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Big Canoe Internet Project community referendum projected for Late July

As the POA board prepares for a referendum on the proposed internet project—bringing fiber to Big Canoe homes—the internet project committee wants to ensure that all property owners are well informed about the scope and purpose of the project as well as all the updated facts.

Project Highlights

+ Fiber network brought to all homes in Big Canoe

+ Big Canoe will own the fiber plant including all in-ground fiber and all telecommunications equipment including the Optical Network Termination devices on the side of each home.

+ Local provider ETC will be given a license to operate on that network to provide internet, phone, television and other services to each home owner while sharing profits with Big Canoe.

+ Full implementation of the system will take approximately two years. Homes will be brought online incrementally during that period.

+ This will not be a mandatory service. Home owners may choose to stay with their current providers.

Project Benefits

+ Ownership of a critical 21st century utility.

+ A future-proof solution to the delivery of high speed services to the community.

+ Protection of home values and decreased time-to-sell.

Project Costs

+ Project cost is currently estimated at $10.5 million to include borrowing $9.3 million with debt repayment spread across 10-12 years.

+ Annual debt service will be met by a combination of profit sharing with ETC and either the initiation of a transfer fee on the sale of homes and property or monthly assessment increases of $12-20.

The Referendum

+ You will be asked to vote for or against the project.

+ You will also be asked to vote for implementation of transfer fees.

+ A 50%+ Yes vote for the project and a 50%+ No vote for transfer fees means the project will be funded by monthly assessment increases and ETC profit sharing.

+ A 50%+ Yes vote for the project and a 50%+ Yes vote for transfer fees means the project will be funded by Transfer Fees and ETC profit sharing.

+ A 50%+ No vote for the project and a 50%+ Yes vote for transfer fees means the project will not go forward, but transfer fees will be implemented starting in January of 2018 with those funds going for future capital projects.

+ NOTE: you are voting on two distinct entities – the internet project and the implementation of transfer fees

Cost comparison for services being offered

Work on the side-by-side cost comparison application is complete. This internet-based program was designed and developed by Ellijay Telephone Company (ETC) for property owners to use in completing side-by-side cost comparisons for the services being offered by our fiber to the home project – internet, phone, and television.

The program has been tested by various task force members and we believe it is ready for use. However, with any new application there may be problems caused by the specific browser version you are using or other unique circumstances. You should report any problems you are having via email to our communication site: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. We will try to answer your question or otherwise contact you within one business day. Please leave us a phone number we can reach you at for personal attention, if necessary.

The internet portion is very straight forward allowing ala-cart selection [Internet + TV – Internet + HDTV – or Internet + phone] or a bundled selection including Internet, phone, and television using the Preferred Plus option. The bundled choice also allows various upgrade allowances for faster Internet, and broader television packages. The bundled phone option comes with unlimited long distance (3000 minutes / 50 hours per month) and five calling features you can select from a larger variety as service connections approach.

The television portion is the most difficult to complete because there are so many options and equipment types to consider. We have attempted to include all the various types of equipment you may need but knowing what you currently have and what is required is key to getting a good estimate. For example, your flat screen television may not actually have a digital tuner, and if not, you will need a DTA [digital to analog converter] connected to it. HD receivers, DVR, and cable card components are also variables you need to consider. There are some helpful aids at the heading of each section to help you with your selections but as stated earlier it is imperative that you have a firm handle on what your equipment needs are. There is also a channel line-up page you can select to help you determine what package of TV programming best suits your needs.

We believe this application will yield a reliable cost estimate for the services and options input, including the taxes and fees. However, it is an estimator, so please understand that small variances can occur. When you're done, click on the “summary” selection in the lower right-hand corner to see a recap of your session. The net cost appears in the lower left-hand corner.

As you conduct your side-by-side comparison please bear in mind what any increases in your current costs are providing as contrasted with your current situation:

+ Speed – minimum 100 mbps [anywhere from two to 0ver ten times current rates, service,

+ Prompt responses to outages or problems,

+ No data caps or bridled speeds at various data thresholds,

+Assurances that your internet behavior is private – no need to worry about the return of authority to the Federal Trade Commission to police the privacy practices of Internet service providers. ETC will not be recording or sharing our internet activity.

When you have completed your side-by-side comparison please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. listing your name, address, total current costs and estimated ETC replacement costs.

Here is your connection link to the side-by-side cost comparison program: http://etcnow.com/Big-Canoe/products/ Get your current invoices out and let the comparisons begin.

Additional Information

+ The ETC Pricing Model can be reached at; http://etcnow.com/Big-Canoe/products/

+ The latest version of the Internet Project FAQs can be reached at our new web site location: http://canoeconnect.org/faq/

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