At Thursday’s Board meeting, the RSF Connect Subsidy program was extended until August 31, 2020. Does this affect you? If you haven’t had your installation yet or haven’t ordered, then YES it really does. Read on.
While staff prepared an explainer memo about the subsidy program, it isn’t as clear as I’d like, so let me explain what it going on.
The fiber backbone that finished construction at the end of 2019 installed a conduit system to everyone’s property line (or should have, see below on that), but not necessarily fiber in that conduit. Fiber was only brought to 377 terminal locations instead of the approximately 1,000 locations between houses, so about 630 house drop locations have empty conduit to them. See below for an image showing this.
On this street, the fiber comes in from the bottom and stops in the red box at a “terminal”. Property 1 has fiber to their property, but properties 2, 3, 4 and 5 do not. During the install, fiber must be pulled from the red box into those red dots using the backbone conduit, and then into the homes. Since it is random whether or not your home has fiber to the property or not, the Association pays the extra cost to pull the fiber from the red box to your property line. That’s the “subsidy” program.
Pay attention to your installation quote and bill and make sure you aren’t paying for a fiber pull from a remote terminal to your property – it should only be the distance on your property from wherever your “flower pot” or box is located.
It is this subsidy program which goes away at the end of August. Which means, you could end up paying an average of an additional $500 for the installation if your installation is after August 31 this year. So I would urge those sitting on the fence to consider getting your install done before August 31. Click here to learn more about the RSF Connect fiber internet service and to place an order.
If you do the math, you’ll find that already all the existing people who have ordered service who haven’t yet been installed, won’t quite be installed by the end of August at Race’s 80 installs a month current pace. I would expect the Association to extend this subsidy program yet again to accommodate everyone who signs up in the next few months, but at some point they will end it, sticking new orders with a potential extra $500 installation fee.
The backbone installers made mistakes and sometime did not place flower pots, or conduit termination points between houses. Looking again at the diagram above, the red dot conduit termination for house #4 wasn’t going to be built. They were going to rely on the misplaced red dot for house #2. I happened to catch this mistake during construction, and they fixed the mistake that same day in the field, but similar mistakes were made throughout the ranch.
At a recent installation, a customer had a similar mistake that affected him, meaning no backbone conduit landed on his property. The installation crew had to trench along the roadside to get to his property and then tried to make him pay for the extra roadside trenching to get to his property. He was savvy enough to push back and force the Association to deal with this.
So, again, make sure you aren’t paying for trenching to your property, you should only be paying for trenching from your property line to your house.
By the way, I was on the technology committee for this fiber project but I resigned because I was blocked from getting involved to the level of detail like doing QA checks on the conduit plan. I also tried to push for a slightly different design that would have eliminated the need for this awkward subsidy program, but I was overruled on that too.
Raul Alcaraz, Race CEO, was present again at the March Association Board meeting to give a quick update on installation progress. Race hit their goal of 80 installs in the shortened month of February bringing us up to 313 total installs to date.
Raul said that they would have had 8 additional installs, but that those people cancelled or postponed their installs on those days, leaving crews dangling. Meanwhile one member told me that his install date had been cancelled/rescheduled by Race with no communication to the homeowner – the homeowner was left dangling when no one showed up on the appointed day.
Race now has 855 total orders for service, so doing the math, that’s 542 installations yet to be performed. I suspect total orders will reach my predicted number of about 1,000 in the next few months, meaning that it’ll be mid November until Race’s 80 install a month pace can slacken. As usual, faster please.
Got questions about your contract? Race says they are waiting on 102 people who have yet to sign their contracts. Race should be able to answer any questions you have (click here to learn/order/contact them), but if not, I’d be happy to help out.