Going Deeper: Costs

Following up on the announcement of Holland City Fiber, I want to go deeper on the costs for residents. This comes from the presentation they gave to council yesterday.

There are two main portions:

Passings (fiber to the pole nearest your house) paid for by millage and go everywhere in the city.

Drops (from the pole to your house) that would be opt-in, and paid for as part of your monthly service.

Passings

The cost for passings is estimated at $22.2 million ($1,510 per passing). A millage of up to 1.5 mills would pay for it all. Technically the millage would pay of a bond, and 1.5 mills is considered the top end. Actual amount will depend on the bond and other factors. The bond would be for 20 years, and the millage would likely drop off over time. If the cost is lower (or is paying for it self faster) the millage can be reduced.

The city has already proposed one way to drop that millage rate. City staff has recommended using about half of the money received from the American Rescue Plan Act and State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, toward the project. So that’s $4.2 million off the price tag before we even get started!

The millage does require a public vote, which would happen August 2.

Drops

The cost of drops, or fiber from the pole to your house (think installation or activation charges) is $215/customer. The electronics (think cable modem) is around $820/customer. Most people would pay this as a single $7/month, with an option to pay up-front.

Graphic showing the estimated costs outlined above
Presentation slide (page 15)

What else?

The rest of the monthly bill is $28 for Operation and Maintenance and $7 for Internet Service. All that brings you to $42/month for service.

The best part about BPW is that they are a community-owned, non-profit utility. We only pay for what it takes to run and maintain the network, not profits.

BPW prices can change over time, like your electric rates do. It is heartening that BPW’s electric rates are lower than nearby for-profit utilities.

Want to see how it would shake out for you? Check out our calculator.

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