By Seth Kinker, firstname.lastname@example.org
On Jan. 8 the Manchester township board of trustees discussed the broadband feasibility report from CCG Consulting, the firm they hired in March of 2018.
The study was completed in November of 2018 and the board discussed the 70-page report at their first meeting of the year, and for the near future broadband is not an option with the cost of around $10 million being too high for the township.
Lisa Moutinho, head of the broadband committee, wanted thoughts from the board and potential next steps.
Financing was the biggest obstacle named in the executive summary of the report. The most optimistic estimate for equity was $3.6 million, meaning each homeowner in the
Estimates from the lowest to the highest, without the village, included which was something the township asked for as far as options in the study, ranging from $5.87 to $9.19 million.
Equity in the amount of around $5 million was needed to make the project a “break even” scenario, which meant it would always maintain cash. This meant that with the population of the township, $4,854 would be needed up front, per
Board members thanks Moutinho for the amount of work she had put
Trustee Laurie Carey expressed frustration at the many obstacles that have come up in bringing broadband to the township. Large providers like Comcast and AT&T are in the area and have fiber but won’t expand their service because of a lack of a return on investment.
Moutinho touched on the fact that when they made a commitment to look at it, they wanted 100 percent coverage, which not many providers can guarantee.
“And we have people who are pro-fiber who think wireless is the way of the past and then you’ve got people who are desperate for broadband or for any internet and they’ll take wireless. They don’t care as long as they have some sort of coverage,” said Moutinho.
While the board agreed that broadband wasn’t in the near future, they agreed that they gained valuable information from the study and that it needed to be done.