The City of Ammon chose to set up an Open Access Fiberoptic Network. The term “Open Access” typically means access to the fiber network is given to multiple service providers and wholesale services on one physical network infrastructure. This shared system enables service providers to reach their subscribers without the need to install a new fiber network themselves.
Ammon approved a city-owned and -operated open access fiber optic network. This network allows for any service provider to enter the market without incurring the burdensome costs of infrastructure deployment, which is the biggest cost for a new entrant.
Another element of Ammon’s success is the flexibility residents enjoy in signing up for broadband service. None of the plans that we looked at in Ammon specified contract length requirements
Ammon’s fiber optic utility runs an exclusive portal for residents where they can browse, subscribe, and unsubscribe from all available internet service providers on the network from one central webpage. This portal provides a convenience to customers—the ability to switch providers in seconds with one simple click—that promotes competition.
four ways in which Ammon’s model is superior to other existing networks.
The city of Ammon manages the network the same way it handles water services or road maintenance.
There are 5 local ISPs, and users can switch among them instantly without requiring a “truck roll” (a visit from the ISP to adapt hardware at the customer’s location), because Ammon uses software to “virtualize” the network.
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The Ammon network has reduced the cost of a 1 Gbps connection available via one of the ISPs from $99 a month (with a minimum three-year contract) to $14 a month with no contractual obligation. Whether choosing a 15 Mbps option or 1 Gbps, participants receive guaranteed throughput.
Ammon network participants are connected to a smart grid that offers access to a variety of municipal services, including public safety and utility services, with more planned.