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Cummington MLP Board

Member Title Phone Term Start Term End
Brenda Arbib
Allan Douglas
Scott Keith
Michael A. Perkins II
Maureen L. Tumenas
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
413-634-5542
413-634-5372
413-634-5084

413-634-5538
2017
2017
2017
2017
2017
2018
2018
2018
2018
2018

Meeting times: As Needed
Term: Appointed by the Selectboard for 1 year
Compensation: None

 

The Cummington Broadband Committee was formed to research among all options which high speed internet concept would be best for the town. In May 2017 The Committee has now become The Cummington Municipal Light Plant Board. The Cummington MLP board has actively pursued the options available to the town of Cummington.  Members include Allan Douglas (MLP Manager), Michael Perkins, Brenda Arbib, Scott Keith, and Maureen Tumenas.

 

Update 08/25/17

CUMMINGTON MUNICIPAL LIGHT PLANT(MLP) RECEIVES MONEY TO START FIBER NETWORK

The Cummington Municipal Light Plant(MLP),  has received the initial payment of the $390,000 to begin the make ready process to build the town’s broadband network. We have signed a contract with Whip City of Westfield Gas and Electric, (WG&E). Monday September 11, the MLP board will meet with WG&E in Cummington, for the official kick off and to begin the town pole survey. So when you see workers on the roads of Cummington or coming up your driveway, welcome them as we are finally off and running! Allan Douglas, is the town's MLP manager, and may be contacted at mlpmanager@cummington-ma.gov.

 

Update 5/7/2017

Background

MLP Board Recommendation

At our meeting on March 30, 2017, we voted to pursue building a town network, pursuing grant money available through MA HUD, and contracting with Westfield Gas and Electric/Whip City Fiber to build the network.

This decision was based on:

  • town ownership of the network infrastructure

  • affordability

  • ability to provide drops(connection) to all households

  • possibility of reduced pricing through networking with Wired West

 

UPDATE

Cummington has been awarded a grant of $840,000 from Mass EOHED (Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development). We have received the initial outlay of $390,000 to begin the design and engineering process.

Cummington MLP board has contracted with Westfield/ Whip City. It is anticipated that the 70% of the build would be paid for by the town and 30% would be funded by the construction grant from the state.

Whip City has proposed offering 1 Gigabit tier of service for internet.  They are negotiating with Wired West to handle operations for a regional system of town owned networks. This would help decrease the cost and regionalization would positively affect redundancy in the network.  These prices and tiers are all being negotiated.

How would we pay for this?

Operations would be paid for by subscribers when the network is built and homes are hooked up. The price would need to cover all ongoing expenses and cover depreciation and debt service.  As all of this is in negotiation at this point, we cannot give concrete figures, but expect the subscribers to pay less than $100/month.

Billed to subscribers: At the Wired West meeting in January, we calculated that we would need to add approximately $11-17 a month to the subscriber fee, dependent on take rate and final pricing by the ISP,  to cover a depreciation reserve of $37,388. Infrastructure replacement-depreciation (minimum 3% of build-fiber lasts 20+years, electronics 7 years).

Raise and Appropriate: The debt service could be covered by the tax rate, as we view this as an important utility for our town. Using the latest figures from Wired West the FY22 Debt Service would be 97, 422. This would equal an approximate increase of 0.765/1000 on the tax rate or an average household increase of $15/month.  Alternatively, some of the cost could be added to the monthly bill of each subscriber.  This is still under discussion.

Next Steps

  • Kickoff Meeting with Westfield Gas and Electric

  • Start design and engineering process

  • Pole Surveys

  • Continue communication and meetings with neighboring hilltowns