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A Checklist For Municipal Broadband Approvals

The race to receive broadband grants is on. And with the infrastructure bill’s $65B allocation for broadband, there will be no shortage of parties chomping at the bit. However, the government funding process can be time-consuming and difficult to navigate. Therefore, this municipal broadband checklist helps guide high-level discussions to accelerate the funding process.

Speaking of funding, the grant approval process is dependent upon achieving specific milestones. In order to receive funding along the way, both operational speed and expertise are required. This checklist provides an important starting point and helps to avoid costly mistakes down the road. And in follow-up posts, we will dig deeper and explore critical paths such as site acquisition and permitting.

Phase #1: Planning

From financial planning and spectrum planning, establishing the scope of work is necessary to ensure success. It is also critical to collaborate across communities and shared interest groups, spanning both public and private sectors. 

Phase #2: Design

Start with RF planning tools to simulate network coverage and performance. Then test and optimize with different spectrums, locations, obstructions, and anticipated usage. Proper design reduces costly fixes once the network is deployed.

Phase #3: Site Acquisition

This is the most critical phase, especially with permitting. Consider automated site acquisition solutions to streamline this phase, especially filling in coverage gaps with private commercial and residential sites.

Phase #4: Deployment

Once sites have been secured, it is important to find the right resources to deploy efficiently. Project costs can add up during this phase if inexperienced consultants and/or contractors cut corners in deployment.

Phase #5: Maintenance

Even with the best planning, all networks require fine-tuning after launch. Furthermore, continuous monitoring and robust plans for maintenance and troubleshooting are important – for both current and future users.

Next Steps

Securing funding for municipal broadband is difficult, and launching the network is even more difficult. Armed with this municipal broadband checklist, start by huddling up with different audiences and gathering all the open questions. With greater context and perspectives, this will minimize late-stage surprises that often result in budget and deadline issues. So, no matter which phase you’re in, Airwaive is here to help. Click the button below to schedule a demo with our team of wireless broadband experts. And if you are in the phase of preparing an RFP response for municipal broadband, check out our free RFP resource to help your RFP response stand out from the pack.

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