Updating the Updates

Well here is where we are on the High-Speed Internet project.

  1. CCC has towers up at the PIHA Maintenance area and in Posen. Leases are in place for those and for the PIHA Campground. At this time no other leases have been completed in PI. In Krakow there are four sites that have been preliminarily offered, but neither leases or approval have been requested or approved, but it is expected that they will proceed in the very near future.
  2. Equipment has almost entirely arrived, BUT the FCC licences are being processed, but due to the COVID shutdown of by the government the wheels are turning slowly. CCC believes that two to three weeks more should do it.
  3. CCC has already made a substantial investment into the equipment needed to send, relay, and receive true high-speed Internet in PI and Krakow Township.
  4. Without spinning your heads with technical terms, the equipment that CCC will be installing is designed to penetrate trees, reduce the dependance on ‘line of sight’ connections, and provide increased reliability and speed. In short although we have a few more weeks to wait, the new technology is well worth it.
  5. CCC has focused on North Bay and other underserved areas in PI and Krakow. BUT until the equipment is installed on the towers and fired up they will not know exactly where the coverage from the first towers will land peripherally from the tower.
  6. In the coming weeks CCC will be contacting resident near the existing towers to officially sign them up for the service. If you receive an email or phone call from CCC please respond quickly so they can accurately determine the number of customers in the serviced area.

That is where we currently are with the project. After a year and a half it appears as if the delays at the PI Township level have at the very least abated. It should be duly noted that after a year of fussing over ordinances it now appears that we have put that behind us. It should be noted the last year of delays unfortunately also coincided with the COVID lockdowns at the local, state and federal levels to compound the time spent dramatically.

Kudos to PIHA for making the two sites available for towers on property they own, and for acting expeditiously to complete the leases. They have shown real vision in moving to this project along.

Krakow Township has also done a lot of work to offer sites and clear away barriers that had been in the old zoning ordinances. It is anticipated that once we get a signal at the existing towers that things move quickly there as well.

Lastly, the most important thing to remember is that FIBER TO THE HOME is what this entire project is about, and contrary to what some naysayers have discussed, the Wireless solution, was and remains a temporary solution to provide residents with service in the interim AND provide CCC with the cash flow and positive business case reinforcement so they can make the HUGE investment into the fiber. They can’t invest in our area without the wireless commitment.

Everything above is the opinion and observations of Mike Rehling alone. I don’t speak for anyone else, or any other group or political entity, and certainly NOT for CCC.

I will work to keep you all informed of any changes, issues, and most certainly successes going into the future. If you have questions use the CONTACT link and I will do my best to get you answers.

Mike

Results of the Planning Commission Meeting

Well, the PI Planning Commission finally gave the overall approvals that are needed. The Portage Deli can, when all terms are agreed to, add a ‘repeater’ to the existing mast they have on their property. If all goes as well that will provide services to North Bay and the Harbor area.

Also approved is the ability to use existing masts in the area, some of which are or have been used for residents and business to get Speedconnect, to have repeaters added. This will allow CCC, as they get paid subscribers in underserved pockets of Presque Isle, to provide wireless and build the subscriber base to support eventual Fiber to those areas.

THE most important takeaway for any of us in PI or Krakow Townships is that WE have to commit ourselves to Cherry Capital Connections or CCC won’t be ABLE to commit itself to our communities. CCC is NOT funded by government money. Charter, Frontier, AT&T, Verizon, ALL get subsidies from the government, substantial subsidies. CCC DOES NOT! It is their capital, they have to borrow to cover the costs of building the system and years to get positive on that investment. WE NEED TO SUPPORT THEM, OR THEY SIMPLY CAN’T SUPPORT US! They have to make business decisions, and they have other places to put their efforts and capital.

The delays have been regrettable, to say the least, but as the old Japanese saying goes, “Don’t fix the blame. Fix the problem.” We need to move on and get to the point where we get High Speed Wireless, NOT a Speedconnect wireless product, but one that works, and will lead us to Fiber for the future.

I walked out of the meeting last night, because I just could not sit and listen to the issue of the delays being laid on CCC alone. It has taken a year in which many of us suffered through lockdowns with no Internet, no ability to Zoom our grandchildren, our doctors, or have any reliable cell phone service (High Speed Wireless would solve that for us with VOIP), while standards were reviewed, revised, and redone. We have spent a tough year without reliable Internet, and many of us in PI and Krakow have NO good options to this day. I am grateful that through all the delays CCC has stayed here, and Tim Mayone and his company stay committed, IF the people commit to CCC!!! That is the next step!!!

We will be keeping you informed, and I hope that no more roadblocks are tossed in the path. More later.

Just my thoughts,

Mike Rehling

Planning Commission Meeting October 5th at 7:00 PM

Mike Rehling here, and the following are my ‘personal’ views of the status of our efforts to get high-speed Internet. I represent no one. Just interested in getting something to make the community more attractive to live in, and provide the ‘essential’ services that the Internet provides, most especially in the times we live in right this moment.

Well, we are still plugging along to our goal for High-Speed Internet in Presque Isle and Krakow Township. The plans have been completed, submitted to the PI Board, and it is functioning at the Deli and at La Farge already and has been. Towers are up at the PIHA Maintenance area, and in Posen where the source of the feed for our area will be coming from as soon as the equipment arrives from suppliers. Our ultimate ‘Fiber to the Home’ connection is also in Posen, but that involves laying the fiber, and it a bit late to even think about that this year.

Wireless Internet is a ‘temporary’ path to provide high-speed Internet while a fiber to the home build, which will take two to three years to totally complete, is ongoing. This WAS THE PLAN FROM THE BEGINNING. The customers who sign up for the wireless solution will be providing the cash-flow incentive for Cherry Capital to go to the expense of installing Fiber in our geologically challenged area.

That brings us to the Planning Commission Meeting on October 5th at 7:00 PM!!!

First off, ‘planning’ is about the future, not the past. A wildly outdated Zoning Ordinance contemplated when the Internet was not contemplated obviously did not contain information to facilitate an internet project. SO, there was a special planning meeting to revise the wording accomplish an update ‘patch’ covering a wireless project by CCC (or anyone else for that matter) to provide service in the interim. In that meeting, ‘existing’ towers were discussed and people present (including me) felt that was to be included in the revised ordinance. It was NOT in the final version. So, the meeting on the 5th of October is settle two issues:

  1. Allow the use of the tower built to provide Internet service to the Deli could ALSO be used, to provide service to many NORTH BAY residents who have highly limited-service now from SpeedConnect only. The tower exists already, is perfectly legal, and adding a small repeater to it, with permission of the Deli owners, is ALL that is needed. This should be a NO BRAINER.
  2. Provide for a change to the zoning ordinance that ‘existing masts’ on homeowner or commercial property (think Library, Lakeshore Realty, etc.) can also be used to mount repeaters IF the Zoning Administrator APPROVES. It would NOT have to go to the Planning Commission for a ‘formal’ meeting that only ‘delays’ the process. If the Zoning Administrator does not approve it would go the Planning commission. This small change would avoid the delays and paperwork involved in the current process. If the tower EXISTS it should not require plans for approval. This is TOO REASONABLE, and should also pass.

PLEASE CONSIDER ATTENDING THIS MEETING, AND VOICE YOUR CONCERNS, ESPECIALLY IF YOU LIVE IN THE NORTH BAY AREA!!!

Mike Rehling

Thanks to everyone who supported this effort. From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate your assistance and kindness.

THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Final Post

Well, we are CLOSE to getting the Cherry Capital Communications system approved, and hopefully in the coming weeks UP and running in the Wireless Phase, and then on to planning and implementation of the Fiber to The Home.

Thanks to Krakow and Presque Isle Township officials who are helping to bring this to fruition!!!

It is now time for this site to transition all questions and communications to Cherry Capital so that their folks can handle your inquires and answer your questions.

CHERRY CAPITAL COMMUNICATIONS

WWW.CCCFIBER.COM

855-674-4159

sales@cccfiber.com

Thanks to everyone who supported this effort. From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate your assistance and kindness.

Mike Rehling

 

 

 

 

Frontier Update

Frontier Communications filed for Bankruptcy today. The full story is posted below, BUT this DOES NOT mean that your phone or Internet service will face any immediate interruption. That would not be allowed by the Bankruptcy judge. It DOES mean that Frontier will be restructuring its operations under the direction and approval of the Court. Their labor agreements will be voided and there may well be layoffs, sale of assets, and creditors and other interested parties can object or agree to their restructuring plans. This will take months, but not likely years since they have been in discussions with the creditors and publicly announced their intention several months ago.

The bondholders who are owed Billions will, after discharge from Bankruptcy, have full control of the company going forward. They will control all the shares in the new company when Frontier exits control by the court. This is not a big change since they control the Board of Directors now, and selected the new CEO.

In short no worries immediately. We will find out more in the coming months as they have to file their plans publicly to the court. We will keep you posted.

____

 

(Reuters) – Frontier Communications Corp has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States, the high-speed internet company said on Tuesday, as it restructures finances to cut down its borrowings by more than $10 billion.

The company, which warned on its ability to continue as a going concern last month, had been in discussions with some of its lenders and was also mulling restructuring options.

Frontier said it has entered an agreement with its bondholders and received $460 million in debtor-in-possession financing.

“With this agreement with our bondholders, we can now focus on executing our strategy to drive operational efficiencies and position our business for long-term growth,” President and Chief Executive Officer Bernie Han said.

The Norwalk, Connecticut-based company estimated its assets and liabilities both in the range of $10 billion to $50 billion, according to a filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Frontier also said it would continue with the sale process of its operations and assets in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana to Northwest Fiber, and will also continue services and paying its vendors.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have Internet???

Speedconnect is DOWN AGAIN! Any company whose stock trades at less than a 1 cent a share is not something to count on! Frontier is fuzzy and in and out for my neighbors too, and they are days from filing Bankruptcy and a penny stock themselves!

ANY ELECTED OFFICIAL WHO TELLS ME THE INTERNET IS NOT AN ‘ESSENTIAL SERVICE’ IS DELUSIONAL! We are under a stay at home order, which everyone here in PI and Krakow is abiding by, and we have no way to communicate with relatives, our cell phones are crap, and I am typing this with my cellphone laying by the windowsill to get any signal. My voicemails sometimes hit my phone a full 24 hours LATE! That and the fact that after the Covonavirus crisis who will want to buy a home here that has limited to no contact with the outside world? PI and Krakow are NOT the Alaskan wilderness, but it does seem like it some days for a substantial number of us.

We can’t get our approvals for Cherry Capital Communications to build their temporary towers because the Governor’s order (which I fully support) unfortunately prohibits almost ALL public meetings. IF we want to do one we would need the Internet, and OH, we don’t have much of that right now. We are working on alternative solutions and we will keep you posted, but with many of our residents right in the target age of the virus, this is VERY frustrating. I worry for my wife and me and I worry for my neighbors. 

Just know that CCC is working every angle, and Internet providers are NOT prohibited from working under the order, for the simple reason that they are considered an ‘essential service’ especially at this time. Hopefully when the Governor’s order is revised in a week or so it will allow more flexibility in public meeting alternatives. That is unless we find a creative and legal way to accomplish these approvals sooner.

We will keep you posted as to the progress if any, that we make and many folks in Township government ARE working hard to get this done. In the meantime STAY SAFE!!!

 

CHERRY CAPITAL UPDATE (after a busy week)

We have had a lot of activity this week and I wanted to wait until all the meetings were complete before providing a recap. All in all, this was a VERY productive week and we got past many of the legal issues that are required to begin the Wireless Build. One thing we need to make clear is that the Wireless solution is a TEMPORARY solution while the 3 years (estimated) build-out for Fiber takes place. The Wireless that CCC is proposing is NOT like older systems it is a 4G LTE system that is state of the art. MUCH higher speeds and a lot more reliable than either SpeedConnect or Frontier. The goal of Fiber to the Home is the primary reason for putting in the Wireless since two of our other providers are not providing total coverage for all residents, and have substantial financial problems that may affect their service offering in the future. We all feel we need something NOW to get us through.

WEEKS KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  1. Tim Maylone, President of Cherry Capital give a presentation of his plans to bring fiber to the community. This is an expensive process that will be in the millions. He is purchasing new equipment to handle our problematic 5 Ton ‘pebbles’ and is working to make the project go as smoothly as possible. The Wireless ‘bridge’ to fiber ‘should’ be started in May, and completed in June. We can’t give exact dates until all the legal approvals have been completed in Presque Isle and Krakow Township. Everyone is moving as fast as they can but public notice requirements and other issues have to be dealt with according to the standing ordinances. Both Townships are working to get this done quickly and we thank everyone involved.
  2. After Tim’s presentation to residents, the Board of Trustees met and took several actions to facilitate the project. They are requesting the last $50K from the State Grant immediately, and Tim agreed to provide some materials for them to include as they prepare to approve the release of the money. Also, as the Proof of Concept that is required as part of the grant, there will be a ‘test’ of the system at LaFarge who has agreed to be a customer of CCC. Three members of the relevant Township groups will verify the results. That successful test will release the last of the grant money and get the Wireless ‘bridge’ construction started.
  3. On Tuesday the Krakow Township’s board met and we discussed the Zoning and Planning areas efforts to get the appropriate approvals in place and we are anticipating that this will be completed by the middle of April. There ‘appear’ to be no real barriers that we see at the moment and the Township has been very supportive of the effort to get the Wireless bridge up in order to quickly move toward Fiber to the Home in the next three years. The Krakow and PI Wireless towers will support each other to provide the redundancy necessary for a very reliable system for both townships.
  4. On Thursday CCC met with the PIHA Board to seek approval of the two sites on PIHA property for Wireless Towers. One will be at the Campground property, and the other will be at Maintenance Shed Area across from the Clubhouse. Both areas will allow the towers to sit in unused forested areas. In consideration of these leases, CCC will provide service to the Clubhouse and to the Campground at levels that exceed what is currently available. Unfortunately, there was not a ‘quorum’ of the Board members available, and they agreed to hold a special meeting next Wednesday at 7:00 PM to take a vote. We are very hopeful it will be officially approved at that time. We thank Jacob Kroll and the Board of PIHA for their strong interest and support.

The project requires that the ENTIRE COMMUNITY show its support. As soon as we start construction on the Wireless bridge we will do another signup effort at the PIHA Clubhouse. We will keep residents posted as we progress, and if you have questions please use the Contact Page on this site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

REMINDER: March 9th CCC Presentation

On March 9, 2020 (a Monday) at 6:30 pm at the PI township hall community center CCC will be presenting: 

How CCC will fund the project and the associated timeline

The High-level design components,

Constructing:

Which includes improving 10 Fiber distribution centers capable of serving the first 800 households

Interconnecting the distribution centers with fiber,

Constructing fiber to interconnect with the Reach-3MC network

Connecting your location to the internet

After this presentation at 7:00 pm during the PI Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting, we will be asking the PI BOT members to approve our Proof of Concept.

Meeting March 9th at 6:30 PM!!!

Cherry Capital Connection will be presenting its plans for BOTH Krakow and Presque Isle Township. Their presentation will include plans for the Wireless ‘Bridge’ that will be up in early spring and the road map to full Fiber to The Home. KRAKOW TOWNSHIP residents need to SIGN UP so that the entire township can be mapped out for fiber and fully serviced with wireless. YOUR TOWNSHIP IS NOW THE FOCUS, and the two townships will provide redundancy for each other!!!

You will be able to ask questions and hear the plans outlined on the big screen TV. We will be in the Gym at the Presque Isle Township Hall so that we can accommodate the crowd that we expect.

After the meeting in the Gym, the regular Township Board of Trustees Meeting will take place at 7:00 PM and ‘hopefully’ they will approve the overview of the plan and release the last half of the ‘grant’ to CCC.  We still will have to get the plans approved by the Zoning Administrator and negotiate agreements with PIHA, PI Township, and other landowners in both townships who have expressed a willingness to have the wireless towers on their property. We will have a much better handle on this by the time of the March 9the meeting. I want to be sure to say that EVERYONE involved has been working diligently to get this project done as quickly as possible, BUT no one wants to take a shortcut that could cause a problem down the line. Yes, there have been delays BUT you can’t score a home run by skipping the bases. THIS PROJECT IS GOING TO HAPPEN!

Be sure to tell your neighbors, especially in Krakow Township (where I live BTW) so we can get a good idea of where the interest in Fiber and the Wireless ‘Bridge’ exists. That makes planning a lot more accurate and assures that your neighborhood is one of the first to be serviced.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP!

SEE YOU MARCH 9TH AT 6:30PM!!!

Presque Isle Township Hall

 

 

Updates – Krakow and Presque Isle

NOTE:  My summaries of Township meetings are NOT official. They are meant to be general recaps of the meetings and are provided by me in good faith. BUT, attending Township meetings is actually quite revealing and is, in my humble opinion, a good way to assure yourself that your Township Boards are operating in the interests of the residents. By my experience, you are being taken care of well. Consider showing up from time to time if you want to see local government in action.

KRAKOW TOWNSHIP

A meeting was held tonight at the Township Hall. We had a good discussion about Cherry Capital’s efforts in the area. The Board approved a Resolution in support of CCC’s efforts to bring REAL High-Speed Internet to our area. This resolution will be used to assist CCC is being considered for Federal Funding for Rural Internet. This funding has just recently been passed. CCC would like to do more areas than ours and this funding would be helpful in expanding their efforts. Although it is not necessary for our project it would be GREAT to have some of that money flow into our area. The vote was unanimous and we thank them for their support.

Cherry Capital will be working with the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board to locate and receive approvals for the Towers that will be used as a ‘bridge’ to the Fiber to The Home buildout. There are many locations to select from, and many have come forward to offer their property as locations for the towers. The towers are a bridge so they are only going to be up three years, but they will provide needed service to areas that have nothing or ‘next to’ nothing in terms of reliable Internet service.

A heartening level of support from everyone on the Board and the audience. THANKS!

PRESQUE ISLE TOWNSHIP

On Monday of this week, the PI Township Board unanimously approved the changes to the Zoning Ordinances that will allow Cherry Capital to put up the temporary towers required to provide Wireless Internet as a ‘bridge’ to the Fiber to The Home project that will begin this spring. This was made possible by the efforts of the Planning Commission who held two special meetings and with the assistance of their outside counsel and a representative of NEMCOG who is assisting the Planning Commission in updating our existing ordinances. We want to thank everyone who supported this process. You all made a difference!

The approval of the changes to our Zoning Ordinances clears the way for CCC to create a site plan, AND to use ‘existing’ towers already located in the Township as repeaters to serve the ENTIRE Township. The site plans are still subject to approval by the Zoning Administrator. This entire process is there for YOUR protection! No one is more anxious than me (or CCC) to get this project on the road to completion. BUT, you have to consider that if we bypass the law or stray too far from existing standards without real deliberation and a vote of the Board of Trustees we are setting dangerous precedents. Although this took us a few weeks, it is now a project that will be good for everyone now, but protects the process for other projects that may occur in the future. THANKS to everyone for working hard to make this happen!

WE WILL KEEP YOU ALL POSTED AS EVENTS UNFOLD!

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