Workshop Notes for 02-04-2018

Summary of D. Hitt Meeting with Co-op Mentor on Friday 02/02/18

  • No money for Broadband (conversations with USDA, Tobacco Commission, FCC)
  • Some money for economic development
  • Broadband is not seen as economic development.  New business/job creation is eco development.
  • Feds are putting all of their eggs in wireless basket for serving rural broadband

Workshop Discussion #1: Opportunities

  1. District 3 Subdivision
    • ~ 4 miles of aerial/burial construction on main route
    • Poles are high transmission – lots of telco space and no make-ready
    • Possibility of construction costs (full or partial) covered
    • Potential members served: 183
    • Potential regional partner buy-in
  2. Route 522-609 (PVA Courthouse to Amelia)
    • ~8 miles of aerial/burial construction on main route
    • Poles are high transmission – lots of telco space and no make-ready
    • Potential members served: ~350
    • Potential regional partner buy-in
  3. Co-op Data Center/Headquarters Building
    • ~3,000 feet of burial construction on main route
    • Potential members served: ~18
    • Potential tenants: 23-40+
    • LOI tenants: 2
    • Potential data center cabinet rental: 120+ @ $800/mo. ea.
    • LOI data center racks: 2
    • Grant monies available for economic development to help build the facility
    • Potential buy-in from multiple regional partners

Workshop Discussion #2: Immediate Needs

  1. Marketing, Advertising, Merchandise:
    • Flyer – general message of join today and participate in our kickstarter campaign. Earn rewards for yourself, your neighborhood, and county-wide as we meet funding goals.
    • Door hanger – general message is more urgent than flyer – specifically that we’re considering installing fiber in their area soon and want them to participate
    • Bulk Advertising Items (must be purchased in bulk, not a priority):
      • Pens – logo only
      • Lanyards – logo only
      • Stickers – bumper sized and smaller, featuring logo and website url
    • Individualized Items (can be ordered individually through website, will help raise funds for marketing and feasibility):
      • Hats – logo only
      • T-shirts – logo only
      • Polos – logo only
      • Sweatshirt/hoodies – logo only
    • Yard signs – two designs: one for homes and businesses that join to declare membership: “We’re getting fiber Internet”, the other design will be for advertising that has a general message of fiber broadband coming soon, join today, with logo, website url, and phone number.
  2. Kickstarter – rewards, verbiage, page – individual rewards levels, create verbiage, get page out to board for review before publishing and advertising
  3. Membership app – add kickstarter participation – need to add kickstarter and merchandise to application, add in confirmation message for opt-in
  4. Weekly update – launch kickstarter and membership app – will get weekly update out but still holding off on kickstarter
  5. Powhatan GT website re-launch – need a new template that’s compatible with Gravity Forms plugin (current theme breaks plugin)
  6. GT Sponsors – need website back online
  7. Floor plan for DC to take to potential regional partners – working this week with Developer to complete rough design
  8. Tenant commitments (upstairs space, dc racks) – working on LOI templates for tenant space and rack rental
  9. Property access agreement – key for opportunity areas – have template, need to sanitize and brand
  10. Website updates – business member directory – need to research plugin for directory, otherwise create through member portal

Workshop Discussion #3: Kickstarter Campaign

  • The following matrix shows residential only data and a 51% target take-rate on services, with residential members contributing installation and 12 months of service in the kickstarter.
  • Ideal voice service participation is based on stats from existing entities – 60% of 51% Internet take-rate predicted to participate in voice services.
  • Goal ($5.1M) represents 25% of total necessary funding to cover all of Powhatan County in fiber, and would allow us to hire crews and begin construction.
  • Concern is that if we do not reach 100% funding through other sources that we may be taking (and spending) member’s money, and not be able to reach them with the network.
  • Kickstarter must proceed as there are NO ALTERNATE FUNDING SOURCES AT THIS TIME. No USDA, no Tobacco Commission, no FCC Connect America.
  • If our community is to have better Internet access, we are on our own.
  • Kickstarter will primarily be fueled through generosity of our community members who want to see Powhatan grow and succeed responsibly.

kickstarter goal matrix

Kickstarter Reward Chart:

  • Rewards encourage individual participation but also encourage neighbor-neighbor interaction to achieve maximum take-rate while rewarding those communities that truly sacrifice to participate. Tech allows us to reward both large and small communities alike.
  • Rewards at County level for meeting/exceeding funding goals in overall campaign. Ideas are something of which everyone (members) can take advantage. We are open to additional ideas for meeting funding goals based on member/community feedback.
  • If we hit 50% funding ($12M), we will eliminate the basic 100/100Mbps service level and offer 1000/1000Mbps (gigabit) service at the $49.95/mo. for all members.
  • If we hit 100% funding ($24M), we will eliminate the basic and gigabit service levels and offer 10Gbps (10,000Mbps) service at $49.95 for all members – future proofing our entire community for decades to come.
  • 10Gbps is something we agree that the average homeowner would never use at this point, but would future proof our community and draw national spotlight to our technology initiative.

kickstarter rewards


Recommended Progression/Rough Time-Table:

  1. (NOW) Launch Kickstarter – Live video broadcast to announce kickstarter and field questions from viewers
  2. (min. $15,000 raised) Use Kickstarter funding to purchase feasibility software – May 1st deadline is no longer a concern for feasibility or building the fiber network because there is no money for broadband.
  3. (April 1) Publish feasibility software designs and costs to build network
  4. (May 1) Grants/loans for economic development to build Co-op facility
  5. (July 1) Break ground on Co-op facility
  6. (June-August) Continue to advertise and promote Kickstarter to achieve 25% funding goal ($5.1M)
  7. Seek funding opportunities offset by 25% matching funds raised by membership to achieve 100% funding ($24M)
  8. (September) Begin construction of fiber network
  9. (Continuous) Construction of fiber network until completion (24 Months) or depletion of Kickstarter funds – whichever occurs first.

For questions concerning this Workshop or notes, please contact us through our Contact page.