We were given the impression that we were voting to authorize funds for Wired West to build out, operate and maintain our "high-speed broadband network"; this doesn't have to be the case. We were also led to believe that all of the monies bonded were loans to WiredWest and would be repaid with the revenues; this doesn't have to be the case. WiredWest told us that after the bonds were repaid any excess revenues above cost of operations would be given back to the towns and create a revenue stream for the towns. This doesn't have to be the case either, if we don't stay the course with WiredWest. In fact, the way the article was written on the warrant this could turn into one big bait and switch and we'll be on the losing end.
The very fact that the selectmen are entertaining the idea of someone other than WiredWest makes me suspicious, I'm not saying that we were lied to and I hope the selectmen do the right thing. However, the way the article was worded the selectmen can do whatever they want with the $2.9 million dollars that we voted on. There was never any mention in the article about who the selectmen must hire to build out and run the network, nor was there any mention of the bond having to be repaid with the revenues. This was a pledge made by WiredWest and if we stay the course with WiredWest and allow them to build out and run OUR network we will get everything that was promised.
AXIA is a company that makes its money by building and operating high-speed broadband networks. That's fine, it's the American way, provide a service and profit. Every company has the right to grow and that is what AXIA is trying to do. However, AXIA's plan does not include using their revenues to pay back our bonds. AXIA's plan does not include providing a revenue stream to the towns after our bonds are paid off. In fact, AXIA's plan is to take ALL of our bonded funds to build their network; and because this money doesn't have to be paid back they make a huge profit on the build out. Then AXIA will charge us, the users, monthly fees to make even bigger profits from what was supposed to be OUR network.
Essentially AXIA's plan is to take all of our money to build their company and then charge us for the service. I don't know about you but I think we should ax AXIA.