As published in The View, September 2020:
The HOA Board signed the five-year bulk internet-only agreement with Frontier on July 31, 2020. Installation is estimated to begin on November 1, 2020, and will take about four months to complete. According to the agreement, Frontier will install all 3,450 homes by March 1, 2021, and that is when the five-year term will begin.
To recap the basic provisions of the Frontier plan:
- It is a five-year internet-only plan.
- It is $12 per month (with a 5% increase per year).
- All residents will have to participate and pay the $12 per month. There are no opt-out provisions for any residents even if they do not use the Frontier internet service.
- The internet speed is 500 Mbps upload and 500 Mbps download. This is the fastest speed currently available.
- The contract includes a wireless router/modem, and there is no installation fee to the resident.
- You may install at a later date at no charge.
- TV plans are available if residents want to purchase them directly from Frontier.
- A phone line is available that you can purchase directly from Frontier.
- A resident may purchase any TV plan from any provider. There is no requirement to purchase TV plans from Frontier.
This process began over one year ago, and so many people helped to bring this project to its conclusion. We need to take a moment and say thank you to all these volunteers for donating more than a year of hard work. We started with the Bulk Cable Committee consisting of Linda Aasen as Chair, Gene Gonzalez, Steve Aasen, Jurgen Gross, Wally Barbour, Rich Rodeman, Armando Gomez, Rick Stohr, and Robert Israel.
Once we had chosen a service provider and begun contract negotiations, a few more people stepped up to make sure the HOA was proceeding responsibly and reviewed all the contract terms before we made a final decision. So we also need to thank Bill Wethe, the chair of FAC, and attorneys Bob Jester, Bob Israel, and Fera Mostow who helped guide us through the maze of legal terminology. Thanks to all of you for donating so much of your time.
We will be sending residents a schedule of when to call for an installation appointment. As you can imagine, we cannot have 3,450 homes all call on the same day. So we will phase in the installation appointments.
I have asked the FAC to review and recommend a one-time increase in next year’s HOA fees, beginning January 1, 2021, to reflect the increase for the Frontier contract. It will cost the HOA more money if we increase dues during the year. The most efficient method of implementation is to have one price increase in January so that dues stay the same all year long – even though the installation process will begin by November 1 and finish by March 1. Otherwise we will have increased costs to change the dues amount during the year plus increased costs to print and distribute new coupon books. This would also cause more confusion for auto payments if the dues amount were to change in January and then change again in March.
The HOA will also have some up-front installation charges as we pay for the people that are installed during the four-month installation period. The HOA will be getting a bill each month from Frontier for the homes that have been installed. But we are not able to charge those homes a fee until we are able to assess all homes once everyone is installed. Because our governing documents do not permit us to charge different homeowners a different monthly dues rate, we need to start everyone at the same time at the same rate per month. By increasing dues in January for everyone instead of in March, we resolve these issues and can pay for all the partial installations over the four-month period.
This will mean some homes will be installed before the dues increase, and some homes will be installed after the dues increase on January 1, 2021. This was the only way to finalize the terms of the contract given the limitations of our governing documents.
Hopefully, this answers the basic questions as we move forward with the Frontier internet bulk cable contract installation. It will be good for the HOA to have locked in a $12 rate for internet service for the next five years, which equates to a savings for each homeowner of about $50 per month.
Once again, thank you to all those people who worked so hard – just another example of: It doesn’t get any better than this.
Thank you. Stay safe and healthy.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.