PTC finds high-speed cable cheaper to rent than to build


The many discussions on Peachtree City going into the Internet broadband business came to an end on Feb. 4.

The unanimous vote by the Peachtree City Council to approve a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Newnan-based NuLink came on the recommendation of City Manager Jon Rorie and city broadband consultant Allen Davis.

Rorie during the discussion on the broadband issue recommended that the council approve the NuLink proposal for 1.5 gigabits per second (gps) totaling $92,500 per year for five years. The cost for the city to establish its own broadband network would have been $437,000 per year.

Meetings with AT&T revealed that 1 gps or more of broadband would cost the city $1.7 million per year while that service with Comcast would cost $458,844 per year.

Broadband consultant Allen Davis in commenting on the bids by other providers said those figures gave the city a good basis on which to evaluate the various proposals. Davis in favoring the NuLink proposal said the Newnan company will meet the specifications required by the city.

“You have the best of all possible options,” Davis said of the NuLink bid. “It’s a very attractive contract.”

Davis said that aside from city facilities, some businesses will have access to broadband service through NuLink.

Rorie also recommended the NuLink proposal, noting the NuLink is currently trying to develop a residential market for the south side of Peachtree City.

Davis said good community support is part on the NuLink culture.

A legally-binding agreement with NuLink is expected in the coming days.

The NuLink contract will have options to renew after the initial 5-year term, with pricing to be determined based on future city capacity needs and wholesale costs of Internet service.

Council members prior to the regular meeting met as the city’s Public Facilities Authority, approving an authorizing resolution to move ahead with the city-owned project if the agreement with NuLink, prior to the signing of the legally-binding document, were to reach an impasse.

The authorizing resolution was continued by council vote at the regular meeting as a result of the decision to go with NuLink.

The city currently pays NuLink $44,000 per year for 100 mps (megabit per second) service and, under a previous pricing structure, would have paid $87,000 per year to go to 250 mbps service if maintaining service with NuLink.

There is another expense totaling $73,000 per year for five years for switching and other needed equipment to establish broad service. That expense would have been required for the city to operate its own network. That expense will be funded through the city’s PIP (Public Improvement Program) budget.

NuLink began life in 1997 as a division of Newnan Utilities, itself owned by the city of Newnan in Coweta County, according to NuLink’s website. “NuLink was spun off as a private entity in 2008,” the website says, and features a fast fiber optic network that already serves much of Peachtree City’s industrial park.