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Broadband Consulting

Better connectivity can usher in a new wave of rural prosperity and innovation. While we recognize every community comes to the table with different challenges, we are equipped to support local change agents looking to revitalize rural America and bring broadband to the small towns and communities they call home.

We help communities plan fiber broadband networks from understanding the initial feasibility outlook to crafting a business plan, recommending operational partnerships to implementing a grant and fundraising strategy.

Our Process:

Align + Understand

To begin, we focus on understanding the unique goals and needs of a community. In addition to thinking about what a community needs presently, we also consider what will be needed in the future. We identify the key stakeholders, existing Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and local and state leaders who will need to be included in the process.

Analyze + Plan

Once we’ve collected data and information to help us understand the overall feasibility of a network, we work to build out the full project cost. Our reports include engineering costs, expected take-rates (subscription rates), expected revenue per user, construction cost estimates, and other financial pieces to help us understand the capital expenses needed to make the project work. These estimates will help us identify and select the most appropriate operational structures and partners, and create a detailed business plan tailored to the local context.

Fundraise + Facilitate

There is substantial federal money available for broadband deployment in the form of grants and low-interest loans. We create grant strategies based on subsidy needs and expected operator partner. These strategies can also include private philanthropy, subordinated debt, municipal or revenue bonds, and other sources when applicable. Once an operator partner is established, we work closely to help you vet vendors and understand legal obligations and compliance from receiving grants and loans. We are a collaborative resource as you navigate the process.

See What Our Partners Are Saying:

"Delving into rural connectivity work was a completely foreign concept and quite intimidating for us but RISI has a pulse on what’s happening at a State and Federal level and has helped us immensely. From day one, the RISI team has been intuitive, informative, and patient. They've supported and guided our fledging CUD and regional planning as we got up to speed and began work."

- Amanda O’Connor, Rutland Regional Planning Commission

“It has been a pleasure working with the staff at RISI on our Carroll County Broadband project.  Their experience and dedication to the task has helped us obtain the necessary data to support our feasibility and business planning objectives for the project.”

- Michelle Moren-Gray, North Country Council

"Developing a broadband feasibility study and business plan to serve 27 rural towns required both technical competence and energy to get everyone up to speed across a large geographic area during a pandemic. RISI was able to build an understanding among everyone involved while also moving the project forward to timely completion."

- Chris Campany, Windham Regional Commission

Read more about rural broadband through our sister organization, the Center On Rural Innovation