Broadband Bond On Ballot In Sharon Township, Michigan

On May 8th, voters in Sharon Township, Michigan, will decide whether or not they want to pursue an initiative to invest in a publicly owned fiber optic network. People in the community of less than 2,000 people don’t expect the national ISPs to bring them the connectivity they need, so they will decide if they should take another approach to connect every one with high-quality Internet access. Click here to read more

Grass Lake Broadband

Community Strong.


We believe that everyone in Grass Lake should have access to cost-effective broadband in their homes.


For kids.  For work.  For quality of life.


Our mission is to help you get it.


To find out more on how it can be done, come to one of our information sessions.


Updates will be posted to the Grass Lake Times, Facebook’s Grass Lake Forum, and Next Door.

Township Survey Results are IN!!!!

 

Coming Event Date/Time Location
Information Session Thu April 26, 6-7 pm Township Hall
Township Board Meeting Tue May 8, 6:30-7:30 pm Township Hall
Beans & Broadband Sat May 19, 9-10 am Roaming Goat

For more information, contact glctbroadband@gmail.com

Update on the Waterloo Township Meeting

On January 30th, Waterloo Township held an informational meeting on Bringing Better Broadband to Waterloo. Approximately 75 people attended filling the township hall (see photos). The residents were very eager to learn how they too could have access to high speed internet.

During the meeting, there was a 30 minute presentation that covered:
— Community value of having internet
— Approach taken by Lyndon and Sharon Townships
— Cost comparison to Sharon Township
— Next step requesting the township board to sponsor a feasibility study

After the presentation, there was an engaging question and answer session. The feedback was very positive. A special thanks goes to Lyndon Township resident Gary Munce. He shared with the group Lyndon’s quest for better internet and an update on the build out of their community network.

Currently a petition is circulating in support of the feasibility study. On February 27th, a number of residents will attend the township board meeting to discuss next steps for our community.

Please consider joining the discussion at the Waterloo Township Hall 7:00 pm on Feb. 27th.

Waterloo Township Broadband Meeting

On Tuesday, January 30 at 7:00 pm, please join us for an informational meeting on Bringing Better Broadband to Waterloo Township.  There will be a presentation on the value of having access to true high speed internet.  This is an important meeting for everyone in the community. 

The meeting will be held at Waterloo Township Hall 9773 Mt Hope Road Munith, MI 49259.  Please share this invitation with your neighbors and friends.

In January, Waterloo Township will take the first step towards better broadband.

At the October Waterloo Township board meeting, a presentation was given to the board members on the need for high speed internet. The community could follow a similar approach to the one taken by Lyndon Township bringing fiber to every home in Waterloo.  The board agreed to hold an informational meeting for the residents at the township hall on TUESDAYJANUARY 30, 2018 at 7:00.

It will be important for residents to participate in this meeting. For it is a critical first step in bringing fiber to the Waterloo community. Filling the township hall will demonstrate that there is community support for this effort.  Please mark your calendar for Tuesday, 1/30 at 7:00pm to join us at the Waterloo Township Hall 9773 Mt Hope Road Munith, MI 49259.

Lyndon Twp Broadband Bond Voting Information

What is the Broadband Bond?

Lyndon Township is proposing to build a fiber optic network that would provide broadband access to all Lyndon Township residents.  

If the proposal passes, the project will be financed using a municipal bond that would cost about 2.9 mills over 20 years.   Total amount borrowed by the township not to exceed a principal amount of $7,000,000.

Why is this project being proposed?

High speed internet access is not available to most Lyndon Township residents. The township board has investigated solutions with existing providers  capable of providing FCC minimum broadband standards and found none willing to invest the money to build infrastructure in Lyndon Township.

In June of 2016, Lyndon Township residents received a survey with the summer tax bill aimed at gauging public interest in broadband. 83% of the registered voter respondents said that having high speed Internet was “important “or “very important”. Additionally, when asked to prioritize a list of fifteen issues respondents ranked broadband access as second in importance, behind only “protecting water quality.”

The township board funded a feasibility study in 2016 to understand how this issue might be addressed. The feasibility study recommended that the township build a fiber optic network.

What will be the cost to the taxpayer?

Based on current property valuation information available from the township, the new bond will cost the average homeowner $263/year ($21.92/month).  Cost of the millage to pay the bond is calculated at $2.91 per $1000 of taxable value (taxable value is about ½ the home’s market value). 

After building the fiber network the township will partner with one or more private service providers to deliver Internet access to residents.

Estimated monthly costs for basic Internet access will be about $35 for 100Mb of bandwidth. 1Gb bandwidth will be available for $60 a month. 

Total costs for a resident to get broadband service: millage bond costs + monthly costs for Internet access. For the average homeowner in Lyndon Township this will be around $57 a month.

Will the fiber reach my house?

If the bond proposal passes the fiber network would connect to each house in Lyndon Township on both private and public roads.

Lyndon Township Broadband Vote Passes Two to One

LYNDON TOWNSHIP, Michigan – August 8, 2017 – On August 8, Lyndon Township residents approved a bond proposal to fund construction of a community owned fiber optic broadband network serving every home in Lyndon Township. The vote passed with 622 (66%) voting yes, and 321 (34%) voting no, and at a record high non-general election voter turnout of over 43%. This initiative will bring 21st century internet access to all Lyndon Township residents.

 

With the approval of the proposal, Lyndon Township will proceed with activities to execute the public bids, contracts, and decisions that will go into the design, construction, and operation of the fiber optic network. Once completed, the township will then partner with one or more private service providers to deliver internet access to residents. The feasibility study has suggested that the network should be up and running by the end of 2018. The $7 million project will be funded by a bond backed by a 20-year millage, with an average annual millage rate to retire the bonds estimated at 2.91 mills ($2.91 per thousand of taxable value). Based on currently available taxable valuation data for Lyndon Township, the average cost per property owner for this construction will be about $21.92 per month. Estimated costs for basic internet access will be between $35-45 per month. This internet service will provide a basic speed of 100Mb, with no caps on data usage, with 1Gb (gigabit) speeds available for about $60-70 per month. The average combined cost of the millage for infrastructure and monthly fee for basic service will be between $57-67 per month.

 

Lyndon Township is a rural community located a few minutes north of Chelsea, Michigan and about twenty minutes west of the city of Ann Arbor. Despite this proximity to the sixth largest city in Michigan, residents of Lyndon Township are almost entirely lacking in the broadband connectivity that most of the state takes for granted. “Our friends from Ann Arbor find it unbelievable that at our house it takes many hours – overnight, actually – to simply update our Windows operating system. Sometimes, longer than that, when we lose our internet connection along the way.” said Lyndon resident Jo Ann Munce. “People we know here in Lyndon have caps on the amount of data they’re able to use, so they’re not even able to perform a software update without paying for additional data. Then, if they want to do anything else on the internet that month, they have to buy even MORE data. It can get really expensive very quickly,” Munce continued.

 

Broadband is increasingly important for full participation in 21st century society. Maribeth Hammer, a Lyndon Township resident, described the situation: “We live in Washtenaw County, within twenty miles of the University of Michigan, seven miles from downtown Chelsea and cannot get a high-speed internet connection. My husband has to drive to the Chelsea District Library to complete many of his work requirements, as well as my children with their college and job-hunting connection needs.”

 

The Michigan Broadband Cooperative is a grass roots, non-profit organization run entirely by volunteers from communities in western Washtenaw County and eastern Jackson County. The Cooperative has been working with municipalities in the area, including Lyndon Township, to research and enact strategies to build broadband service where none exists. Following the vote, Lyndon resident Ben Fineman, who also volunteers as president of the  Cooperative, said “This moment is bigger than Lyndon Township. Lyndon Township’s success has the potential to provide a transformative model not only to other rural townships of Washtenaw County, but also to rural communities throughout the state. I am hopeful that our success can contribute to closing the gap for the other 458,000 Michigan households who are still lacking broadband access.”

 

Media Contact:
info@mbcoop.org
(734) 436-1999