While the Prosper broadband team has exhibited great progress in broadband and technology advancement, this technology plan offers recommended actions that may help the community fill the technology gaps identified in this report. These recommended actions for project implementation are subject to evolution as implementers assimilate various local organizational goals and objectives.
Unserved and Underserved
Areas served by only one broadband provider, or areas where the speed level falls below the federal benchmark of 25 Mbps x 3 Mbps, should be the focus of a campaign to introduce competition and potentially reduce service pricing.
A public-private partnership (P3) model may allow Prosper to express some control over the areas served while passing the operational burden on to a private partner. Prosper could consider funding the front-end capital costs (CAP-EX) of projects while the P3 partner would provide the overall operating expenses (OP-EX), necessary manpower and some form of debt service (e.g., profit sharing through the term of debt retirement).
Prosper is serviced by multiple fixed wireless providers, most notably Speed of Light. A P3 with this entity may enable, and ensure, the delivery of 25 Mbps x 3 Mbps service to the hardest to reach areas within the town boundaries.
Additionally, such a P3 arrangement could be leveraged to develop “free” Wi-Fi zones in the city. Wi-Fi access points could be installed near high traffic areas such as Frontier Park and Stone Creek Park, or inside public transit vehicles.
Competitive Application Process – Grant Program
This logical approach may provide the town of Prosper with the greatest flexibility and control. A grant pool, with funds sourced from TxCDBG, GLO, or monies potentially earmarked within HB 2423, could be set aside to provide financial incentive/support to broadband providers willing to expand into higher cost or remote areas.
Economic Prosperity and Social Media Classes for Local Businesses:
A website and social media are not just for companies that have the experience, staff, or budget; any small business can tap into these resources. Training should be provided to small businesses regarding the use of websites and social media within that small business. Website topics could range from starting a basic website to more advanced topics such as e-commerce. Social media topics could include a variety of social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.