Sunday, September 21, 2008

Residence Picnic / Pique-nique de la residence

Today was the annual residence picnic with our neighbors. We were excited to go to get to know people better and also to talk a bit about the fiber project. Turnout was good from the stand-alone homes but I didn't get to meet anyone new from the apartments. FTTH handout for the residence

I prepared a handout in French (PDF here) to give to each family telling them the status of the project and the next steps. There was overwhelming support from the people I spoke with.

The status report lays out the two main steps of the project:

  1. Installing fibre to each house/apartment in the residence
  2. Obtaining a connection between our residence and the local exchange

I also explained the four things I'm going to need from the residents:

  1. A place to install an ODF or manhole for aggregating the connections
  2. Access to the existing conduit in the residence
  3. One-time access to their garage to install/terminate the fibre.
  4. An idea of how many homes would be willing to change providers to fibre once we attracted an operator

Item #4 actually got me the most questions. People wanted to know whether we would all have to subscribe to the same operator or if they would have a choice among operators when switching to fiber. I had to answer that we'd likely start with one operator but that the plan is to offer the fiber lines to any operator willing to connect with us. My goal is for households to be able to choose from a number of different fiber providers using the same line but we probably will need a larger (i.e. expanded) subscriber base before multiple providers would be willing to participate. That means initially it would probably be a "first-in takes all" scenario.

The update letter explained that we would probably need 80% of homes committing to switch if we wanted to attract an operator to build out to us. Otherwise, we'd likely have to pay ourselves to build back to the exchange in step 2.

One of the residents suggested I organize a meeting to answer questions. It wouldn't be an official meeting of the residence but rather something informal where they could ask questions. I think it's a good idea and I'll set it up.

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