FAQ

Who is behind this?

We are an informal group of citizens and business owners who have come together to promote affordable broadband. Join us! Email us your business logo and/or share a quote!

What is the goal?

We want to have gigabit broadband accessible and affordable to all homes and businesses in the Holland area.

Why?

Community broadband is infrastructure for the common good. It connects us to the world, thereby promoting economic development and public safety by meeting the communication needs of education, healthcare, business, and government.

We believe high-speed broadband improves quality of life for residents, increases competitiveness for businesses, and will help attract both to the area.

Who benefits?

We want to cover the City of Holland and eventually all of the Holland BPW service area.

BPW’s 2011 Strategic Plan recommended covering the City, Townships, and expanding as far as Zeeland, Saugatuck and Hamilton.

Doesn't BPW have fiber already?

Sort of. BPW offers fiber to the home, but their rates are far too high. The prices only connect you to the fiber loop, they don’t include internet service, which you have to purchase separately. In most cases, the fees to BPW is more than the cost for using a traditional ISP.

What will this cost?

A study commissioned by the Holland BPW in 2011 estimated fiber to the home would cost $50 million over 5 years to implement, but would make money ($10 million/year) in 5 years. We expect today’s costs to be even lower.

How do we pay for it?

The City of Holland (which owns the Holland BPW) could pay for startup costs by selling bonds. This doesn’t require a public vote, merely City Council approval.

What about Cable TV and Telephone service?

These are rapidly shrinking markets and are better provided by the private sector.

Why 1 gigabit?

We really want 10–100 Gbps speeds. 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps) is a good starting point, but we want to make higher speeds available.

Will there be legal hurdles?

There are a few potential hurdles. At the federal level, the FCC recently ruled in favor of municipal broadband, blocking state rules that prevented municipal broadband in 2 cases. Michigan has the Michigan Telecommunications Act on the books that may pose a hurdle, but we are confident we can overcome issues, and will work with our state legislators as needed.

Why a not-for-profit utility?

We belive broadband should be considered a public utility just like clean water or electricity. Holland BPW is a community-owned, not-for-profit utility that already provides water, sewer, and electric services with great results. They also already have a proven, resilient fiber-optic infrastructure that is easily expandable.

What groups are you part of?

None. We encourage the City and BPW to join Next Century Cities and the Fiber to the Home Council.

How can I help?

Contact Holland City Council and the Holland BPW Board of Directors and tell them we want this.

Email us your business logo and/or share a quote.

Share this site with your friends and neighbors and keep the conversation moving forward!

Have questions? Want to help? Email us: info@hollandfiber.org and talk about #HollandFiber.

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