Opinion: James Carlini on the need for state initiatives

James Carlini has an interesting column in Midwest Business magazine in which he tackles some of the issues for states that have neglected to plan for broadband networks as a necessary part of their infrastructure.James Carlini has an interesting column in Midwest Business magazine in which he takes a look at a 2004 survey done by the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and the critical questions It raises for states that have neglected the need for a network infrastructure.

As president of the management consulting firm Carlini & Associates and an adjunct professor teaching communication systems and strategy management at NorthwesternUniversity, Carlini tackles two thorny issues: how competitive cities can be if they continue to pretend that broadband networks are not an essential part of city infrastructure, and the difficulty of relying on incumbents to address that need.

He writes:

The environment is changing rapidly as more states become aware of the need for broadband deployment for economic development. From a corporate standpoint, reviewing the answers from this type of survey would sway companies planning new facilities to locate in one state or another.

Some of the questions that seem to be devoid of state oversight were:

1. Does the state set rates for broadband services?

2. Does the state set broadband service quality?

3. Does the state have expedited rights-of-way policies?

4. Does the state have a definition for “advanced services”?

In the past, states would rely heavily on input from the incumbent carriers for their regulatory framework regarding telecommunications. Outside objective expertise was not sought out because of the cozy environments that regulators had with incumbents.

Today, we have to break away from that influence because it doesn’t have the state’s best interest in mind‚Äö?Ѭ?

Click here to read the column.