Sudlersville com­mis­sion­ers sign Del­marva WiFi con­tract

Record Observer - - NEWS - By mdavis@kibay­

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

Fol­low Mike Davis on Twit­ter: @ mike_k­ibay­times.

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