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King George Wireless Authority Joseph W. Grzeika Chairman King George Board of Supervisors.

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Presentation on theme: "King George Wireless Authority Joseph W. Grzeika Chairman King George Board of Supervisors."— Presentation transcript:

1 King George Wireless Authority Joseph W. Grzeika Chairman King George Board of Supervisors

2 Background In mid 90’s Board of Supervisors added requirements on all new cell phone tower special exceptions to allow county use of tower for county communication purposes By early 2000’s Internet Access was becoming more of an expected “utility” vice “nice to have”

3 Background Continued 2003 General Assembly enacted Wireless Service Authority Act (Code of Va. 15.2-5431.10) 2007 General Assembly added Wireless broadband equipment and infrastructure to definition of Public Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act (PPEA)

4 Project Summary 2006 King George formed Wireless Authority Board of Directors are the Board of Supervisors Identified need; Private suppliers (Verizon, Cable franchisee, and satellite) not serving many rural areas of county Economic Development impacted by availability of broadband in county Defense Contractors and employees need reliable broadband access at work and home Commercial sector reliant upon internet Sheriff/EMS/Schools/County Admin needs reliable county wide access to broadband

5 Project Summary (Continued) 2006-2007 Board developed and issued Request for Qualifications Asked for vendors to propose solutions that would achieve 95% geographic coverage Public-Private partnership desired Open to all approaches that achieve the goals

6 Project Summary (Continued) 4 Proposals received and evaluated Various responses, pure fee for service, franchises, etc Virginia Broad Band selected, regional wireless company

7 Project Summary (Continued) Spring 2007 Worked with VABB to develop contract Identified existing assets (Communications and County Service Authority Towers) Network deployment goals Financing plan December 2007 Finalized deal Conceptually

8 Project Summary (Continued) January 2008 Wireless Authority/VABB sign Contract and close on financing VABB responsible for development and implementation of Network VABB responsible for all marketing, customer service, billing Authority obtains Financing (Loan to VABB due to Authority repayment schedule in contract) $740,000 obtained through local bank, incremental disbursement based on schedule of activity Authority has applied for Stimulus funds – none received to date

9 Project Summary (Continued) Spring 2008 VABB Commences deployment Pilot equipment installed Summer 2008 first subscribers signed up and VABB works with Schools to provide portion of their network

10 Project Summary (Continued) Summer 2008 Tower Owners raise issues with access despite provisions VABB continues installation on unaffected towers and increase customer base Authority works through the legal issues with tower access

11 Project Summary (Continued) Current Status Issues with all but 1 of the Towers resolved through negotiation VABB is operational on 4 towers In process of deploying on 4 additional towers (operational by end of calendar year)

12 Project Summary (Continued) Current Status (Continued) 1 tower still in dispute County provides access to towers identified as Phase 1 in contract VABB responsible for marketing and network operations

13 Project Summary (Continued) Status Delay in access to towers has impacted deployment schedule: 70% geographic coverage in Phase 1 delayed almost 1 year Authority will conduct Network Assessment Acceptance Test upon completion of Phase 1 to ensure coverage met VABB to provide Authority with regular progress/financial reports per contract

14 Project Summary (Continued) Status (Continued) Work Outstanding Phase 2 completion (95% geographic coverage) Network Service to Governmental Agencies Free/discounted service/training to Digital Inclusion Residents VABB assumes payment for Phase 2 facilities Procure follow-on Network Agreement

15 Challenges/Lessons Tower agreement provisions need to be as broad as possible to allow Authority use Competitors will react to deployment Local cable provider aggressively deploying fiber; but not seeing them expand their coverage to less dense areas Verizon does not seem interested in rural county Broad Band is the new Utility Service residents expect

16 Challenges/Lessons (Continued) Provider needs to be in tune with the market and step up to serve the new areas Rural areas pose technical challenges that the provider needs to solve: Terrain Tree Canopy New Equipment/changes to Technology Small (5-20 house clusters) Customer Service – reflects on the county

17 Challenges/Lessons (Continued) Deployment takes much longer than you expect – manage expectations Establish customer service and marketing requirements in the contract Competitive Environment poses challenges to obtaining reports/data while protecting the provider’s proprietary information

18 Conclusion Broad Band is the “New Utility” Rural Markets are not high on the commercial providers priority due to the density/business payoffs Tower Access Key King George Still a work in process Questions?

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