It’s been almost 6 months since our last community meeting, and although we’ve shared a few updates over Email, we wanted to take a moment to share more with you. Although we’d hoped to make a bit more progress before the rain fades, a combination of work and community planning has taken its toll (did we mention that Phil, among his many roles, is also leading Shrimpfest this weekend?)
The good news is that we have made some important progress behind the scenes, and are gearing up for the next steps this summer. Here’s a quick update of what we’ve done so far in 2017.
Network Planning - Door by Door
Since our meeting in December, we’ve compiled over 400 names from people interested in service in the area. While that’s exciting, it’s given us the data we needed to study where we need service the most. As many of you who signed up know, there are a lot of people who don’t have easy line of sight to Mt Jupiter.
We learned a few things from our study: there is a lot of demand in the Olympic Canal Tracts, lower Lazy C Ranch, and in a variety of smaller clusters along the waterfront. The technology we’re building the network with is designed to work best when you can “see” your neighbor or the tower. That means line of sight to a neighbor who is interested in service, a pole that can “see” a bunch of homes, or the tower itself.
We need volunteers to work together to survey the last mile.
Our hope is to conduct a planning over the Memorial Day weekend.
We’ve also been hard at work on the legal structure for the network. While we can’t announce our plans yet, we’re working to reduce startup costs by leveraging an existing non-profit vehicle in the area. Look for more in our next update.
Network Provider and Cost
The next-to-last (and best) news is that we’re working with a new provider, who has a lot more experience in the area, and who has helped us greatly reduce the initial cost of building the network connection to Kitsap. This was our single largest risk (so far), and we now have a clear path toward launch.
Our final update revolves around funding. A number of members in the community have stepped forward and offered tentative funding - enough we may be close to enough to get a network online this summer. If you’d like to help but haven’t contacted us, please Email us.