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MCA Engagement Discussion - Reach Me Line Extension Program - Shared screen with speaker view
Maine Connectivity Authority (Info)
Slides: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1U9OYXRxLdcuXPUY2CMMl8cmwifg-VzObXm8MIY8TrLM/edit?usp=sharing
Andrew Butcher (MCA)
Feel free to cue up questions here in the chat too.
Andrew Butcher (MCA)
Nothing more awkward than silent zoom conversations....well almost nothing.
Kate Foye
Will the application for line extension grants be completed by individuals or will the ISPs need to identify line extension needs in their footprint?
Kate Foye
As you know Andrew...I am never one for silence. :)
Chris Campbell
MCA will work with pre-qualified ISPs to jointly select line extension projects from identified priority areas. During this process, MCA will solicit feedback from participating ISPs about the scale at which they have the capacity to deliver line extensions by the end of 2024.
J-sun Bailey
What will be in place to figure out deadlines, and keep these ISP's actually doing what they have said they will?
Brian Allenby (MCA)
Hello All - There's more information about the program, and application process on this new webpage here: https://www.maineconnectivity.org/reach-me
Brian Lippold
What is the process to become a prequalified ISP?
Stephenie Mac
MCA has an extensive grants verification & validation process that includes reporting on progress of projects and auditing of projects upon completion, J-sun
Sean Byrne
Hi Stephenie and all! Will there be a specific proposal format you are going to use to evaluate and compare or is it a free form submission from the ISP?
Chris Campbell
Qualification ProcessExisting network owners and fiber/cable ISPs may respond to a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) that will help facilitate a rapid review of proposed projects. The RFQ responses will include: labor and material cost rates to be used in proposals, company qualifications, the communities of current service areas and those affected by potential proposals, and information to verify affordability requirements. Qualified ISPs will then receive an approved cost per route mile and potential subscriber locations. This information, along with potential adjustments for local factors such as the cost of pole make-ready or required underground construction, can then be used to create proposals for line extensions.
Stephenie Mac
New information online, today, Brian, including "How to Apply" which will be by RFQ for Reach Me Incentives
Stephenie Mac
Michael Akers
What are the thoughts on a set fee per fiber drop for construction, and have the ISP pay the rest of the cost. Much like what is happening in Vermont subsidized builds and long drop costs.
Andrew Butcher (MCA)
@Brian Lippold. Chris Campbell answered the prequalified question at min. 18.
Michael Akers
Mark Ouellette
Can you further explain the ISP contribution? I suspect that for very rural last mile connections, a $700 per sub cost match may be difficult.
Chris Campbell
Mark: $700 per premise cost means that the ISP contribution will be a higher portion of the cost in higher density areas, and lower in low density areas.
Stephenie Mac
This would result in proportionally higher incentives for lower density areas and proportionally higher financial commitment from ISPs for higher density areas. The preliminary design of Reach Me only involves the amount of incentives from MCA and ISP financial commitment.
Mark Ouellette
Great. Thank you.
Kate Foye
Will the incumbent provider in the line extension be given preference? Also, are there more points in the grant process given to an ISP that makes a larger investment?
Brian Allenby (MCA)
The FAQs can be seen here: https://www.maineconnectivity.org/all-in-faqs
Chris Campbell
Kate: As a line extension program, Reach Me is targeted to ISPs with existing networks in a community who are willing to more fully build out their existing network.
Kate Foye
This is very helpful. And we look forward to participating!
Brian Allenby (MCA)
More about data collection here: https://www.maineconnectivity.org/data-collection
Stephenie Mac
Reach Me Incentives will support line extensions from existing networks in mostly served communities. Connect the Ready Grants will be awarded for universal broadband projects in unserved and underserved regions where there’s nearby middle-mile infrastructure but where line extensions wouldn’t fully serve the community. To identify areas for each, we are using the Broadband Intelligence Platform
Maine Connectivity Authority (Info)
Reach me webpage again: https://www.maineconnectivity.org/reach-meQuestions after this call can be directed to info@maineconnectivity.orgToday's slide deck once more:https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1U9OYXRxLdcuXPUY2CMMl8cmwifg-VzObXm8MIY8TrLM/edit#slide=id.g13d8a65cdd0_0_0
Stephenie Mac
How do you think MCA could best encourage proposals at a large scale to cover more locations?
Brian Allenby (MCA)
Data Collection mention #2!
Brian Allenby (MCA)
You can read more information about submitting ISP data on this page: https://www.maineconnectivity.org/data-collection
Andrew Butcher (MCA)
Here's what is posted on the website: In addition to participation in the FCC's Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), MCA will require selected ISPs to provide a low-cost service (currently $30/month) of at least 50/10 Mbps that is fully subsidized under the ACP. The MCA will also require participating ISPs to offer 100/20 Mbps service priced no higher than the federal reasonable comparability benchmark for broadband rates as determined by the annual FCC Urban Rate Survey.
Kate Foye
Sorry to get down a rabbit hole...but I want to clarify eligibility for this program, but is it that an ISP is required to participate in ACP with a $30 a month service that is at minimum of 50/10. Or that an ISP is required to offer a $30 a month service to everyone
Sadie Hanson
I believe it's the ISP has to participate in ACP with a $30/month service at minimum of 50/10. The ACP participation requirement is federal requirement, the other part of it is MCA's requirement.
Kate Foye
That is what I thought...but it sounded like ISPs had to have a general offering of a $30 service
Sarah Strickland
What is the ISPS responsibility to talk with existing community planning groups about their extension plans?
Sadie Hanson
I think you do have to offer that as a general offering. If I'm understanding correctly.
Brian Allenby (MCA)
@Sadie Hanson @Kate Foye - Thank you for these questions about ACP pricing. We'll build out this FAQ with some more information to clarify.
Brian Allenby (MCA)
Data Collection Mention #3! https://www.maineconnectivity.org/data-collection
Brian Allenby (MCA)
Upcconing events can be seen here: https://www.maineconnectivity.org/events