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How does a PSBN help Rural Broadband Enablement?

An effective PSBN strategy for the Province of Ontario – and all Canada – can leverage capital investments for PSBN sites and infrastructure to help push new wireless coverage further into rural and remote Canadian communities.

The problem with Rural Broadband service today is that millions of rural and remote Canadians and First Nations communities are still un-connected or have poor and unacceptable data rates for a modern digital society. This issue stems largely from the fact that incumbent telco carriers in Canada do not invest in regions where their required profit margins are not met due to insufficient populations – like in rural regions.

The current Rural Broadband investment paradigm in Canada has essentially focused on Federal or Provincial grant funds – essentially levied from taxes – which are then provided to incumbent telco carriers to pay for the cost of rural wireless infrastructure. This model has helped spread rural broadband across Canada – however it has not succeeded in finally bridging the Rural Broadband gap for millions of Canadians in rural communities – and has come at a full and direct cost to taxpayers.

If we could augment this tax-funded / grant-based approach to funding our large wireless telcos with new sources of capital and partnerships – we could help finally solve the rural digital divide, and perhaps help alleviate the purely tax-based funding model used today.

By collaborating with new and willing sources of Public-Private-Partnership (P3) funds, municipal and regional governments can collaborate on cost sharing (or even zeroing costs) for deployment of new broadband infrastructure that runs PSBN services for First Responders – while sharing costs with incumbent telco carriers for commercial paying-services on commercial wireless spectrum.

This shared infrastructure for new wireless site-builds, backhaul costs of fiber or microwave links, and related maintenance costs, can be shared between these commercial and Public interests in a consortium model to bring down costs of rural wireless data services to Canadians - which is a key tenet of the Ontario PSBN Association business model.

Our PSBN business model proposals and P3 investment model leverages the like-minded needs of Critical Infrastructure entities to have access to exclusive and secure wireless spectrum in support of their service to rural Canadians (eg. control signals of electrical utilities require secure and resilient wireless communications) Our model effectively provides Canada with new sources of shared capital investment from regional electrical utilities, transit, rail and other critical infrastructure service providers (eg. airports, energy and gas, mining and more), along with private capital investment funds.

In summary, our PSBN consortium model can help spread costs and make deployment of rural connectivity easier for all investing parties – and brings new pools of capital to bear to help defray costs.

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