No Broadband Choice for Boydton? Part II

Posted in the Boydton Forum

Since: Sep 07

United States

#1 Sep 11, 2007
- Exclusive Contract & No Competition - Each time requests for access to publicly owned structures were made, Mayor Charles P. Reamy cited an "exclusive contract" assigning the Town market to just 1 provider, DataCare. The problem is that a legally questionable contract only existed & signed between MeckComm & the Town. It was NEVER TRANSFERED to DataCare in 10/2005. Even an FOIA request could not produce any transfer although legally, there should be one available under FOIA. Once the prior Mecklenburg contract was reviewed, even it was questionable when regarding an outright BAN of ANY COMPETING service from or within the Town limits of Boydton. This is clearly in violation of The FCC Comms Act of 1996 for unlicensed wireless services. There is a complete copy of the MeckComm contract available in PDF.

- Contract Revenue & Vacant or Unused Structures - The only system currently "serving" the community is the legacy wi-fi system built by Mecklenburg Communications, which was sold to DataCare in October of 2005. It covers at best a 1.5 mile radius of the Post Office. This current service is 25% of the speed offered by the additonal companies who would cover a 3 to 5 mile radius of the Park Water Tank & offer DSL speeds that Verizon does not offer by wire within the standard 18,000 feet from Central Office. This Park tank is not currently used by the DataCare service although there are plenty of residences that could be served by the competing systems. DataCare pays NO RENT to locate on the 1 water tank it has antennas on, the one behind the Post Office. The Mayor has arbitrarily assigned exclusive CONTROL of all publicly owned structures in the Town, first to Mecklenburg Comms, then to DataCare regardless of current use. The ONLY residual income for the Town written in this "contract" is $2/per account/month. As of the last FOIA request, DataCare had paid $0 against the tranferred accounts & new subscribers from October 2005 to 1/2007. One logical question is what benefits the Town enjoys beside awarding exclusive control to a company not even located in the Town, let alone the County, at say $50 per month? Clearly, this is not in the "public Interest"...

- User Security & Quality of Service - Anyone who is currently on the DataCare system should be aware that a teenager with a free CD & a laptop can get into the DataCare system & monitor data from it. It is a Wi-Fi sytem that is clamped at 256 or 512kbps speed & uses WEP encrytion. The 3 companies all had intent of installing a minimum of 768kbps that is secure & unhackable without actually being entered into the system by a system administrator. The speeds can also be as high as 1500kbps & because of the frequency used, allows the addition of any wireless router in the premises. The current DatCare system signal interferes with an indoor wireless router (offers access to laptops & other computer, like a wireless splitter).

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