Who we are

Dear Greensprings Community Member,

You may have already heard rumblings about this new service (Greensprings Broadband Cooperative), and/or you may have even previously received an email (even this one) about it, as recently as a week ago or even more recently from a neighbor. We really want to get the word out to everyone. It has finally happened. The snow melted, the equipment went up two weeks ago. Right now we have about homes installed with the high-speed broadband working. And we are looking for more homes to get connected.

1) If you have direct line of sight of the Soda Mountain towers, please contact us right away! (If you are interested but don’t have direct line of site of Soda Mountain, still contact us if you haven’t already, so we can get you in our database and we’ll start working on options for membership/connection in the near future.) Soon we will have a repeater on the ridge above Hwy 66 formerly belonging to Steve Wolfe. Those with line of site to Steve Wolfe’s ridge will be connected next., so get in touch with us.

2) If this is the first time hearing about this here is some basic information:

A small group of Greensprings folks created a non-profit organization (membership co-op) to manage a true broadband internet service for the Green Springs community. We are contracted with Ashland Fiber Network for the connection/service and with KOBI TV for the antenna space on Soda Mtn. To obtain the Greensprings Broadband Coop (GBC) service, you will become a coop member with monthly fees. Here’s the juice on the service:
· No download limit (ALL currently available satellite services have a download limit)
· No length of term agreement
· Faster than any currently available satellite connection
· Costs less than satellite service (currently $70/month; but estimated to be $30 -$50/month within a year depending on number of members)
· Minimal equipment purchase cost (small receiving antenna on house and receiver)

3) Here are some additional details you may be interested in:

We have tree issues on many properties. We are currently looking at using an alternative bandwidth for people with tree problems. (I am one of them. I got line of sight from the restaurant by trimming branches on two trees, but my cabin area is problematic. Consequently, my second installation will serve as a guineau pig for the 900 mhz nanobridge system hat we are considering.)

Regarding the cost structure, here is the current reality:

* Our installation fee is $300. (This is needed at time of installation.) This includes an antenna and the labor involved. Because we are lightly capitalized, we can’t afford to offer “free” installation to attract new subscribers.

* Membership fee (currently) for the Cooperative at $300. Like any business, we need startup capital. Twomembers got the ball rolling last year by putting up $2,500 apiece. Since we don’t have investors other than ourselves this membership cost is necessary to get us afloat . This money will enable us to build out the system. So far we have spent about $2,000 on equipment, which is installed at AFN in Ashland and on a tower at Soda Mountain. We will be spending more on the Tyler Creek repeater, on another repeater to reach people who have trees in the way, and so forth.

* The membership is property, a share in the corporation and can be sold back to the Coop or transferred to, say, someone who purchases your home. When we have enough capital to meet our needs, we expect that we will return surplus membership fees to our members. Existing members will get a partial refund and members who sign up after that point will pay less. For the time being, however, we need the money to cover many start-up costs.

* Membership fee can be made in payments over several months and the first service fee will be pro-rated for the remainder of the calendar month after installation.

* Our currently monthly service fee is currently $70. Our monthly operating costs, not including installations, amount to about $600. Most of this goes for rental of tower space on Soda, service charges for the bandwidth we are purchasing from AFN, and some bookkeeping. 10 members puts us at break-even. We plan to reduce the monthly service as soon as we get up to 25-30 installations.

3) To let us know you are interested in the service and/or have any questions, you can reply to this email (please DO NOT REPLY TO ALL), or call call Marcia Sherry-Newby at 541-601-0171 or Diarmuid McGuire at 541-690-4089.

4) Please pass this email onto anyone on the mountain who you think might be interested. (The more people who join, the lower the monthly service fee will be.)

The current board of the Greensprings Internet Coop can be reached at board@greensprings.us