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By Allen Wright

On Tuesday, Aug. 8, Lyndon Township residents will be voting on a broadband internet proposal to build a fiber optic network that would provide broadband access to all Lyndon Township residents.  

If the proposal passes, the project will be financed using a municipal bond that would cost about 2.9 mills over 20 years. 

The total amount borrowed by the township will not exceed a principal amount of $7,000,000.

The proposal has been initiated because high speed internet access is not available to most Lyndon Township residents.

In June of 2016, Lyndon Township residents received a survey with the summer tax bill aimed at gauging public interest in broadband. Eighty-three percent of the registered voter respondents said that having high speed Internet was “important” or “very important”. Additionally, when asked to prioritize a list of 15 issues respondents ranked broadband access as second in importance, behind only “protecting water quality.”

The township board funded a feasibility study in 2016 to understand how this issue might be addressed. The feasibility study recommended that the township build a fiber optic network.

Based on current property valuation information available from the township, the new bond will cost the average homeowner $263 per year ($21.92/month).  Cost of the millage to pay the bond is calculated at $2.91 per $1,000 of taxable value (taxable value is about half the home’s market value). It is estimated that the property value of the homeowner could increase by up to 7 percent due to the attraction of broadband since almost 24 percent of Americans do most of or some of their work from home.  

After building the fiber network, the township will partner with one or more private service providers to deliver Internet access to residents. Estimated monthly costs for basic Internet access will be about $35 for 100 Mb of bandwidth. 1Gb bandwidth will be available for $60 a month.

For the average homeowner in Lyndon Township, internet service will be around $57 a month.

If the bond proposal passes the fiber network would connect to each house in Lyndon Township on both private and public roads and should be available by December of 2018.

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