Holland Updates

It was over a week since the BPW & City Council Study Session where we heard about the new fiber study. The Holland Sentinel had a great write-up and we want to touch on some key data points here.

Among the possible scenarios were two main ones to bring fiber to the full BPW service area, or just to the City of Holland. The BPW would become an ISP to sell retail internet service.

To bring it to the full BPW service area requires a build out cost of $63,239,000. Limiting to just the City is $29,756,000.

The study suggested financing with a combination of bonds and loans, though other options are possible. The utility would be net income positive in year 7.

For 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps) service, the cost to consumers would be:

  • $80 residential
  • $85 small commercial
  • $220 medium commercial (with an SLA, or Service-Level Agreement)

The biggest assumption in the plan is the “take rate”. This simply means the number of subscribers. To make these numbers work, they need 39.6% take rate, meaning 39.6% of the possible homes need to sign up for service.

Since no immediate action was taken at the meeting, we will be discussing with the City and BPW to move this forward. Look for many more updates in the coming weeks. We need to keep up the momentum, and will need your help.

Finally, join us Tomorrow (Tuesday, April 12) at the Early Bird Breakfast where we’ll be discussing broadband with BPW.


  1. Can anyone tell me what the “full BPW service area” is? I live in south Park Township and have BPW water. does that put me in the full BPW service area? Or is it only where they supply power?

    April 11, 2016 at 1:56 PM
  2. While I was hoping for a slightly lower price point (I know nothing is set in stone), But still any thing to compete against the current Highspeed providers this is why I really look forward to this not just for the super fast connection but maybe stir up some competition to get the cable companies to re-evaluate their rates.

    Jim for your question I am not sure but I bet the people over at “ https://www.facebook.com/Laketown-Fiber-Optic-YES-1801402866754094/ “ would be able to tell you for sure

    gretchen m
    Gretchen M
    April 11, 2016 at 3:47 PM
  3. Jim - the answer to your question about “full BPW service area” is two fold. In the business plan that was compiled by the consultant, the BPW service area was defined as the current Electric Utility Service area. It was meant to provide a geographical boundary for the study and not as an indication of where future Broadband services would be deployed. The second part of the answer is that the area of actual deployment of future fiber is still unknown. It will likely be built out in phases with a consideration of the level of interest in a given geographical area.

    becky lehman
    Becky Lehman
    April 12, 2016 at 1:08 PM
  4. Providing the residents of Holland, a REAL alternative to the incumbent’s internet strangle hold on our community is one of the reasons Holland needs to invest in the project. Cherry picking neighborhoods done by one incumbent to push its u-verse product, did not reach the entire community only those they saw could potentially afford the hi-speed services. Incumbent’s only offer competing services when they compete with one another head to head on price and or stay bandwidth competitive.
    I’m encouraged and skeptical at the same time, I was at the City Budget discussion when the Fiber initiative was discussed for the second time. A certain council member had quite a bit to say concerning this topic and chastised the potential cost. An alternate option was discussed to roll it out to the Downtown business ONLY – leaving the residents to foot the build out cost of a $1,000,000. Wait Council – this is for the residents and business can use it. FTTH can increase the home’s value, spur entrepreneurial business growth, (Holland has won 40% of the State of Michigan’s Small Business Person of the Year Award for the last 25 years). We need to take a leap of faith. I advocate for a tax assessment to the home owner’s payable over the next 5 years that would equate to less than $ 12.00 per month for the hardware and then lower the cost of the service to the residents to a more affordable solution of approximately $66.95 per month comparable to that of Comcast cable service, it’s second tier Performance of 5Mb up x25Mb down. Many residents will adopt the solution and cut the cable as our viewing habits change. There are alternatives to cable, like satellite TV, you don’t have to purchase phone and TV to get a better price – the Bundle. Better yet you can receive the same 10 + basic HD channels for a onetime fee of >$100 by investing in a new outdoor HDTV antenna, receive all of the major networks for FREE. Come on Holland call your council members and let’s get this moving.

    jerry tonini
    Jerry Tonini
    May 03, 2016 at 5:09 PM

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