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To the editor:

I am so excited about the wonderful things that are happening in Providence. We have had our city manager for just over a year. He has already saved the city thousands of dollars in engineering and attorney fees. We are making significant progress to create plans and make proactive decisions. We have updated our General Plan. We have adopted our first ever Parks, Trails and Recreation Master Plan, with many other important master plans underway. We are working well with the water companies, and although it will take some time to implement, we have a solid plan for maintaining and fixing the deteriorating roads. It is a great time to be a Providence resident.

I ran for City Council with the vision of blessing and serving. I believe that installing the infrastructure for Fiber Optic Internet will be a long-term benefit to the vast majority of Providence residents. I hope that each of you will take the time to learn more about our plan and review the FAQ’s at http://providencecity.com/fiber/. I can only touch a few highlights here, but most of your questions will be answered on our website. If you have additional questions you can reach out to me or any other council member to help you understand why we feel this decision is right for Providence. We are thrilled to have found a Public Private Partnership solution. Although we will be bonding for approximately $8 million, it is anticipated that the entire bond will be paid by revenue created through the project itself, not tax dollars.

We are striving to minimize the cost to residents and to maximize the benefits. As part of the project, all residents will receive fiber directly to their home and will pay a small utility fee for basic service, about $10 per month. Those wishing to receive 250 Mbps or 1 Gbps will pay more. We believe that this cost will be offset by current household internet expenses going down. With the city provided infrastructure, based on an open-access network, the internet service providers (ISP) will be competing for your patronage, and residents will get to choose who they use for their ISP. It is anticipated that homes will receive significantly better internet service for a comparable or lower price than what they are currently paying, that home values will go up, and that families won’t run out of bandwidth as they work, learn, and stream from home.

As a council we are committed to serving you, and hope that you will trust the very thought out and deliberate decisions we are making with you in mind.

Carrie Kirk

Providence City Council

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