Advice for Towns

This section is frequently updated. Check back often for updates. Here you’ll find information and advice about MLP startup and operational considerations, how to get through MBI’s readiness process, how to finance your Last Mile project, technology and other decisions aimed at eventually linking individual town networks into a regionally operated network.

MBI’s current process requires towns to build and own their own network assets. To begin the process, towns need to contact Bill Ennen for an initial meeting and fill out a readiness application form. The town must assign a single person as primary contact with MBI for the project, and MBI assigns a Program Manager from their technical staff. During the initial meeting with the Program Manager, he will supply a Readiness Submission Form and a Sustainability Worksheet to be filled out. You’ll find help in getting through these forms on linked pages.

Separately, WiredWest is working on plans to connect the individual town networks, once built, into a regional one for more efficient and lower cost cooperation. We have put out an RFI to find companies interested in handling various aspects of operating and maintaining a regional network. It should be much easier and less expensive for member towns to have WiredWest arrange these services rather than individually. We’ll be posting estimates as soon as we are able.

For now, our advice in short is to follow the MBI process as expeditiously as possible up to and including the pole survey. It should be possible to do that with no commitment of town funds. Before signing a “Project Agreement,” perhaps now known as the “Participation Agreement,” that commits town money, be sure that the agreement explicitly states that the town will have full rights of ownership and no restrictions on how and who the town chooses to operate the network. We’ll have more details on this coming up.