Rural Telecon Congress
November 22, 2014
Broadband Planning

RTC’s Broadband Planning Principles v1.0
The following principles lay out what we consider to be the fundamental truths for effective broadband planning. We believe that the application of these principles will more result in much greater availability and benefits, higher performance, lower total costs, and higher overall return on investment.
  1. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Broadband is critical infrastructure for prosperity in the 21st century, and it should be planned accordingly.
  2. The purpose is to improve economic opportunities and quality of life. Broadband planning should focus first and foremost on these ends.
  3. "Adequate” broadband is not adequate. Broadband planning should result in abundant, reliable bandwidth and unfettered connectivity, and should make the most of technological change.
  4. People and places are different, and each is important. Broadband planning should accommodate differences between places by actively involving local community leaders, community members, providers, and other stakeholders in making decisions based on good data.
  5. Leaders must be educated and engaged. Broadband planning should engage private and public leaders at all levels, it should educate elected officials and other leaders about how and why broadband is critical, and should encourage them to become supporters and users.
  6. Break down the silos. Broadband should electronically connect all community domains and sectors (business, government services, education, public safety, etc.) to promote the exchange of information and tie community processes together.
  7. How it is used and who uses it is as important as what it is. Broadband planning should be as concerned with adoption, applications, and processes, as with physical assets needed to build broadband networks.
  8. Develop new ways of doing business. Broadband planning should consider new business models and other innovations for developing, deploying, operating, and utilizing broadband, and should not assume that old models and practices are best.
  9. Provide a catalyst for prosperity. Broadband planning should foster development of and facilitate investments by users as well as providers, rather than just capitalizing on consumer demand for entertainment and passive recreation.