When we launched the DBIUA, in order to cover our upstream bandwidth costs, and to pay down our 3 year loan for our capital equipment, we needed 23 people to commit to paying $75/month. We got those “early adopters” as Chris Brems likes to say, and then over the past year+ we have slowly added more and more members.
Today, we have 61 connections, with 10 on the waiting list to be installed.
We have almost 3 times the number of members needed to pay for running the system. What are we doing with all that money?
We had to spend some money on backbone infrastructure to service more people. And we have installed a backup link at the water tank, so our upstream bandwidth costs have increased a bit.
We purchased backup equipment to have on the shelf in case something bad happens (like a tree falls down).
We are paying off our 3 year loan a year early.
And….we are lowering our monthly rates. Just like we said we would.
After talking through some ideas, we (the board) came up with the following, which we thought was fair to those who have been with us from the start.
Your first 18 months on the system costs $75/month. Your next 6 months are $65/month, then 6 months at $55, then after that $45/month.
Our first round of members will start seeing their bills go down in the next month or so.
Even with this tiered pricing model, our projections still say we will end up with a lot of cash in the bank, so we are looking at other capital credit payments to members, along with continued investment in our network.