Under the terms of the Agreement with WCVT, what is Maple Broadband’s role?
- Finance, engineer, construct and own a Fiber to the Premises network in its member towns outside of WCVT’s regulated territory.
- Determine location, timing, and scope of construction
- Set rates and terms and conditions for retail services and wholesale users
- Prepare operating and capital budgets
Under the terms of the Agreement with Maple Broadband, what is WCVT’s role?
WCVT has two roles:
Network Manager, acting on behalf of Maple Broadband
- Maintain and repair the network
- Connect the network to retail and wholesale customers
- Offer and provide use of the network to wholesale users
Designated Service Provider, acting on behalf of Maple Broadband
- Deliver retail services to customers on the network
- Install, monitor, and maintain all equipment within customer premises
- Responsible for all aspects of customer relationship:
- Customer support
- Billing and collection
What is the term of the Agreement between Maple Broadband and WCVT?
The initial term is 10 years, with the option of two additional 10-year terms
Does the Agreement specify the pace of network construction in WCVT’s regulated territory?
- WCVT must deliver service inside its territory at the same rate Maple Broadband delivers service outside of WCVT’s regulated territory.
What happens if WCVT ownership changes?
Maple Broadband’s prior written consent is required if a new entity acquires 50% or greater ownership interest in WCVT
When you began discussions with WCVT, did you sign anything?
Yes, we signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement, and a Memorandum of Understanding, which states,
With our selected operator:
- We have a shared goal to deliver fiber broadband to 100% of our respective territories;
- we are interested in working together to achieve that shared goal;
- we will work together to create a Business Plan; and
- we will work together to create an Operating Agreement which takes into account our respective financial obligations.
The Agreement between Maple Broadband and WCVT is considered to be a form of a public-private partnership. What does that mean?
Vermont’s recent broadband legislation and a significant amount of other grant funding is designed to foster public-private partnerships. This reflects the view that public funds invested in private entities are best managed by having the public entity (in this case, Maple Broadband) serve as the gatekeeper of those funds. In other words, one of Maple Broadband’s roles is to ensure that all funds targeted for broadband implementation are distributed equitably throughout all of Maple Broadband’s member towns.
Maple Broadband is a CUD. What does that mean?
A CUD is a Communications Union District, which by state law allows two or more towns to bond together as a municipal entity for the purpose of building communication infrastructure. For more information see Title 30: Public Service, Chapter 82 in Vermont state statutes.
Is there a map depicting all of Vermont’s CUDs?
Yes, an updated map of all Vermont CUDS is located on the State of Vermont Department of Public Service website.
Is Maple Broadband tax exempt?
Yes, all of Vermont’s CUDs including Maple Broadband are tax exempt.
Maple Broadband is a municipal entity. What does that mean?
Municipal entities in Vermont are independent organizations that perform municipal services on behalf of a municipality. Other types of Vermont municipal entities include Solid Waste Districts, Consolidated Sewer Districts, Emergency Medical Service Districts, Natural Resources Conservation Districts, and Consolidated Water Districts.
Since Maple Broadband is a municipal entity, does that mean that it can tax its member towns for the cost of the work in the town?
No. Neither the taxpayer nor the town is required to pay anything to Maple Broadband. Maple Broadband cannot accept funds derived from a local options tax to finance its work. Maple Broadband must fund its operations by bonds backed by the revenue derived from the project, grants, and gifts.
How can I stay informed about the progress of Maple Broadband?
Maple Broadband is just getting started with many aspects of delivering broadband to Addison County. To stay informed about our progress fill out this form, and we’ll keep you in the loop.
WCVT is expanding the fiber network in its regulated territory this year. Can Maple Broadband build the fiber network in its territory this year?
No, Maple Broadband must perform pre-construction tasks before the network can be built. It has already commenced its first pre-construction task. If all goes well, management believes all pre-construction tasks will be completed in 2022, and as soon as they are completed, network construction begins.
What does “pre-construction” mean?
Before Maple Broadband can begin construction of its network, it must first spend time and money 1) designing the network, 2) adapting that design to the unique conditions in its territory, and 3) using the resulting data to create detailed construction bid specifications. These steps are commonly referred to as “pre-construction.” Pre-construction is a costly but necessary precursor to beginning construction of the network.
How much will the service cost?
The final cost for building the network can be highly variable, depending on the amount of funds received through grants and gifts and the amount of money that must borrowed to complete the job. The greater the amount of grants and gifts, the lesser amount of borrowing needed, ultimately resulting in lower subscription fees.
Which towns will be served first?
Initial rollout and connection will be prioritized as follows:
- Pre-registration percentages of member communities
- Technical factors
How much will my taxes go up?
Zero. It is illegal for Maple Broadband to use proceeds from local taxes. If you decide to subscribe to Maple Broadband, you will pay a one-time installation fee and a monthly fee for internet service. If you do not subscribe, there is no cost to you or your town
Don’t existing companies already have fiber networks?
Yes, but the service area of each is limited to denser portions of their service area, leaving most rural areas unserved.
For more answers to Frequently Asked Questions, go to our website, https://www.maplebroadband.net/.