MBI Readiness Documents

MBI is currently in the process of changing policies and procedures, yet again. It’s not clear that the Readiness process documented here will still be valid or necessary. Towns choosing to manage their own build may be able to directly apply for a grant without this readiness process.

MBI’s readiness 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.

Here is advice for towns preparing the MBI Readiness Submission documents with sample documents from the Town of Rowe. The Readiness Submission raw form and Sustainability Worksheet are supplied by MBI to be filled out by towns. The Approval Letter is from DLS regarding the financing plan. The Readiness Evaluation and Recommendation is prepared by the MBI Professional Staff, principally by the assigned Program Manager. All of these are completed in a collaborative process between the Town and MBI Program Manager. The Recommendation will be signed by Peter Larken. The MOA is a contract with MBI to begin the Pole Survey.

The Town of Rowe is reviewing the Recommendation Letter and MOA. Barring the need for major changes, they’ve been told that this is all accepted and will be signed. Of note are the generous references to regionalization and WiredWest in the Readiness Submission Form and Sustainability Worksheet. Even WiredWest’s Regional Operational Plan is embedded in the Readiness Submission. This did not deter acceptance, however, the initial choice of model as “Other – MLP Coop” was going to cause a delay, so Rowe was advised by their MBI program manager to change it to Independent Municipal Network. Apparently, Peter and/or MBI has not thought through how to evaluate a multi-municipal network. So long as Independent Network is chosen, they were willing to approve the submission even though there is language that the choice of model is not final and that they intend to be part of WiredWest’s MLP Coop. We believe it’s good for towns to state this preference so MBI is aware of it, but checking off the Independent Municipal Network box will expedite approval. Note that under that option is a bullet stating that these may be part of a regional network in the future, so MBI acknowledges that possibility.

The MOA states that there has not been a full analysis of sustainability by MBI. Todd Corcoran, MBI Program Manager, says that is basically saying that MBI is not responsible and won’t be performing a full analysis. It’s the responsibility of the Town’s to determine whether the projected costs and take rate are sustainable. You can request in the MOA to state that MBI will not subject the town to further analysis of it’s sustainability. We don’t want MBI to revisit this later as a reason to not proceed or prevent regionalization with WiredWest.