Moving Keene Ranch Forward

 

The Need for Speed 2019

Fiber is the best technology available for long term high speed needs.

Lots

Per Lot

Fiber will enhance the value of your home as no potential buyers will be excluded due to less capable technology.

A Brief History of Progress

  • In the 1800’s the horse gave transport.
  • Late 1880s Benz developed the first automobile.
  • Early 1900’s first airplane.
  • By mid-1900’s first jet.
  • 2019 tourists into space.

The Computer Evolution

  • 1946 the ENIAC computer filled an entire 1800 sq ft room.
  • 1980s, a more robust computer fit on top of a desk.
  • Today, it’s handheld.

The Demand for Speed

  • Hulu, iTunes
  • Skype, Facetime
  • Netflix, Spotify
  • Gaming, Youtube
  • VOIP, Security
  • Dropbox, Facebook
  • Smart Houses
  • Web Browsing
  • College Courses
  • Cloud Applications
  • Cloud Data Storage
  • Medical Monitoring
  • Application Updates
  • Photo/video Sharing

The Demand for Bandwidth

Demand for greater bandwidth/speed increases by 50% every 18 months

  • Smart TVs, High Def. Video (1080p) , 4K HD Video, Smart Phones, Security Systems, Computers, Cloud Storage, Gaming, Streaming…

Worldwide demand is doubling every 100 days!

Not Enough Bandwidth in Keene Ranch for Simultaneous:

  • Working from Home
  • Video Streaming
  • Online Courses
  • Gaming

So... where are we now?

  • Spring 2018 – Comcast $9,750 proposal defeated
    • Cost/HOA debt largest reasons for objection
  • Winter 2019 – Ad hoc Internet Group
    • Chairman Bill Scheffler, Mark Hansen, Peter Smith, Bob Krebs, Jim Delong
      – Examine High Speed Internet opportunities
  • Conversations w/ Comcast, DirectLink & Thrive
    • Comcast: No significant change from prior deal
    • DirectLink: Triple the capital cost ($1.5 MM)
    • Kellin: Not interested
    • Thrive: Presents best solution…

    Thrive – Fiber to the Home (FTTH) for <$550,000

Thrive Details

  • Industry standard technology
  • Capable of 1 Gbps down/1 Gbps up (current 1 meg-50 meg)
  • Fiber Ring (best option) to be installed along and under all streets
  • Installation of drops to homes included in cost during initial construction
    • Free drop install requires one month minimum service commitment – $75 for 50 Mbps x 50 Mbps
  • Fiber Ring owned by KRHOA for 10 years – if Thrive fails we own the network
  • Construction paid in 20% increments based on completed footage & 2 successful 1Gbps/1Gbps installations
  • Roughly $2100-$2400 per lot

A few more details

  • Build out higher density, poorer service area 1st
  • Construction supervised by seasoned cable technologists
    • Bill Scheffler & Pete Smith
  • Performance bond or cash equivalent
    • Surety will complete, if Thrive does not
  • Indemnification & $2 MM Insurance Required
  • Customer Service Response Provisions
  • Other providers can take over, if needed

Why not Wireless, 5G, or Satellite?

  • As internet gets more complex & bandwidth hungry, wireless solutions such as DirectLink will be slow & unable to handle the load.
  • 5G will require fiber connections to each cell site which may only transmit 1000 feet or so
  • Satellite internet service has latency issues and data caps
  • Fiber: The best long-term, technology available for robust, high speed transmission
  • Fiber may enhance value of our community & your home while increasing potential buyers.

...AND!

Your cell phone’s built-in WiFi can connect and use the fiber…
which will ensure a 5-bar performance at all times.

Value

    Current Monthly Costs

  • $   89 – DirectLink (19/9.8)
  • $   51 – CenturyLink (Landline)
  • $ 140 – TOTAL
  • Thrive Monthly Costs

  • $180.00 – 1000/1000 Mbps
  • $160.00 – 500/500 Mbps
  • $120.00 – 200/200 Mbps
  • $100.00 – 100/100 Mbps
  • $   75.00 – 50/50 Mbps
  • $   40.00 – Landline
  • $     7.00 – WiFi Extenders

The Fiber Solution

Up to 5x improved speed and performance…
Plus the landline for the same $ 140/month

Informal Studies Conducted:

Thus far…

  • Sage Port Residents interviewed/very positive
  • 90% positive feedback from inquired Keene Ranch lot owners

Most Often Heard Objections:

  • “I live near the front and I’m already getting 40 meg.”
  • “I don’t need the speed to just check e-mails.”
  • “I don’t like to be forced into doing something.”
  • “Why not wait until something better comes along?”

Summary: A Robust Internet is Vital to the Future of Keene Ranch

  • Faster speeds with larger data transfers
  • Easy to upgrade technologies
  • More reliable and Not impacted by weather
  • Family can conduct various Internet activities at same time
  • Reduces cell phone drop outs while in home
  • Less capital invested; up to 5x better performance
  • Increases home values & home buyer pool

….Fiber is the answer

What's Next?

  1. Talk with Keene Ranch homeowners & gain acceptance
  2. Have Board schedule vote
  3. Looking for 67% YES – one payment

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

Our immediate goal is to convince the Board to allow a vote of all members.
Please sign and return the form you received in the mail in the stamped envelope.
Attend the June 4th board meeting at Larkspur Fire Department at 6 PM.
Please support the right to vote for all of us

FAQs

What happened to Comcast supplying service to Keene Ranch?
  • The community voted against Comcast as the provider. The primary objection was the approximate cost of $10,000 to each homeowner.
  • The exploratory work done during the Comcast effort helped us:
    • Understand and develop the legal aspects of this effort.
      The experienced gained by the Board should simplify the process of approval and implementation significantly.
    • Nevertheless $ 19,000 has been included in the pricing as a contingency for such things as legal fees and any unforeseen occurrences.
Why didn’t we just wait for Comcast or some other provider to build a HSI network at no cost to the community?
  • Comcast or CenturyLink, for instance, have more profitable locations to spend their capital than build to Keene Ranch i.e. new denser residential subdivisions, businesses or expanding the capacity of their existing networks.
  • If either of these companies ever build a HSI network in Keene Ranch, it is many years away.
  • This is why Comcast asked us to pay to build their network rather than for them to be willing to invest in building the network.
  • Their return on that investment at Keene Ranch would have been much lower than thousands of other projects that they can spend capital on.
Who has been involved in this process?
  • It had been suggested that any new initiatives be at least started by homeowners rather than the Board.
  • To this end five individuals: Mark Hansen, Bill Scheffler, Pete Smith, Bob Krebs and Jim DeLong (not acting in his board capacity) elected to see if the known needs of many in our community could be met under more favorable terms.
  • The Board was informed of this effort but reminded the group that at least initially it would be a private investigation with the board only being aware of the general progress of the initiative.
  • The Board in no way has decided whether it should support the initiative.
Why are you guys trying to get an internet solution for Keene Ranch after the community voted this down?
  • Even though the community voted down the $10K price tag for Comcast to provide services to Keene Ranch, the need for a High-Speed Internet (HSI) solution was real then and is still real today.
  • There are some residents that don’t have adequate HSI service that meets their needs.
    • DirectLink and Kellin can’t provide service to some residents (line of sight).
    • Some residents that can get service from DirectLink or Kellin need higher speeds than available for:
      • Home Business
      • Video Conferencing
      • Gaming
      • Etc.
    • CenturyLink’ DSL service isn’t available at high enough speeds in most of Keene Ranch.
  • We hoped to be able to help find a cost-effective solution to meet this need.
What about 5G, why don’t we wait for 5G?

  • While 5G is real and it will be a competitive solution to HSI from a Cable operator or the local Telco it is likely still years away for Keene Ranch. 5G will be initially be deployed primarily in select urban areas (Keene Ranch is not part of an urban area) spreading to additional urban areas as time goes by.
  • AT&T initial cities – Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Louisville, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Raleigh, San Antonio, Waco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose.
  • Verizon’s initial cities – Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Atlanta, Brockton, Dallas, Bernardsville, Denver, Ann Arbor, Seattle, Miami, and Washington, DC.
  • Even though 5G will eventually be deployed to rural areas it may be a 5G that is less useful to the average home owner. From pcmag.com “The multi-gigabit speeds and massive capacity you hear about with 5G is by and large an urban phenomenon, driven by the huge bandwidths of millimeter-wave spectrum, which doesn’t travel very far. Rural areas will get a form of 5G called “low-band” or “sub-6” 5G, which will have less capacity but still have extremely low latency and be able to work with massive networks of industrial sensors”. (https://www.pcmag.com/news/365565/what-will-5g-do-for-rural-areas)
  • To get 5G to Keene Ranch there needs to be a network (probably fiber) built to provide connectivity of sufficient bandwidth to the 5G cell antenna sites. The cost to build the backhaul network for 5G will rival the cost of a FTTH network.
  • These 5G antenna sites will have a range from 500’ to 2,000’ so may not be practical in a community like Keene Ranch. ”Last year, Samsung and Verizon said the system would have a range of about 1,500 feet in a best-case circumstance, and recent AT&T trials showed speeds at 500 feet and 900 feet. That would mean a huge number of cell sites, or a very patchy high-speed network” pcmag.com (https://www.pcmag.com/news/361360/verizon-shows-5g-going-the-distance).
  • Since Thrive would be putting in fiber, would these lines be available for 5G use?
  • Yes, so long as the 5G provider was not competing with services offered by Thrive.
  • Thrive would lease a line to the provider wanting to install this service.
Why not wireless, i.e. DirectLink or Kellin?
  • DirectLink and Kellin may not be able to provide their wireless services to the entire community (their service requires “line of sight” from their tower(s) to each customer).
  • Their service offerings have upper bandwidth/speed limitations that do not meet some residents’ requirements for:
  • Home business
  • Video conferencing
  • Gaming
  • Etc.
  • Wireless solutions offered by local firms are at best an interim solution.
  • Kellin never responded to our requests for a proposal.
Why didn’t the KRHOA, Thrive or some other Provider take advantage of one of the Federal or State programs that are providing loans/grants to bring “broadband” to unserved or underserved communities?

There have been several Federal programs established i.e. USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS), NTIA Broadband Infrastructure (NTIA no longer has funding available and is not accepting applications for these programs), FCC Connect America Fund and a Colorado program – The Broadband Fund that have collectively established hundreds of millions of dollars in the form of grants and loans for rural broadband infrastructure. However, these funds are primarily for bringing broadband services to rural communities (which Keene Ranch is not considered as qualifying for) and communities that lack any existing broadband speed of at least 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream (which Keene Ranch is not i.e. DirectLink, CenturyLink and Kellin).

How can Thrive build a FTTH network for about 20% of the price of the Comcast proposal?
  • They own their own equipment and will use their own employees.
  • They want to demonstrate they are a successful enterprise and have elected to price our system accordingly.
  • Comcast has very stringent specifications that are to some extent overkill.
  • Comcast contracts out all network construction and has this additional overhead.
  • Make no mistake, the committee asked the same question. Even understanding items a., b, c. and d above, we have tried to build into the contract protections should the firm fail.  These include: a performance bond or cash equivalent, ownership provisions, and required inspection of all completed work.
If Thrive wasn’t a viable solution back in 2017 why are they an appropriate provider today?
  • Thrive’s solution i.e. proposed network architecture was a solid solution back in 2017 and still is today.
  • The main reason Thrive wasn’t previously considered as the provider was their lack of track record. Since then Thrive has begun building the network in Sage Port and is supplying HSI service to paying customers.
  • We have interviewed several Sage Port residents that are using the system and they are very satisfied, (please note Sage Port is a more densely populated community and while most aspects of building and operating their FTTH network will mirror the same in Keene Ranch there will be some differences i.e. significantly longer drops).
  • Thrive built the network in Sage Port without a contribution from the HOA because of the greater density of homes, “homes per mile” and the relatively short drops resulted in lower costs per home passed in Sage Port.
  • Thrive’s service in Sage Port not only demonstrates Thrive’s ability to build and operate the FTTH network but all the associated back office systems as well.
Even with Thrive’s demonstrated experience in Sage Port they are still a small and new company, what if they go out of business?
  • We are requiring that Thrive provide a performance bond or cash equivalent from a surety. This is to ensure that the system is completed should Thrive not be able to perform.
  • The KRHOA will maintain ownership of the network for the first 10 years while providing Thrive with a “use/lease” agreement that requires that they operate and maintain the network while providing HSI services.
  • Ownership of the FTTH network as this can further protect the HOA from possible entanglements from a bankruptcy proceeding.
  • If Thrive fails within the first ten years they can assign their lease or sublease their leasehold interests, but the successor must comply with all terms and conditions of our agreement.
  • The network that is being built would very likely meet the required specifications of a Comcast or a CenturyLink, etc. so that even if Thrive were to go out of business another provider should be willing to connect to our network and provide services.
What are the technical details of the system Thrive will build in Keene Ranch?

  • Thrive’s proposal on this website provides detailed information on the network architecture.
  • The GPON technology that Thrive is proposing adequate for our current needs and our future needs?
  • Having a Fiber to the Home FTTH network future proofs our neighborhood.
  • The initial proposed network architecture will deliver upload and down load speeds with low latency that will fulfil any currently conceivable use/need:
  • Home business
  • Video conferencing
  • Gaming
  • Etc.
  • Additionally, having fiber optic cable available to every residence allows for modifications of the architecture if any future uses require higher speeds/bandwidth or there are improved technical developments.
Costs and Prices
What will the monthly cost of internet service from Thrive be to the customer?

  • See the rate sheet on this website but entry level is $75 per month for 50 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload.

How much will the resident pay for the construction portion of the system and how will this be structured?

  • Thrive’s price to the HOA to construct the network works out to $2,100 per lot. This group has added another $100 per lot to cover things like legal fees and contingencies bringing the per lot price to $2,200. There has been some discussion with the Board that it might be prudent to have a slightly larger dollar amount to cover legal/contingencies so for the time being we are using a range of $2,100 to $2,400 per lot. Ultimately this will be the Boards decision to make.

Does someone have to sign a service contract if they choose not to participate in the service?

  • No but assuming the community approves this with 67% of the lot owners voting for the system, the individual not wanting service will still be obligated to pay for the installation of the ring system ($2,100 to $2,400 per lot).
  • Under this scenario, it would probably be wise for the resident to let Thrive run fiber to the home. Otherwise a connection later would be far more expensive.
  • Will phone service (voice over internet) be offered, and how about cell phone service?

    • Yes, for a nominal fee voice over internet service is offered. Details will be included in their pricing.
    • Thrive would be willing to lease fiber to a cell phone provider who in turn would place one or more transmitters enabling cell phone reception throughout the community.
    • Most cell phones allow use of WiFi for phone calls and having FTTH will ensure that the service works well.

    If the Board decides to move forward with the project, what process will be followed.

    • Board would present a vote with the details of the project described. Sixty-seven percent or more of the eligible lot owners would have to vote in the affirmative for this to move forward.

    If a vote approving the Thrive installation is passed what will lot owners not yet having a home expect for their contribution.

    • Fiber will be run to a point within their property to be used later.
    • If the owner elects not to have this installation it can be done later but at rates in place at the time for new customers.

    What is the timeframe for construction? What will the payment schedule be?

    • It is expected that the entire project will be complete in approximately seven months. Allowance for winter months when underground construction is impossible must be taken into account.
    • Only after Thrive has installed the first 20% of their system and two successful customer installations will a payment of 20% of the total be made to Thrive. Payment after each phase will be made after determining the quality of installation.
Business and Residential Rate Sheets

EXHIBIT B –Thrive Broadband Rates for Customers in Keene Ranch

RESIDENTIAL SERVICES

  • 1000/1000 Mbps- $180.00/mo
  • 500/500 Mbps- $160.00/mo
  • 200/200 Mbps- $120.00/mo
  • 100/100 Mbps- $100.00/mo
  • 50/50 Mbps- $75.00/mo
  • Home Phone- $40.00/mo

Additional Mesh Extenders- $7.00/mo

Price increases limited to inflationary index

BUSINESS SERVICES with QOS Standards

  • 1000/1000 Mbps- $500.00/mo
  • 500/500 Mbps- $400.00/mo
  • 200/200 Mbps- $300.00/mo
  • 100/100 Mbps- $200.00/mo
  • 50/50 Mbps- $110.00/mo
  • VOIP Phone- $20.00/mo
  • POTS Phone- $40.00/mo

$10 discount if you provide router

All prices include all taxes and fees.

Why should I vote for this offer since I am happy with my current service?
  • Exactly how much FTTH will effect property values is difficult to estimate.
What’s the advantage of having the contract with the Board and all residents paying for its vs just having to those who want it pay?

This approach will invoke the commonly recognized marketing paradox of “price elasticity”. Since Thrive must recover at least some of their costs to build the network they will have to grapple with how the number of participants will go down as the cost per homeowner goes up. We are certain this will result in, fewer and fewer people participating in the program driving up the cost to each lot owner and end up not being economically feasible for Thrive or residents.

Why don't a group of residents that are interested in this form a Co-Op or an LLC and negotiate a contract with Thrive to provide those residents with service instead of the HOA imposing this on all residents, specifically those that don't want or need this service?
  • We have not heard of any individual or group who would take on such a project, we can only assume no one is willing to do so given its questionable outcome.
  • This approach would require at a minimum:
    • Forming of a cooperative or LLC
    • Establishing responsibilities for users and officers
    • Processes for selecting officers
    • Procedures for record keeping
    • Establishing types of membership
    • Defining rates and charges
    • Developing voting procedures to be codified in the articles of incorporation
    • Defining how assets might be disposed of if a charter member chooses to withdraw
    • And a myriad of other issues too numerous to mention.
  • Obviously, the advantage of the Board taking on this project lies in the fact that much of the framework is already in place. From a legal perspective, our Declaration recognizes there will always be some who, for example, won’t want to pay for trails maintenance, upkeep of the front entrance, gate repair, future drilling for water if our current supply runs out, and so on. But it also reflects a democratic principal that if an individual has elected to move into our community, he or she understands that the Declaration permits these and other expenses to be covered by all so long as a majority are in support of the program.
  • While admittedly the benefit derived from the addition of a fiber optic system throughout our community is a matter of opinion, it is our belief that ultimately every homeowner or their successor will derive far more benefit with its presence than without.  Since this is a matter of opinion the Ad Hoc Group has asked the HOA Board to require a supermajority of 67% to approve the project and dues assessment. Realtors tell us that the market of home buyers will increase because of high speed fiber, that those working from home will be better able to serve their customers, and homeowners and their families will more and more require additional capacity to operate appliances, high definition TV, closed circuit TV, security systems, energy management software, access to the Cloud, streaming,  and so on.

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!