Presentation from Info Session

We had our first Info Session at the Town Annex tonight focusing on the Matrix plan and the upcoming Nov. 18 vote. Click here to download/view the Powerpoint presentation from the session. Or, if you want some background info, click here for a 5-minute easy-to-read summary.

 

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14 comments

  1. Brian

    In the summary document you posted on Oct. 23rd, it references a $200 pre-subscription cost. This presentation now has that at $250 – $350. In an earlier post on this site (or maybe the FB site), you mentioned that one advantage to this plan is you don’t need to sign up for a year or more of service, however, the summary plan states there is a two year commitment. My concern is that the information has been inconsistent, and that raises questions for me about how well this has been thought through. There are a lot of costs that are listed as estimates, and frankly, I’m concerned that these costs are going to continue to creep up further until this is no longer what you describe as “affordable” internet. I want the higher speeds (currently I have DSL), and I’m willing to pay a reasonable cost, but only if I can trust the information that we are receiving, and I’m not sure whether or not that’s the case.

    • richwagner

      Brian, like any deal with multiple parties, some of the financials fluctuated as the plan was coming together over the past two months. And, so in a couple of specific instances, I failed to qualify a figure as “approximate” since it was not necessarily final. I believe that the pre-subscription cost is probably the only case where there is much variance. My one big oversight was not better clarifying the two-year commitment. That was totally my fault as website admin – nothing to do with the committee or Matrix. So, I definitely will do a better job in the future on clarifications here on the site. But, having said that, I disagree that the plan has not been thought through or will have creeping costs. Any mistakes have been in communication here, not actual planning.

      • Brian

        Thanks Rich. I appreciate the reply. I moved to town recently from another town where I had access to both Verizon FiOS and Xfinity service. When comparing this plan to either of those, where phone, internet and tv were all about $120/month, you can see where this sounds “expensive.” I know that’s comparing apples to oranges, and such options don’t exist here or in other rural areas finding themselves in the same situation. This plan does sound like it is in line with others of it’s kind, and I just want to be sure that the numbers being put out there now are indeed the numbers.

        All of that being said, I do plan to vote in favor of this, because I can’t stand the DSL service and I can’t imagine what it’s like for those that can’t even get that!

      • richwagner

        Brian, thanks for your comments/reply. I definitely hear where you are coming from — I used to live in the heart of Silicon Valley and we had many internet options — all at an aggressive price. So, living out in rural Princeton, as you point out, our options are definitely more limited (supply and demand). Comparing the options we have available to us, the Matrix internet only plan ($95) is essentially equivalent to Ayacht’s top tier plan ($90), but at 5-10 times the speed. DSL is harder to compare since it seems like the pricing is all over the map, and I don’t believe Verizon allows a DSL only option apart from a phone bundle. Some folks have some good bundled deals, but the standard Double Play deal is ~$87. That’s lower in price than Matrix’s $115, but again, it is a “bang for the buck” decision, since fiber is roughly 25x times faster. Rich

  2. Christine Rainville

    Hi Rich,
    Sorry I missed the info meetings.. I’ve reviewed both the Landmark report & your powerpoint presentation… and need clarifications… on this point
    Pre-subscription (one-time) charge: $ 250 – $350
    ✔ This increases to $1,250 – $1,550 after 3-month sign-up window
    ✔ Requires taking service for two years

    If I’m reading the article correctly, on top of the “one-time” charge of $250- 350 there will be a $25 per month service fee for two years pre-service. So pre-service potential customers would pay $950 over 2 years (plus an additional $115/year for 15 years in taxes) before we even see the high speed internet in the house?

    Or we could pay $1250-1550 once we see that the internet is up and running to join the service, with no contract, and then $115-120 a month once the service is up.

    Also, what would happen for new residents coming into town after the 3-month sign-up window, would they pay $1250-1550 to sign up?
    What would happen for someone selling their house 18 months from now that have put in the “one-time” fee would it get transferred to the the new home owner?

    • richwagner

      Christine, excellent questions. Let me try and tackle each of them.

      First, there is an installation charge of $250-350. If you get the initial fiber hookup, you are also committing to a 2-year commitment of service once the hookup goes live. If you do not get monthly internet service, you would pay $25/mo for 2 years. Now, if you do get internet service (normal situation), then that $25 fee is included as part of the $95 internet subscription ($95 total, not $95+$25). The reason they are asking for a 2-year commitment is that it costs them more than $250-350 to do the initial hookup (more like $700+), and so the $25 monthly for 2-years ensures that they at least cover their cost. However, note that you would not be charged that $25/mo until the service goes live in your area.

      Second, if you went into “wait and see” mode, then yes, you could pay the full rate of $1250-1550 once the service is hooked up and not have a 2-year commitment. The reason for the higher price in this case is that in order to do a one-off install at a property, they would have to get a truck/installer to come for that specific job instead of doing it all at once like they plan to at the start (in other words, economy of scale during initial installation period allows for the lower installation rate).

      Third, for new residents coming into town, Matrix has said in the info sessions that they would offer the discounted installation charge as an incentive. After all, it is in their best interest to make it easy for people to subscribe to their service.

      Fourth, if you paid the discounted rate and had the two-year commitment, and then sold your house a year later, Matrix has said at the info sessions that they are reasonable and are not going to hold that outgoing home owner to the 2-year commitment in that special case. Instead, their focus would be on the new resident and making sure they had an opportunity for new service.

      Rich

  3. brian

    i have questions about oak circle – hichory dr. – the clearings- snow pond – richards rd- country lane – all are underground developments will broadband be avalable to them at an afordable costb

    • Tim T

      Yeah, that was my concern as well and unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to the info sessions… If at all possible, can you recap any of the discussions in this regard? Thanks!

  4. Phil Gransewicz

    I attended the first presentation and I think there are a few things that need to be added here.

    1. 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. In speaking with the Matrox engineer, it is really the underground routing that could be more costly for people as the conditions of any existing conduit are extremely variable. He indicated stringing more fiber from pole to pole is usually pretty easy but if it then goes underground to your house, it can get tricky or expensive. One gentleman at the meeting had directly buried cable with no conduit. In that case it would require digging and laying of conduit which is expensive. It was stated that each house would have to be evaluated and given an estimate to take into account individual circumstances.

    2. 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 (and paid for with that $25/month fee for 2 years if you don’t sign up for service right away). You can also elect to have an internal box which is a wireless router. That wireless router option would cost $5 a month. BOTH of these boxes require electricity.

    I assume if people elected to install the external box, they would then have to run a wire into their home for their own wireless router? Is that correct Rich?

    • richwagner

      Phil, excellent and valuable information. Thanks for posting that! I will look to add that elsewhere on this site as well so people have that clarified. Concerning your question, my understanding is that, for external boxes, Matrix will run the wire into the home as part of the install. This wire would then be hooked up to a router inside.

    • Tim T.

      “He indicated stringing more fiber from pole to pole is usually pretty easy but if it then goes underground to your house, it can get tricky or expensive. One gentleman at the meeting had directly buried cable with no conduit. In that case it would require digging and laying of conduit which is expensive. It was stated that each house would have to be evaluated and given an estimate to take into account individual circumstances.”

      This concerns me, especially when trying to wrap my head around some of the upfront costs associated with getting FTTH. It’s my understanding our home, and many of our neighbors, might be in a similar spot with direct-bury cables… At what point in the process will we have an idea where we stand with the costs associated with an underground connection? Will Matrix be the only party authorized to do the underground wiring projects, especially if it involved laying new conduit? A quick Google search brought up amounts in the $10-$20 per linear foot, which seems like it could add up quick… I’m wondering if a “neighborhood discount” might be worth discussing with outside contractors? Or maybe some “make-ready” DIY options?

      • richwagner

        Tim, I am working on getting additional details on the direct-bury cable issue. I will say that Matrix would be the ones to run the actual fiber, but they are totally fine with someone else laying conduit.

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