Charter Communication has been the City of Ripon’s internet service provider in recent years.
But that’s likely to change.
The Ripon City Council gave staff the green light to move forward with preparing a six-year agreement with Wave Business – or Wave Broadband – to provide such services for the City at $1,124.95 per month.
“While Wave has offered competitive pricing, we have been locked into a contract with Charter Communications, so I was unable to entertain changing providers until the City’s contract term with Charter ended – which was earlier this year,” said Information Systems Technician Dan Brannon at the Sept. 8 session.
He noted that as the end of the contract term approached, Charter sent out a flyer, notifying the City that once the promotional pricing ended, the billing would double to $2,499 per month.
Brannon, in his report, said that he reached out to both Charter and Wave to obtain competitive price quotations along with an increase in bandwidth in an effort to improve performance of the various hosted applications staff used on a daily basis and cloud backups.
Charter provided a five-year term with 500 megabytes per seconds at $1,399 while Wave’s six-year term with 600 mbps came in at $1,124 – part of the 72-month term includes construction costs that may incur when providing a new service, Brannon noted.
“By spreading the construction cost over six years, Wave can provide greater speed at (a lower cost) per month,” he said.
Both providers did include redundancy as part of their fiber optic network as well as upstream access to the entire internet.
“Although we have no experience with Wave, I reached out to existing Wave customers to compare Wave to Charter (in terms of) reliability and customer service,” Brannon said.
Included were representatives from Bethany Homes and another local business.
“Both spoke highly of the customer service in the few times they’ve actually needed to contact them,” he added.
As for reliability?
Wave had one outage in Ripon during the past two years due to a downed utility pole.
“This compares favorably to Charter Communications, which had four outages in the same time period including a very prolonged outage in 2018,” Brannon said.
Another selling point for Wave is the expanded fiberoptic network throughout the City of Ripon, including extra cables during installations to provide “dark fiber” to various locations.
“At a relatively low cost, the City would be able to establish high-capacity network connections wherever Wave’s fiber network exists at little to no construction coast (and) for a reasonable monthly fee,” said Brannon.
He’s estimating a savings of over $11,000 over the life of the contract after considering the monthly savings along with expense of the firewall.