RJ Ertlmaier 0

Vineyards Summit Broadband Extension

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As Vineyards residents, we have reviewed the information on Summit’s recent contract proposal including the Cable TV Committee presentation, Bulletin #25 and the related Q & A. We commend the committee for their thorough review and offer the following feedback to all:

  • A five-year commitment plus the current contract’s remaining three years would lock our community in for eight years. The TV broadcast industry’s rapid state of change (consolidations, scramble for content, cut-the-cable and other challenges) and Summit’s competitors expanding, suggest this is a difficult time to make a long-term decision.
  • The companies in this market are rightfully cautious about making proposals for a start date three years out. That has prevented the Committee from doing a formal request for proposal process to get comparable data from Summit’s current competitors. Further, there may be additional providers in our area three years from now.
  • It is impossible to fully leverage our position as a large, valuable customer and to compare what is offered on an apples-to-apples basis without competitive bids. But, it is clear some of Summit’s offerings have only modest savings at the household level and others (e.g. 250/250 speed) are not presently needed by the majority of users. More time might make it easier to get information from competitors and to assess what the value the offered concessions will be three years hence.
  • Finally, there is also the question of whether Summit would provide some of the offered improvements/services over the next three years via changes to the current contract without a five-year extension. Major technology companies do system upgrades all the time at little or no cost.

There may be other points to be made on the proposal. But, we believe the above concerns justify deferring the decision for perhaps twelve to eighteen months. Hopefully, at that time the Committee will be able to do a formal RFP process. It would also allow more time to provide additional information to Vineyards residents that could help with the above concerns and possibly lead to a broad consensus on the ultimate decision.

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