Infrastructure Development & Financing. Eric Jensen. Four Horizons Development Company. Telecommunications, Broadband and Tribal Sovereignty.
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What are the needs of the tribe: data management; voice coverage; network linkage; capacity; degree of reliability versus cost; Broadband requirements
Primary consideration: How will the Tribe pay for the infrastructure? Will the teleco be a Tribal service with sufficient tribal funds & resources to service the capital and operational debts or will the teleco be a self-sufficient enterprise?
This decision on coverage, service or revenue emphasis will effect investment and loan options
If the Tribe wants to become a carrier of last resort for its own people, can the technologies that are popular,wireless, satellite, cable, VOIP, do the job meet the service needs of the community? Can it generate a revenue and will it be sufficient to service the capital debt, pay for operations and expand next generation services? What are the regulatory burdens that may or hamper deployment of full range services for the tribe?
What are the biases of the vendors, of the tribal network techies, of the planners & consultants?
There are many ways to finance the infrastructure, and experts will address this: loans, private investors, RUS loans, bonding, vendor financing, alliance schemes—be careful and understand that each option comes with a cost and a downside;
Firewall and protect your teleco enterprise and its revenues from the reaches of other tribal projects and from tribal politics—promote stability;