initial project study
  • Assess current and future service needs
  • Project future growth and analyze capacity needs of the system
  • Integrate system needs with community comprehensive plan

Phase Two

  • Review plan recommendations
  • Select first 12-18 months of projects
  • Determine community investment amount and funding sources
  • Determine initial service areas
  • Develop the initial business plan to manage assets
  • Review schematic design
  • Adjust design to meet budget constraints
  • Make adjustments based on changed tenant needs
  • Develop initial building management plan (lease income and building expenses)
  • Review project study
  • Select system design
  • Determine area of the community to be served by the system
  • Develop utility operational costs and service fees

Phase Three

  • Project manager writes an RFP for specific project(s)
  • Bids are solicited from qualified firms
  • Bids are reviewed and a qualified firm is selected to design and build the network infrastructure
  • Architect completes the detailed design (blueprints)
  • Bids are solicited from qualified firms
  • Bids are reviewed and a qualified contractor is selected to construct the building
  • Engineering firm completes detailed design of the system
  • Bids are solicited from qualified firms
  • Bids are reviewed and a qualified firm is selected to build the system

Phase Four

  • Project manager (information architect) supervises construction of the network
  • Infrastructure is built out
  • Broadband access and service providers are identified and qualified to offer services
  • Project manager (architect) supervises construction
  • Building is erected
  • Tenants are identified and leases are signed
  • Project manager (engineer) supervises construction
  • System is built
  • Customers are signed up for service as system passes by their property

Phase Five

  • Digital transport system is complete
  • Broadband access and service providers begin using the system to deliver goods and services to customers
  • Use fees or franchise fees pay for management, maintenance, and expansion
  • The building is ready for occupancy
  • Tenants move into the building
  • Lease fees pay for building management and maintenance
  • The water or sewer system is completed
  • Customers are hooked up to the system
  • Use fees pay for management, maintenance, and expansion

About Design Nine, Inc.

Design Nine projects have included the award-winning nDanville municipal open network, The Wired Road open access network, New Hampshire FastRoads, Rockbridge Area Network Authority network, the City of Eagan, Minnesota open access network, and over two hundred other planning efforts for communities in more than twenty-two states, Canada, and the Caribbean. The senior leadership of Design Nine has extensive, hands-on experience designing and managing telecommunications and broadband systems.

Questions about your project? You should contact us today.

Design Nine at a glance

Design Nine provides visionary broadband network planning, design, and build out services to our clients.

We have over ninety years of combined staff experience with community telecom and Internet fiber and broadband planning, design, maintenance and management -- more than any other company in the United States. We offer a full range of broadband and Internet  planning, design, and project management expertise and start-to-finish infrastructure services.