Skip to the main content

Local Next Generation Networks

In early 2010 the Federal Communication Commission’s National Broadband Plan recognized broadband as “the great infrastructure challenge of the early 21st century” and set out an ambitious vision for bringing high capacity connectivity to all Americans.  Two years later, the most appropriate strategies for advancing this goal remain unclear.  As part of its contribution to this ongoing dialogue, the Berkman Center is conducting a study of locally led efforts to deploy fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) networks in the United States.

Over the past decade, local leaders in every region of the country have initiated dozens of FTTP projects employing a variety of business, management and technical models to achieve an array of social, economic and policy objectives.  The wide variation in goals, models and execution approaches enables these localities to collectively serve as “laboratories” for better understanding next generation connectivity.  However, the knowledge and experience that exists in these communities is spread across many individuals and entities.

Our research will aggregate dispersed information through in-depth interviews with project planners and operators, analysis of quantitative performance indicators, and review of published reports and secondary sources.  We anticipate that this comparative analysis will provide useful insights into the factors that have contributed to the adoption and sustainability of local next generation networks.  

The results will be of use to a range of groups interested in advanced broadband infrastructure: local leaders and practitioners evaluating existing or potential initiatives; state and federal policymakers shaping regulatory regimes; and private sector executives weighing investments or partnerships. 

Project contact: Rob Faris, rfaris [at]