Fiber For Our Future supporting Tri-City Broadband for Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles, Illinois

Citizens of Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles Illinois
in support of Municipal Broadband
for our Communities

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City of Batavia
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Some of the objections to the fiber optic broadband initiative are NOT founded in fact. Below are some of the most popular misconceptions and misleading statistics being circulated. Each one is corrected by the FACTS.

We'll be in debt for 30 years
*Bond Retirement Schedule is 15 years, not 30 years.

Tri-City Internet will cost more than current providers
*High Speed Internet Costs - A citizen presentation compared 192 Kbps DSL connection for $39.95 per month to our proposed services. Our slowest Internet speed is almost three times faster than this DSL line, as well as $8.00 cheaper. The TriCity projected rates are as follows:

Cost for Tri-City Internet WITH cable
Service Level Speed Cost
Platinum Service Downstream to 3.0 Mbps $64.95
Gold Service Downstream to 2.0 Mbps $44.95
Silver Service Downstream to 1.0 Mbps $34.95
Standard Service Downstream to 512 Kbps $26.95

Cost for Tri-City Internet WITHOUT cable
Service Level Speed Cost
Platinum Service Downstream to 3.0 Mbps $69.95
Gold Service Downstream to 2.0 Mbps $49.95
Silver Service Downstream to 1.0 Mbps $39.95
Standard Service Downstream to 512 Kbps $31.95

We'll have to have 32.3% of the market in phone, cable, and Internet to break even
*The Feasibility Study is based on the following percentages:

To break even, the utility will need the following market share, but not on day one... the cities have 15 years to pay off the GO bonds.

Service % of market
Residential Video 25%
Residential High Speed Data 4%
Residential Telephone 5%

Service % of market
Commercial Video 1%
Commercial High Speed Data 4%
Commercial Telephone 8%

Here's the ACTUAL penetration rate in other communities who have this municipal service (n/a means the community doesn't offer this service):

Community Phone Data Video
Newman, GA 14.8% 21.8% 49.1%
Spencer, IA 50% 20% 50%
Tacoma, WA n/a 8.3% 32%
Scottsboro, AL n/a 27.9% 68%
Acworth, GA n/a 9% 42.5%
Thomasville, GA n/a 45% 60%

We don't need Fiber-To-The-Home, the current technology is fine
*Citizen presentation asserts, "Cable companies don't use fiber-to-the-home systems because it's not needed." The TriCity venture is different in three very significant ways from Comcast's system.

a. Legacy Equipment - Comcast has existing cable infrastructure in place; we do not. If Comcast was starting from scratch today, and was serving only a small territory, they would follow our model.

b. Copper wire cable is 20-year-old technology and is not capable of provisioning services that we could get today over fiber optic. Fiber optic will be state of the art for years to come.

c. The TriCity model also envisions uses of the municipal fiber for our electric and water utilities as well as possible uses for fire and police alarm circuits.

Also, cable companies may be planning to use fiber optic to the curb, but they are going to use co-axial cable to the home (and NO service to businesses) which is like having a 500 gallon water tank with a flow regulator on the nozzle so you only get a trickle. Or like having a solid platinum necklace with a copper clasp. Remember, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Co-ax to the home makes the fiber optic to the curb useless. And keeps that 20-year-old technology in the loop.

We won't have enough customer service representatives
*Citizen presentation says "There are more than 500 customer service representatives, not 5, to answer customer calls (with the current provider)." These 500 representatives serve the entire Chicagoland area, not just the TriCities. The consultant hired by the cities has confirmed that five representatives will be fine for TriCity project.

We'll have to pay more for cable from the providers since we are smaller than AT&T
*Programming - The rates for cable programming costs are in fact current rates from the National Cable Television Cooperative ( We do not need to negotiate separately with Time Warner, HBO, etc. We join the NCTC and get their negotiated rates.

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