OpenCape Responds to Falmouth Enterprise Article

Falmouth Enterprise
50 Depot Avenue
Falmouth, MA 02540

Dear Editor,

September 17, 2012

The Falmouth Enterprise article “Selectmen Hear Pitch For Google Fiber” of September 14, 2012 by Christopher Kazarian contained several references to OpenCape that require clarification.

OpenCape is in fact creating tremendous opportunities for municipalities and school districts to aggregate services and share common applications that will provide for more effective and efficient internal operations and delivery of services. The critical public safety communications improvements supported by the OpenCape project are also tremendously important to the community.

While these services to government entities are important, they are not the sole focus of the OpenCape project as indicated in the article. In fact, the creation of this highly capable telecommunications infrastructure has been designed to eliminate communications barriers that stifle economic development – with direct delivery of services to businesses. OpenCape is matching major U.S. telecommunications carriers at the leading edge of 100 Gigabit per second (100G) fiber optic connectivity to ensure that businesses have the most capable possible services available today. The immediate addition of 100G to the network means that business customers will benefit from greatly increased performance and consistent upload and download speeds for everything from data transport to cloud-based enterprise applications to video streaming.

OpenCape’s high speed services are not directly required by all businesses. Initially, it will be businesses that require high capacity, guaranteed levels of symmetrical service that will purchase services from OpenCape’s licensed operator – CapeNet. We encourage any business that has such requirements to contact CapeNet at www.capenet.com or (508) 744-5090 to discuss the needs of their business as many on the Cape have already. As time passes, we anticipate the availability of additional services that will be attractive to a wider group of business operators and owners.

The Enterprise article also discussed direct retail services to smaller or remote businesses, and residential customers. The request of Juli Mayers of Bourne that Falmouth selectmen support her effort to bring Google Fiber to the Cape was the impetus for the article.

OpenCape, as a middle-mile backbone project, can be compared to building a highway. OpenCape encourages last-mile retail providers to enter the market place and deliver services to small businesses and residential customers. There are opportunities for both established internet service providers and innovative startups to deploy a variety of last-mile connectivity solutions that are optimized for the customer base they choose to serve. OpenCape will support those providers with the opportunity to use its backbone to aggregate their service needs and keep costs low. 

OpenCape is also familiar with the Google Fiber initiative in Kansas City. Kansas City was selected from among 1100 communities that applied to be the host of the Google Fiber project – in large part because Kansas City has a municipal electric utility and high density. It is one of several projects happening throughout the world to bring ultra-high speed connections to residential customers.. How, when, and whether Google will expand beyond this one implementation is unknown. Additionally, recent press has indicated the challenge experienced by Google, and that experienced by any residential broadband service provider, in providing ubiquitous coverage across the entire Kansas City metro area. These issues can be more exacerbated in small towns or rural areas. The fiber optic infrastructure that OpenCape is building is designed to facilitate Google Fiber like services as the demand and economic viability emerges in communities on the Cape.

OpenCape is an open access network. Google Fiber, or any other provider present on Cape Cod or wishing to enter the market place on Cape Cod, can purchase necessary bandwidth or dark fiber from OpenCape. This condition was a core component of the Federal grant requirements, and one that OpenCape firmly supports. As network construction nears completion, more efforts will be expended to evaluate additional services that may be offered directly or through partners utilizing the OpenCape backbone to serve the needs of the communities on Cape Cod. From the start Opencape elected not to become an exclusive provider of a single last-mile service, believing instead that the communications needs of the region both now and in the future would be best served through competitive solutions tailored to match the requirements of local government, businesses and citizens.

One thing that we know has worked on Cape Cod is the collaborative and cohesive effort and message from the region. It is important that we work together to ensure energy is not expended unnecessarily or contrary to our benefits. We would encourage Ms. Mayers and any group she represents to contact us so that we can meet to clarify our purpose and capabilities and potentially help to craft effective last mile solutions.

Dan Vortherms, CEO
Art Gaylord, Chairman
OpenCape Corporation