Sometimes you need to toot your own horn. I am so so proud of the work I have done for the last two years on the Town of Mt. Washington Broadband plan. Most recently, I spent hours and hours on all the bid documents, advertising and bidding process, including touring contractors and responding to questions. I wrote the Town’s Broadband Plan and worked long and hard to beat back the cost and insure that the plan is as financially viable as possible.
What started as a 1.2 million dollar cost has been substantially reduced and shouldn’t exceed $700,000. I eliminated areas where service was not needed-i.e. where there were no “takers”, saving on costs of construction and annual pole application and rental fees and maintenance. I eliminated all homes that were not willing to pay for service at the going rate year round. Approximately 60 homes did not want service and/or were not willing to pay for service year round at the going rate. The Town would have paid for installations and maintenance for nothing for uncertain periods. There are homes in Town that are merely weekend retreats and summer escapes There are hunting cabins, unused buildings, a church, an abandoned school house all of which did not need service and where installation would be a waste. There were people who just don’t want or need internet. All these buildings were eliminated from the broadband plans, saving substantially. Also eliminated was a two mile stretch for only one subscriber and where the cost of installation would have been extraordinary (almost $100,000).
From day one, I was concerned about the budget and did not believe the Town would vote for a 1.2 million dollar cost. I did not want to see the Town spend unnecessarily and wanted to make sure the project was viable so that later we would not suffer increased taxes. I knew broadband would be built, I too want it, but I wanted to make sure we did not spend unnecessarily.
Part of insuring the plan is viable was making sure we had committed subscribers at the right price and for as long as possible. I advocated for deposits and agreements to pay for service. This had to be tempered so as not to discourage subscribers as subscribers are essential to carry the cost of the system.
Thanks to narrowing our scope, reducing costs, obtaining funds from subscribers, obtaining agreements of subscribers, putting a construction agreement in place with a reputable contractor and putting together our Plan, the Town received a grant from the State for $230,000 to assist in the construction and we are on our way to constructing high speed internet in Mt. Washington.
Work has begun with pole agreements and applications to National Grid and Verizon for approval to use their poles for the wiring, to determine what, if any, upgrades will be required to do so and at what cost.
Hope all goes as planned!