Pam Senjem | Broadband Initiative Liaison
Broadband Initiative Update | David Shipley
Most of us have been anxiously awaiting the start of construction for the Broadband Initiative next month. Unfortunately, I have some disappointing news.
Highline/SPT is still waiting for a contract from the State. While they are doing as much background and prep work as they can, they can't spend any money on things like permits, pole attachment agreements, etc. Anything they spend prior to a signed agreement would be unreimburseable. The issue has to do with new federal money coming in with different rules (Those rules don't affect our grant.). It's caused contracting to be delayed. We're hoping they can come to closure on what they want to do soon, but progress is very much stalled right now.
As soon as Highline has a signed contract, I will let you know.
New Project Manager
We have a manager for the Project. His name is Scott Matthews. He'll be our go-to person for questions or problems during the construction.
Contact: e: firstname.lastname@example.org. | m. 303-949-9703
Highline Barbecue Kick Off!
When construction starts, you'll receive a letter with information on how to sign up for service, who to call, and how the process will work. We hope to have a BBQ kick-off once the project gets underway.
What to Expect for Equipment
Highline has a new brochure, which I thought was helpful, and it includes some simple descriptions of the equipment that will be used during the installation phase. All the equipment is very small and non-obtrusive. See attached photos for what to expect at your home. Additionally, you'll be able to personalize your WiFi, set parental controls and monitor all your devices with the ease of an app.
Low Income Assistance
If you are interested in the Broadband Program, but are concerned about cost, An income-qualified plan is available through the Affordable Connectivity Program https://www.fcc.gov/acp. This is a government benefit program that helps low income households pay for broadband service and internet connected devices to ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more.
Those who qualify will receive a discount of $30 a month off their internet bill.
We have 311 commitments. We need 400 to get a 15% discount and 465 to get a 20% discount. I continue to be optimistic we will garner more commitments as construction begins and progresses.
Just a reminder that if you don't sign up before the construction is over it is very expensive to bring fiber to your home on a one-off basis. Use $6/ft as a calculation. Thus, if your home is 350 feet from the main fiber line, it will cost you $2,100 for installation! $200 now is not much to lose if you change your mind later.
I've heard numerous times that Century Link is not replacing malfunctioning equipment and plans to eventually pull out of the area. Keep that in mind if you're a Century Link customer. Link to Commitment Form and $200 Payment.
In closing, we received a draft of the agreement today. The state has asked for comments to be submitted no later than June 20, 2022. We hope to get a final agreement by July 1, 2022, and a fully executed agreement by July 20, 2022. We will continue to keep you posted with any further developments.
Pam Senjem is DRPOA's Broadband Initiative Liaison. For questions, comments, or assistance contact:
Broadband Committee Champion for Douglass Ranch Residents