We are an informal group of citizens and business owners who have come together to promote affordable broadband. Some have been involved since the dial-up days. We started this site in 2015 to help inform the Holland community and promote broadband development.
In 2022, a subset of this group formed The Holland City Fiber Yes Committee, to promote the City of Holland’s ballot initiative. This site supports that initiative, but is not limited to it.
Want to join us? Email us to say hello!
We want to have gigabit broadband accessible and affordable to all homes and businesses in the Holland area.
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.
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.
Sort of. As of mid-2022, BPW has gigabit service in a small area of downtown.
BPW also technically 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.
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.
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.
These are rapidly shrinking markets and are better provided by the private sector.
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.
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.
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.
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