Broadband Project Update June 11, 2018

Our Broadband project is continuing to make significant steps forward.

Finley Engineering is working in the field to gather detailed information about the specific location of where fiber optic cables will be installed in Lyndon Township.  You have most likely seen their crews working throughout the township.

The RFP (Request for Proposal) to be put out for bid for the construction phase of the project is being drafted.

Work is underway with Washtenaw County Road Commission, the DNR and DEQ to obtain permits for installation of cable along county roads and across state lands.  Meetings with private road associations and residents to discuss access to private roads for cable installation are also taking place.

Lyndon Township Selects Internet Service Provider Operator

The Lyndon Township Broadband Implementation Committee’s Subcommittee for ISP and Bandwidth Selection in conjunction with CCG Consulting has been meeting over the past several months to establish criteria for selection of an ISP operator, issue a request for information (RFI) for an ISP operator, and seek clarifying information based on the responses to this RFI. Based on the information gathered by this subcommittee, the Implementation Committee discussed and approved a recommendation to the Lyndon Township Board at their public meeting on May 3, 2018. The Implementation Committee recommended that the Lyndon Township Board enter into contract negotiations with Midwest Energy and Communications (MEC) to the be ISP operator for Lyndon Township’s fiber optic network.  This recommendation was approved by the township board at their May 10 meeting.

MEC (www.teammidwest.com) is a 501c12, not-for-profit, member-owned electric and communications cooperative serving more than 35,000 residential, agricultural, commercial and industrial customers in southwestern and southeastern Michigan, northern Indiana and Ohio since 1937. MEC’s core service is the distribution of electricity, but today’s organization is also a significant provider of telecommunications products and services. MEC currently provides broadband internet service via fiber to the home to about 6,400 customers and adds approximately 50 new fiber customers every week. MEC has 125 employees and is headquartered out of Cassopolis, MI.

Some of the services provided by MEC will include:

1.      IP Backbone connectivity in sufficient capacity to provide a high-quality user experience for all levels of Internet Access speeds being offered by the Township, including 1Gb service.

2.      Customer onboarding, subscriber activation, and provisioning

3.      Customer support services, including both a 24×7 call center and onsite support.

4.      Customer billing and collection services – including all taxes, fees and surcharges required as part of regulatory requirements

Initial financial modeling with MEC suggests that offerings for broadband service from MEC will be in line with the pricing projections of the feasibility study.  Please note that the pricing currently listed on the MEC website does not apply to Lyndon Township residents.

Lyndon Township and MEC are currently working to finalize the ISP operator contract and financial modeling. Once these are completed, Lyndon Township and MEC will be working together to sign up all township residents who are interested in receiving service.

Broadband Project Update April 19, 2018

With the hiring of CCG as the project consultant and Finley Engineering to provide engineering services, the broadband project has made significant steps forward. In addition to having CCG and Finley on board, the selection of an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to deliver internet services on the network is nearing completion. Four firms have replied to the township’s Request for Information and the ISP selection subcommittee conducted in person interviews with each firm. The subcommittee is currently working with the firms to gain clarifying information about each of their proposals, and in the coming weeks the Implementation Committee will make a recommendation to the Township Board as to the best candidate.

Finley Engineering is currently creating a detailed design of the fiber optic network in the Township and identifying the specific routes where the fiber optic cables will be installed. Much of the cable will be installed along the right of way adjacent to county roads and the single state road (M52) in the township. We are working with the Washtenaw County Road Commission and the Michigan Department of Transportation (DOT) to determine the exact location of the cable in the right of way and begin obtaining the necessary permits for this work. Permitting is also underway with the DNR and DEQ.

There is also significant amount of cable that will be installed along private roads. Residents on private roads will be provided with information on the process for installing cable on their roads soon.

Within the next few weeks you will see engineering crews working along our roads to “stake out” the path of the fiber installation. They will be using vehicles clearly marked as Finley Engineering and will have Finley ID badges. This staking will be the first visible signs we will see of the project progress and will mark the fiber routes for construction scheduled to begin this summer.

The design and routing work of the engineering firm, the selection process and hiring of the ISP, and consultation with the road commission DOT, DNR and DEQ are yielding significant information. Moving forward, all of this information will be reviewed and integrated to update the project timeline. This update work should be completed within the next 4-6 weeks.

 

 

Request for Information (RFI) Internet Service Provider (ISP)

On March 6, 2018 Lyndon Township issued a RFI (Request for Information) for an Internet Service Provider (ISP).  A RFI  allows the township to gather information from qualified ISPs interested in providing ISP services to the Township/Authority.  The information will used to design the best possible ISP solution for the township.

Interested parties have until March 29, 2018 to respond to the RFI.  The complete RFI is available  here.

 

Engineering Firm Seclected

On January 25, 2018 Lyndon Township board approved the selection of Finley Engineering as the project engineer, construction manager and inspection service provider for the Lyndon Broadband Project.  Finely has performed successful engineering and buildout of hundreds of fiber to the home (FTTH) network projects throughout the United State, working with rural electric cooperatives, municipalities and competitive broadband network providers. These projects have included the design, engineering and construction management of more than 26,000 miles of fiber networks passing 130,000 subscriber locations.

Finely will now begin project work that will include the following:

  • Detailed design of a fiber network to pass every home, business and government location within the Township.
  • Identify all locations for laying fiber; inspect and certify that the construction meets all design, regulatory, safety and operational specifications.
  • Identify and make applications for all needed permits and rights-of-way.
  • Assist in creating an RFP or bid document and selecting a qualified construction firm.

Learn more about Finely Engineering at http://finleyusa.com/