Rebutting more Negativity in the Sentiel

Dr. Robin Klay is in the Sentinel today encouraging a “No” vote. Unfortunately, the study she cites is an updated version of the Christoper Yoo study which we already debunked.  

I’ll dive into a few of her other points:

There is no reason to expect Holland to be more successful than similar cities in attracting high rates of buy-in.

We have a couple advantages, actually. We have much lower rates than other communities. Marshall starts at $44 for 50 Mbps, and $200 for what BPW is offering for $42. 

We also have a trusted, established utility, with lots of experience building and operating a fiber network. They’re also very fiscally conservative utility. BPW delivers great value for residents, with minimal risk.

So while it will take some time to get to the take rates we want, it is very possible here in Holland. And because of the funding mechansim of a millage, they won’t go bankrupt. The fixed costs get paid for on day one, and we’re paying off that bill. Monthly rates only pay for the variable costs. We want a high take rate to drive rates lower, but we don’t need them to make the project succeed. 

research shows rapid technological innovations constantly create better alternatives to any system that banks on paying for itself in 25 years

Tech definitely grows and changes, but fiber is the future proof infrastructure underneath. Fax machines come and go, but a fiber network can support future technologies not invented yet. 

Even ISPs are installing fiber and calling it “future proof.”

That’s because we can change out the electronics at both ends in the future (think cable modem) and the network gets faster. Last year, the speed record was 319 Tbps (that’s 391,000 times faster than 1 Gbps)! BPW has assumed upgrades will happen, and has baked that into the costs. Today 10 Gbps is affordable, but in 5, or 25 years, it’ll be much different. The miles of fiber stay the same, only the electronics change. 

A key reason offered for city-provided high-speed internet is that private providers charge high prices.

Do I need to say anything here? Do you like calling your provider every couple years to try to negotiate? I’d prefer clear rates set by a non-profit. Check our calculator again. Most residents would save money. 

All these rebuttals talk about how much we’d pay over time. Have you ever thought about how much you pay now? An $85/month Comcast bill is $1,020/year! This millage is an investment in the future of Holland. If you think that’s important, vote “Yes” on August 2.


  1. You’re not wrong about ISPs and their costs. I call every year to try and get my internet bill lower. Spectrum refuses to give a better rate because I’m not a new customer. I have had the same experience with Comcast. ISPs charge too much and offer too little. Not to mention if, worst case scenario, people are still paying the same amount with this project as they would pay for the ISPs and their service, Fiber would give a substantially better value as speeds would be superior to any other in Holland. It’s time for the city to upgrade so that everyone in the area can benefit.

    andru barreto
    Andru Barreto
    July 24, 2022 at 12:48 PM

Post a Comment

(optional — not published)
(optional — will be included as a link.)

Have questions? Want to help? Email us: [email protected] and talk about #HollandFiber.

Website built in Holland, Michigan by