With 1,000 North homes waiting to be connected to the community’s new fiber network, Greenfield Communications and the Rancho Murieta Association are trying to target a reasonable completion date to offer those potential customers.
The project, which started construction in January 2015, has a contract that says work would be complete two months ago. There have been problems.
“A lot of this stuff, we understand, is not your fault; when you’re told there’s conduit and there’s no conduit...,” Ray Matheny told Greenfield at Wednesday’s RMA Communications Committee meeting, where he’s a committee member. Added Bob Lucas, committee chair, “Some of the stories of what they find out there, it’s a miracle the system even ran.”
Ironically, Greenfield originally wanted the first phase of installation to be part of the area that’s not yet done – the west side of RM North. Construction began there, but work bogged down as Greenfield struggled with an inheritance of misdrawn plans and missing conduit, so it switched to areas of newer homes to keep the project moving forward.
In 2014, RMA signed a 20-year lease with Greenfield to operate the community's cable/internet system.
Ryan Waggaman, Greenfield’s project manager, said about 65 percent of the remaining work will require trenching in the streets, which Greenfield has tried to avoid because it creates traffic and street-surface problems. By his estimates, the job will require 32,000 to 35,000 feet of trenching.
Waggaman’s outline of the remaining work made it sound like a summertime completion date might be reasonable. Matheny and committee member Carol Anderson pushed for a deadline that could be met with certainty, maybe even with some time to spare. “What I’m concerned is that we publish a date we’re not going to meet,” Anderson said.
The deadline has slipped a couple of times already.
Matheny suggested Dec. 1. Lucas suggested Nov. 15. Waggaman said he would defer to his boss, Greenfield CEO Mike Powers, and get the committee an answer on the deadline in the next couple of days.
Waggaman also offered Greenfield’s latest subscription numbers. On the fiber side of the operation, he said they’ve signed:
- 503 basic cable TV customers
- 197 advanced TV customers
- 639 internet customers
On the RMA side of the business, which is being wound down, he offered these numbers:
- 690 basic cable customers
- 700 internet customers
Greg Vorster, RMA general manager, said it’s a continuing trend. “We’re losing cable TV and we’re gaining internet, the same trend we’ve had for the last five years. It’s not changing,” he said.
Waggaman said Greenfield has signed 143 phone customers, which is a better rate than it has achieved in any of its other service areas.
- RMA committee fields fiber complaints (Feb. 20, 2016)