The WiredWest Regional Broadband Solution:
Key Features and Benefits
The Massachusetts Broadband Institute requires that towns receiving state funding through the “last-mile” program own the fiber network infrastructure within their borders. However, town officials may not want or be able to assume the burden of managing and operating those networks, nor may people be available in their towns with the expertise necessary to do so.
Through its Regional Broadband Solution, WiredWest proposes to manage and operate those networks on behalf of its member towns. We will interconnect networks so as to lower operating costs and broadband service fees, improve the long-term financial sustainability, and provide greater flexibility to restore service in the event of outages.
WiredWest will act as an agent and broker to deliver network management and broadband services through experienced providers. This will enable towns to receive a high level of professional support and benefit from the cost savings of retaining contractors on a regional basis. We are currently negotiating with two such potential vendors, from whom we have received wholesale quotes upon which we have based our retail prices.
Our contractor(s) will “white-label” these services under the well-established WiredWest brand:
- Standard internet service, up to 1 gigabit per second ………….……………$75 per month
- Economy internet service, up to 25 megabits per second ………..…….…$59 per month
- Full-featured digital phone service with unlimited domestic long-distance..…$19 per month
Subscribers will pay a one-time Activation Fee of $99, to be used to fund an operating reserve. Presubscription deposits held in escrow by WiredWest will be applied to the first month’s bill.
As owners of their infrastructure, towns may choose to fund a depreciation reserve to replace network assets in the future. They may also face substantial debt service costs from borrowing their share of the capital to build their networks. To help meet these obligations, towns at their discretion may add some or all of these costs to monthly subscriber bills, to be itemized as “Town Surcharges,” which WiredWest will collect and deposit to accounts established by towns to receive such funds.
WiredWest will take responsibility for certain actions and expenses which would otherwise fall on the towns: liability insurance, maintenance of inside and outside plant, pole license and bonding fees, electricity and other operational costs. WiredWest will oversee the performance of all aspects of the work undertaken by its contractor(s), and in particular acquiring, serving and satisfying customers, who are residents and taxpayers in the participating towns.
WiredWest projects that our revenues will exceed what is needed for operations and reserves. Such surplus retained earnings will, as decided by its Board of Directors representing its member towns, be distributed to towns, in proportion to the topline revenues generated by each town. Towns must have at least a 50% take rate to qualify.