“WiredWest Is Town’s Cheaper Operator For Broadband, Say Consultants”
By Katie Nolan
April 19, 2018
WENDELL – On Tuesday night, Jim Crowley of Holyoke Gas and Electric (HG&E) and Brian Richards of PineRidge Consulting presented a joint Wendell broadband committee and selectboard meeting with a comparison of costs for the town to operate a broadband network as an independent operator, or as a member of the WiredWest regional cooperative.
The consultants considered administrative costs such as insurance, electrical power for the network electronic equipment, pole licensing, accounting, audits, legal fees, maintenance of the cables and other outdoor equipment, internet service provider (ISP) subscriber fees, and network backhaul (high bandwidth connection from the town’s electronic operation location to their wholesale ISP).
The consultants’ report concluded that “Over time, as operator of a regional cooperative network, WiredWest could offer a better value to all members towns, as opposed to operating their network independently.”
Because the consultants’ presentation and committee and citizen questions continued from 7pm until after 9pm, the joint meeting tabled all of its other agenda items, including item #9, “Possibility of revoting Town authorization of Broadband project,” until Tuesday, April 24 at 7pm.
Approximately a dozen citizens attended the meeting, including Robbie Leppzer, author of an open letter to the selectboard affirming “strong support for building a municipally-owned broadband network in Wendell,” and other signers of this letter.
Here is a link to download the full report (PDF – 1 MB):
Here is a link to listen to the audio from the entire presentation (MP3 audio file – 265MB):