questions & answers

Frequently Asked Questions

Why will this network be good for residents and businesses in Mountain Home?

The city is confident it will be able to achieve it's goals for this network.

Those goals are:

  • Lowering the cost of internet access for residents and businesses
  • Significantly increasing the speed and reliability of internet access
  • Creating real competition between service providers to give residents multiple options in selecting a provider - on demand and in real time
  • Build a state-of-the-art network to stimulate economic development, foster innovation and increase property values
  • Improving services provided to the city by way of public safety, transportation, healthcare, education, emergency communications, and new services that will become available by leveraging this advanced network.

What is the estimated cost a homeowner will have to pay to establish a fiber optic connection to their home?

The more homeowners that sign up for the connection the less expensive the connection fee will be. We are expecting the connection cost per home to be $3500 upon completion of all the connections for your district. The connection fee can be paid in full upon completion of the local improvement district connections, or it can be paid in payments on a monthly or annual basis. Payments will be amortized over a 20-year period. If payments are paid monthly your payment is expected to be $23.50 a month, if paid annually your payment would be $282 a year. These numbers are based off 50% of homeowners within a local improvement district signing up for the connection. You will not start paying the connection fee until the completion of all home connections have been completed within the local improvement district your home falls under.

Will I be forced to participate in the network?

No, property owners who choose not to participate can easily opt-out of the network.

What happens when the fiber optic connection fee is paid off?

Once the connection fee is paid off, that portion of the cost goes away and the monthly bill decreases to the combined cost of the maintenance and operations fee of $17.50 a month and the internet provider fee of $10.00 a month.

What is the breakdown of the total monthly cost?

The total monthly cost is separated into three main categories and two payments: Paid to the City: 1. Infrastructure Cost is estimated to be $3500 upon connection or $23.50 - $27.50 a month until paid off. Connection costs will be published upon establishment & approval of each local improvement district. 2. Monthly Maintenance & Operations of the network (M&O) is $17.50 a month. Paid to the Internet Service Provider: 3. Cost of Subscribed Services (Internet) a. There will be different packages to choose from with current rates of $10 a month for a 1 GBPS symmetrical service.

What happens if I move?

The cost of the infrastructure stays with the home. If you move, the remaining infrastructure fees will be settled during closing.

How many options will I have for internet speeds?

Internet Service providers will set their plan options. However, the city anticipates that subscribers will have at least the following options – > 20 x 20 Mbps > 100 x 100 Mbps > 250 x 250 Mbps > 500 x 500 Mbps > 1000 x 1000 Mbps (1 Gig)

Can I sign up at any time?

Yes, but if you want to finance the infrastructure costs over 20-25 years, you will need to sign-up in the beginning.

What is included in the Maintenance & Operations expense?

Managing and monitoring the network, network repairs & upgrades, a customer service representative, and managing deployments to new customers.

When will I know the exact cost of network connection to my home?

The City is currently in the process of assessing demand. Once the City has a firm number of participants, it will be able to set a per premise costs of construction. Actual assessment amount varies based on take-rate (the number of subscribers who participate). Once our assessment is complete, the City will be able to derive a more accurate total per premise cost, as well as a monthly cost for those who opt to finance the infrastructure.

What if I sign up and then decide I no longer want the service?

The cost of monthly Maintenance & Operations and Internet Services can be suspended by subscribers at any time. Infrastructure expenses cannot be suspended until the infrastructure(connection) debt is paid off in full.

How many Internet Service Providers will I have access to?

  1. The network will be open to any ISP’s who want to offer services over the network that meet the minimum city requirements to be a provider over the city network. The city anticipates having 4 ISP’s to choose from.

What is the process for switching my Internet Service Provider (ISP)?

To switch your ISP, you will simply access an online portal and with a click of the mouse unsubscribe from your current ISP. You can then subscribe to another available provider in the same way. Switching ISPs and service plans takes less than 60 seconds.

Who do I call if there is a problem?

Customers will have the ability to contact the network operations group directly by phone and email.

What does it mean that the network will be symmetrical?

This means your upload and download speeds will be identical and consistent.

What does it mean that the network will not be shared?

Almost all ISP networks in the United States today are shared networks. That means 32 or 64 homes have a shared connection and the demands put on the network by one home will effect the performance of the network on neighboring homes. The model we are planning to deploy is not a shared model so your connection will be a dedicated private connection and far more reliable.

Will the City be competing with the private sector?

The City seeks to increase competition among private sector service providers. The role of the City will be to provide and maintain the fiber infrastructure, but the City will not offer services on the network which compete with private sector companies.

What is a Fiber Champion?

A Fiber Champion is a homeowner advocate for bringing fiber optic internet service to their neighborhood. Fiber Champions help inform their neighbors of the cost and benefits of fiber optic internet infrastructure and how to opt in to the program.

What are the benefits of becoming a Fiber Champion?

Becoming a Fiber Champion gives you an opportunity to prioritize your neighborhood and lower the cost of connection. The more people who opt in, the lower the individual cost is.

What are the boundaries of Local Improvement District 1?

The final boundaries for Local Improvement District 1 have not been determined yet. To minimize costs for homeowners, the district will consist of the areas within city limits that have the highest opt-in sign ups per area. You can track opt-ins with the map link below.

How many homes do you plan on connecting a year per local improvement district (LID)?

The first local improvement district will include 600-700 homes and following LID projects will include 1000-1100 homes. We will continue to create new local improvement districts until we have expanded the utility connection throughout city limits.

How do I opt in for the connection?

  1. Online Form:
  2. City of Mountain Home Fiber Optic web page:
  3. In Person at City Hall or Public Works office.

What if I sign opt in form and decide I no longer want to get my home connected?

  1. You can remove your opt in by sending in a written request to the City Fiber Optic department to be removed from the connection list as long as the connection to your home has not been started.

What equipment will I need for my internet?

You will need to purchase a wireless router to support the service from your internet service provider (ISP). We have seen good success with Netgear products. You will need to select your router based on the size of your home and the number of devices connected. For homes 1,500 sq. ft. and under consider the R6700. For homes up to 3,500 sq. ft. consider the R8000. Visit the Netgear store for more information. For homes over 3,000 sq. ft. consider a mesh system like Google Wifi. For those wanting cutting edge technology consider the Ubiquiti AmpliFi ALIEN Router. While any wireless router will work, you will want to make sure you select a router that will meet your expectations because your wireless router is what connects your devices to your fiber service. Over 90% of customer complaints come from their WiFi router's performance, not from the actual fiber service. Your internet service provider will not provide a router, but they will have equipment available for telephone service if you choose to bundle that in with your service. We will provide the fiber cables.