Please tell us your thoughts about improving Internet service in Fayette

!!PLEASE READ FIRST!!

Except for the Lovejoy Shores neighborhood on the north end of Lovejoy pond, the rest of Fayette has either no land-based internet network or is served by Consolidated Communications with DSL services. (A phone-based copper wired connection with limited capacity for providing high speed internet services.)

Fayette has been working with 5 other communities (WKLCBA) since the spring of 2019 studying what is needed and how to provide high speed, reliable and affordable internet services. Since then we have completed a needs analysis identifying served and unserved homes as defined by the ConnectME Authority and developed a high level cost estimate for constructing a town wide fiberoptic network. The study led to an early estimate of construction costs at $3.6 million dollars.

The Town has three basic options for improving Internet service.
1. Build a town-owned fiberoptic network.
2. Contract with an internet services vendor to build and operate a fiberoptic network.
3. Do nothing.


This is how we see the options currently.
1. Option 1
a. Positive Qualities
i. Highest possible speeds at competitive subscriber fee
ii. Potential for significant grant assistance in construction
iii. Non-profit operation should result in lower subscriber fee for high-speed services.
iv. Subscriber fees may help pay for part of the debt.
v. Town owns an asset worth about 4 million dollars.
vi. Town chooses who operates and maintains the network.

b. Negative
i. Requires town investment.
ii. Town may have to pay all debt through property taxes.
iii. Town assumes risk if the number of subscribers is low.

2. Option 2
a. Positive Qualities
i. The vendor assumes all the risk.
ii. Estimated subscriber fee is $90/month

b. Negative Qualities
i. Locked in to one service provider.
ii. No control of rates.
iii. No control for poor service.
iv. The Town still must pay a portion of the construction cost.
v. The Town has to pay for annual pole rental fees estimated to be about $30,000/year

Financial Considerations
• Debt Service
If construction costs (3.6 million dollars estimated) are fully funded through a twenty-year bond, annual debt service would be about $242,000/year. This would increase the taxes on an average (median) home valued at $206,500 by about $25/month. We expect to be able to get significant grant support, so the actual tax impact should be much lower.
“No vote would be held until we know that actual tax impact.”

• Operating Costs –
Our current estimates of costs for contracting a vendor to operate and maintain the network would cost about $66 per subscriber.

Your answers to the following questions will help decide which option you would like us to pursue.

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* 1. Do you live in Fayette year round?

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* 2. Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with the following statement: It is important to extend reliable, high speed internet service throughout Fayette.

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* 3. How much would you be willing to pay per month for fast, reliable internet service?

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* 4. If we build a network, how should the town pay for its share of construction costs not covered by other funding sources?

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* 5. Please rate these three options for moving forward with internet access based on which one you support most, with 1 representing your first choice and 3 representing your last choice.

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* 6. Would you like to get emails (no more than two a month) about town initiatives, including internet improvement? If so, please type your email address in this box. Your email will not be sold or shared. If you are already on the town internet improvement email list, please don't add your email address again.

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* 7. We welcome your thoughts and comments.

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