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Services: Internet

You are going to offer Internet, but at what speed and what price?

First: speed. Since your link supports 1 Gbps, the natural answer would be to offer a bidrectional 1 Gbps service. There are two reasons why you might want to change that: Pricing tiers and limited uplink bandwidth.

Depending on the economics of your construction and uplink costs, you may need to charge more than you would like for Internet service. In this case, offering a lower price tier might make sense. If you do this, I would suggest something that gives barely adequate service for a cheap price. In 2018, that would mean something like a 20 Mbps service.

If you are bandwidth constrained due to high uplink costs, you might be tempted to offer something less than 1 Gbps service. While you can do that to set expectations, I would argue that whether you offer 100 Mbps or 1 Gbps link speeds, it won't make a bit of difference to service quality, even with constrained uplink speeds. Internet communications protocols were designed from the beginning to handle congested networks. Having a mismatch between lots of people on a 1 Gbps access network all trying to download stuff from a thin uplink pipe is something that Internet protocols handle with ease and fairness. Incoming data will automatically be throttled at the sender's server when it realizes there is a bandwidth constraint somewhere in the link. So, I would argue to leave everyone's link speed at 1 Gbps even in the case of a slow uplink.

For pricing, the best advice is to charge something comparable with local market conditions. Due to density, competition, isolation, and economic factors, the market price for a 1 Gbps link could be $60/month, or $300/month.

Minimum Speeds

In 2022, I estimate that the minimum effective Internet link that a family can use without too many compromises is a 100 Mbps link. This would allow you to stream several movies at one time and still have headroom for software package upgrades.

But even these speeds will feel antiquated compared to a 1 Gbps link if you download game updates. For example, the Call of Duty game is a 70 GB download. Using a 30 Mbps Internet link, it would take almost 7 hours to download, assuming no one else in the household was doing anything. In other words, figure at least 10 hours. With a 1 Gbps Internet link, it would take about 12 minutes. Maybe 15, factoring in other traffic. This is a huge difference.

Services: TV

The days of an HOA providing a captive cable TV service are long gone. Indeed, DVDs, Blu-rays, and HDR discs are almost gone. Most home movies are now viewed via a streaming service like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Hulu or many others. Similarly, there are now a number of streaming TV services that provide everything from local TV channels to live sports to speciality channels.

And if that isn't enough, your customers can simply get a DirecTV or Dish for traditional TV. Bottom line, I would strongly recommend to not touch TV service at all. It will cost you money, and it will be impossible for you to keep up to the extremely fast changing video landscape.

Services: Telephone

Similar to TV, there are a number of well established telephone over the Internet companies. Some of the bigger ones like Vonage will even pay your HOA a fee for every subscriber from your network they sign up.

It is possible to white label someone else's telephone service and provide it through the fiber router box that is installed in each customer's house. And if you outsource your Internet services to an existing ISP, that is what they might do. But I wouldn't recommend taking on this task yourself as an HOA as there are very good alternatives that don't cost you any time and money to set up.

Services: Fiber Rental or Co-Location

Once you have a fiber network in place you might find that other companies will want to use it. A common fiber tenant is a cell phone provider. They might want to use spare fibers for cell phone backhaul. Depending on your conduit/duct design, you might have spare capacity to pull extra fiber if needed. In addition, you can rent out space in your central office to such service providers.

Services: Everything Else

I wouldn't recommend trying to provide other services such as security, camera recording, or other cloud based sevices. Anything you can think of has been done better by a much larger cloud based company that has a much larger customer base to draw upon.

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