Block Island Times

Broadband committee drills down on pricing structure

The members of the New Shoreham Broadband Committee sifted through how build-out costs would be distributed among customers of the proposed island-wide high-speed internet service and settled on a pricing structure based on property value. This ad valorem approach means that a homeowner with a high-valued piece of property will pay a greater portion of the infrastructure costs than someone with a lower-valued property.
When the pricing scenarios were presented at a previous meeting, some members were opposed to this approach. But as the discussion carried over to the most recent meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 5, members of the broadband committee found themselves struggling with issues of how best to spread out the costs of the project fairly. There were various scenarios presented to the group. One scenario proposed a very high, one-time cost of connecting each home, and another divided the cost equally between 1,200 subscribers. The 1,200 figure is an estimate of how many structures there are on the island that could potentially be hooked up to the high speed internet system.
“This is a thinking thing,” said Town Finance Director Amy Land, who has been spearheading the project, as

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