What Would be the Subscriber Service and Costs?

Internet Service 

  • Unlimited internet
  • Up to 50 Mbps download/upload

Voice-Over-IP (VOIP) Phone Service (optional)

  • The VOIP phone service would be unlimited local and Continental US calling. For calls outside those areas, the subscriber would sign up with the long distance carrier of their choice.
  • The standard connection to your home supports up to 2 separate phone lines.
  • The service would include features such as caller ID, call forwarding, call waiting, three-way calling and other features as part of the standard package.
  • Hosted voice mail may be an additional charge (usually $3 per month).
  • Number portability so you could be able to keep your existing telephone numbers.

 Subscription Plan 

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Matrix Design Group has provided following estimated subscriber costs for monthly service under their plan:

  • $25/month construction/installation fee (fixed)
  • $35/month service fees (estimate); will be reduced the more households subscribe. This fee covers network monitoring and maintenance, ensuring the fiber optic infrastructure, depreciation (future replacement expense) for fiber plant and active electronics, pole rental fees to Verizon, and MLP overhead costs such as accounting and legal expenses
  • $35/month Internet connectivity fees (estimate); Princeton Broadband MLP will seek a competitive bid for these Internet Service Provider services
  • $20/month for optional phone (VOIP) services (estimate); included under ISP services

The current estimate for Internet services totals $95/month, $115 for Internet and Voice. There will be applicable federal and state taxes and fees, yet to be determined by the Princeton Broadband Committee (we are investigating).

Installation Charge 

There will be an installation charge of $250-350 for Matrix to connect the fiber from the town poles to your house. If you get the initial fiber hookup, you are also committing to a 2-year commitment of service once the hookup goes live*.

The $250-350 early signup discounted cost is based on your house being 200-250′ from the road. Your costs may vary if you are beyond that. However, before you need to make any commitment, your house will be evaluated by Matrix, and they will provide an estimate that takes into account any unique circumstances related to your house.

There are two boxes that one could choose from to install on/in your house. There is a large external box that would be included in the installation costs. You can also elect to have an internal box which is a wireless router. That wireless router option would cost an additional $5/month. Both of these boxes require electricity.

The discounted rate is offered to residents that enroll during the initial sign-on period. If you do not sign up during that period, the installation charge will be $1250-1550. The reason for the higher price is economy of scale: in order to do a one-off install at a property, Matrix would have to get a truck/installer to come for that specific job instead of going from house to house.

* A 2-year commitment is required because it costs Matrix more than $250-350 to do the initial hookup. If for some reason you wanted to get the box installed with the discounted charge but wanted to wait on getting monthly internet service, you would pay $25/mo for 2 years. If you do get internet service, then that $25 fee is simply included as part of the $95 total internet subscription (as shown above). 

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15 comments

  1. Randy S

    As much as I can’t wait for hi-speed Internet, $95 a month sounds outrageous for just internet. When would the $25 construction fee be removed from the bill? Also, what is the definition of a “connectivity fee”? Why is the a monthly charge and not a one time thing?

    • richwagner

      It is helpful to compare that $95 amount with the top tier plan of Ayacht which is $90 monthly for 8Mbps. (http://www.ayacht.com/pmld-wireless-isp/). The construction fee is taken off as soon as the buildout is paid for, which will be several years down the road. (The information meetings will have the exact timing, I just don’t have it here offhand.) The reason why it is a monthly charge is that this is how we would be paying back Matrix for doing the initial build out. In other words, Matrix pays for the initial build out and they get paid back through the $25 construction fee.

    • richwagner

      Randy, one additional note – we took a look at a current Double Play Verizon bill of someone in town. It actually totals out to $87.39. And, while we are looking this up to confirm this, we believe you need to have a landline to get DSL as well, so a DSL only option may not even available from Verizon. So, while the Matrix Fiber Double Play option is more expensive (~$115 to $87), you do get a lot more “bang for your buck” when you compare overall service capabilities (DSL’s max 3Mbps to Fiber’s 30-50+ Mbps).

      • Brian

        I just want to point out that my DSL internet and phone bundle from Verizon is actually $73.02/month. We are talking about a 57% increase in monthly cost, which is significant. That being said, I do plan to pay for the increase since streaming and using on Demand services are nearly impossible with DSL speeds. But, let’s not minimize the price increase. It is more expensive than any other service I’ve seen.

  2. Greg

    The estimate of $95/month is significantly higher than the $40/month or so that I pay for DSL. I would pay it for the sake of the higher speeds, but I’m wondering about another benefit. At one point, I believe it was said that the service would or could include ‘local’ broadcast TV station content (as opposed to “cable” stations). That feature would be highly desirable to me, and was one of the factors that got me excited about the project. We neither have nor want satellite TV, but would really like to have dependable transmission of the local stations which are often on the marginal side using over-the-air signals. Could you please address this topic in one of your updates? Thanks.

    Greg

  3. steverehrauer

    Those of us in town without the option of DSL service, and for whom the town WiFi network proved too unreliable to work-from-home regularly, are VERY much looking forward to writing that $95 monthly check for this service! For 30-50 Mb/s speeds, if it’s as reliable as DSL has been for those who have it, $95 is a screaming bargain!

    • richwagner

      I hear you! I feel the same way! It can’t come soon enough for me. Concerning timetable, we will have the timing details at the informational meeting, but also on the web site before then. So stay tuned within the next week or so here.

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  6. David Union

    The cost is a bit high especially since we don’t know the extra installation for long driveways, and of course it’s an ongoing high cost, not a fixed high cost. But it will make the Princeton houses more ‘saleable’ also, meaning it will increase property values. If these are the actual numbers I would pay for the plan despite the somewhat high cost. My additional concern is what happens if the company running this fails? That needs to be spelled out so folks don’t pay a lot for installation then get stuck with no service, or the only option next being some exorbitant service cost. Some unscrupulous company might file bankruptcy and re-open under a different name just to get a higher rate with a known locked-in customer…

    • richwagner

      David, the vast majority of homes in Princeton will have an easy hookup with no extra charges. In the special cases (e.g., very long driveways), Matrix is going to bend over backwards to make things work for the resident and do it affordably. After all, they are incentivized to hook up as many homes as possible, since they want a high subscriber count. Also, the numbers only look high when you compare to what is offered in densely populated areas in which there is considerable competition between Comcast, Verizon, and Charter. The Matrix rates are actually comparable to Ayacht and satellite, and just slightly more than DSL.

      Your concern over the company actually reinforces why this plan is the right one for the town. First, Matrix is paying for ALL of the network, so they are assuming all of that risk. Second, the whole plan is structured for their incentivizes to realized only if they are here and support the network well over the *long-term*. That’s how they would make their money. Third, the Princeton MLP has total control over who will serve as the ISP; thus, we will have safeguards in place to protect the town from a scenario like you bring up. On the contrary, if we were reliant on Verizon or Big Cable, that’s when we would actually be at risk. As a great example of that, consider Merrimack NH. The DSL in town was bought by Fairpoint from Verizon (Verizon is selling off DSL in many places). Fairpoint went on strike, and so the town’s internet is down. That scenario could never happen under the the way this plan is structured.

  7. Thomas Junell

    Can you explain the installation a little bit more regarding the router? Today with the Ayacht setup, the cable comes from the dish to the modem, then a wire to my router which is “wireless” to my hardware. How does the external box relate to wiring to MY router and is that part of the installation fee and process? Or, am I forced to rent another modem?

    • richwagner

      The fiber line will be connected to an ONT (Optic Network Terminal) box. There are two boxes that one could choose from to install on/in your house. There is a external box that would be included in the installation costs. You can also elect to have an internal box which has a wireless router. That wireless router option would cost an additional $5/month. Both of these boxes require electricity. Here is a diagram of what setup would like with an external box: Link. An inside box w/router would look something this.

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