Sudlersville commissioners sign Delmarva WiFi contract
SUDLERSVILLE — The Commissioners of Sudlersville unanimously approved a contract with Delmar va WiFi LLC that would allow town residents an opportunity to receive better high-speed internet connection during its March meeting.
The Tower Use License Agreement allows the company to use the town’s water tower at 200 S. Church St. to install equipment that would send signals out to residents hooked up to the internet and broadband service.
In return for the water tower usage to hook up radio transmitters, Sudlersville will receive monthly payments of $350 with a 4 percent annual increase for the entirety of the five-year contract. Any monthly fee to the town not paid five days after its due date will be subject to a 5 percent late fee charge.
Delmarva WiFi, based out of Chestertown, mainly serves areas unable to receive high-speed internet.
John Woodfield, with Delmar va Wifi, said residents looking to sign on for services will get free installation the first 90 days with a $100 to $300 fee for installation thereafter, depending on promotions. Woodfield also said the $110 monthly package for its advanced high-speed access will be reduced to $50 per month the first year.
Normal rates per month are $65 for the basic package, $90 for the medium package and $110 for the advanced package, according to its website.
During the town’s February meeting when Woodfield and attorney David Wright first approached the commissioners, Woodfield said qualified users, such as low-income households and senior citizens on fixed incomes, would receive services for about $20 per month. The agreement states those qualified users will be charged “approximately one-third of its full monthly charge.”
The contract states four WiFi Hot Spots will be provided to the town for “WiFi access at areas frequented by the public, such as the Town Park and the Senior Center.”
Delmarva WiFi is not seeking exclusivity, so if other companies approach the town to provide services it is allowed. Currently, the town receives a franchise fee from Atlantic Broadband.
A condition of requiring any company using the water tower to label its products was added to the motion that was eventually passed. Woodfield said it has had problems in the past with other companies mistakenly mixing up equipment, leading to problems down the road.
Because the antennas have to be mounted to the water tower to send signals out in a radius of about five miles, assuming the line of sight is clear, the contract states all equipment must be clamped down to ensure no permanent damage to the tower.
All Delmarva WiFi employees or contractors conducting work at the tower must be insured by the company, per the contract, and any “installation, maintenance, operation, modification and removal” of equipment will be paid for by Delmarva WiFi.
Written evidence of training certificates, licenses and permits of those workers must be given to the town in writing, the contract states. The company will have 24-hour access to the licensed site for repairs or upgrades, but will aim to keep work to daylight hours.
Provisions are written to allow both parties the ability to terminate the agreement for various reasons.
For more information about Delmarva WiFi and its services, visit its website at www.dmvwifi.com.
Follow Mike Davis on Twitter: @ mike_kibaytimes.