Letters to the Editor

Broadband plan bears hidden cost | Letters

If implemented as planned OPALCO’s broadband initiative will be “unfair”, property valuations will suffer for half the county.

There will be three different categories of service — depending on location: 50 percent, 10 mbps (in town), 40 percent, 5 mbps (out of town), 10 percent, no service (dead zones).

However, every OPALCO customer will pay the same $15 per month forever and every subscriber will pay the same amount regardless of the faster or slower service.

I live in one of the slower service areas and I want better internet, but I don’t want it at a detriment to my property valuation. The ever increasing digital subscriber world we live in will judge my property as less desirable because of slow connectivity.

Our everyday lives are connected to online services one way or another; phone, email, trading, banking, purchases, weather, news, music, movies, games, security and more. Speed and bandwidth will constantly become more important and property values will reflect service differences.

If OPALCO cobbles together a blended service now there will be no motivation to improve the slower areas or deal with areas of no service.

Tiered pricing would make the monthly payments equitable, but it wouldn’t help the impact on property value. OPALCO should have a plan to deal with speed differences and non-coverage areas now, not later.

If they do go forward, I propose they provide everyone with the same connection speed so as not to impact property values. They can dial back the 10 mbps until such time as they can increase it for everyone.

Also consider the unknown about how will Century Link react? They have laid fiber-optic cable which will also bring faster service. When will it be implemented, and when it is will the OPALCO service become outmoded?

Technology is constantly changing, will OPALCO be able to keep up with the progress in 2-3 years, and longer?

I want faster service, but 100-percent coverage and fair for all. Doesn’t look well thought out to me.

Rikki Swin, San Juan Island


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