Fiber FAQs

What is the community-wide fiber-optic internet that the City is considering?

The City of Hudson looking at implementing a community-wide fiber-optic internet network that would provide ALL Hudson residents with access to affordable, high-speed internet. 

What is a fiber-optic internet?

It’s an Internet connection using fiber-optic cables in which data is delivered in light signals via small, flexible glass wires. 

Why is Hudson considering community-wide fiber?

  • Surveys show more than 70% of residents are unhappy with their service from current providers.
  • Residents want faster speeds of a Gigabit per second or more and better service and reliability.
  • The City has already installed fiber-optic internet in Hudson for the business community and that fiber network could be easily expanded to provide residential service. 
  • With the recent roll-back in net-neutrality, the City can protect citizens from unreasonable rates and practices and not discriminate by user, content, website, platform, applications or other communications.
  • Fiber-optic technology is the 21st Century equivalent of electricity or water and is vital to harness speeds needed to power smart technology for homes, schools, businesses and the community.

What would Hudson gain with community-wide fiber-optic internet service?

  • Community-wide access to fiber-optic technology is the 21st Century equivalent of electricity or water and is vital to harness speeds needed to power smart technology for homes, schools, businesses and the community.
  • City-owned and operated, it would provide community access to a fiber-optic network that isn’t controlled by corporate interests and that provides everyone access to this vital resource.
  • A city-wide fiber-optic network would provide the state-of-the-art backbone to power technology for safety forces and generate municipal efficiencies and savings through smart street lighting, utility metering, and other municipal uses.
  • Research has shown that access to fiber may increase a home’s value.
  • Residents will have the speed and reliability to run an increasing number of devices in their home without annoying buffering times.

How fast is a fiber network?

With speeds of 1 Gigabit per second and higher, fiber networks offer greater speed and bandwidth to power multiple devices to stream video, for gaming, run applications and send large files in seconds.

Why does speed matter?

Powering many digital devices at the same time requires reliable, high-speed fiber. Nothing is faster that a fiber-optic road to power devices and applications. With households averaging 8 digital devices (phones, computers, tablets, smart appliances, virtual assistants, security systems) per person, dependable, fast internet is a key component of quality of life and future-proofing the City. 
Current private sector providers only offer up to 100 Megabits per second for download speeds and only 10-20 Megabits per second for uploads. See how speed makes a difference in the chart below.
Media Approximate Size 10 Mbps 100 Mbps 1000 Mbps (gigabit)
5-minute video 30 MB 26 seconds 2.5 seconds 0.2 seconds
45-minute HDTV show 600 MB 8.5 minutes 50 seconds 5 seconds
2-hour HD movie 4.5 GB 60 minutes 4.5 minutes 25 seconds

Won't fiber-optic cable need to be replaced or the technology be upgraded?

The lifespan of coaxial copper cable is up to 5 years, after which it must be replaced with faster equipment. The lifespan of fiber-optic cable is 40 to 50 years or more. The first fiber networks were built in the 1970s and are all still in operations. Fiber strands do not decay, corrode, rot, wear or expire. With fiber, speeds and bandwidth can easily be upgraded as needed, and the City has calculated in with the cost estimates the cost of the minor equipment upgrades that would be necessary over the next 10+ years.

Doesn’t Hudson have this now?

Yes, Hudson has built, owns and operates Velocity Broadband, a fiber-optic internet service for Hudson businesses.  The proposal is to build out the network and extend the service to all residences in the City.

What will it cost to build a community-wide system and how would Hudson pay for it?

Building the network out to all Hudson homes and businesses is estimated to cost $21 million. To date, we have spent $3.4 million to build the 60-mile business network. It will cost an additional $17.5 million to build the rest of the network. City Council is considering a 10-year, 2.7 mill property tax levy on the November 2018 ballot to fund existing and future network construction. If voters approve the issue, the monthly cost for homeowners would be just under $7.88 per each $100,000 appraised value of the home. There would be an additional $30 per month service charge to use the service.

Is the proposed $30/month service fee a promotional rate?

No, it will be the standard rate for the foreseeable future. Only those who sign up for the service would pay the service fee.

Will all residents get the new service?

Yes, ALL homes and businesses could subscribe to the high-speed fiber network once it is built.

How long will it take before I could receive service if the issue passes?

If the community votes to approve the tax levy, households could subscribe to and receive service within two years.

If I sign up for the City fiber internet service, what would I pay?

If voters approve the tax levy to build the network, Hudson residents would pay property tax of $7.88 per $100,000 of the appraised value of a home. Everyone would get 1 Gigabit speed, which is not available to Hudson residents today.

For a home with an assessed value of $300,000 (Value on which Summit Co. calculates your property tax. Check your property tax bill for the assessed value of your home.)

Tax and Service Fee Monthly Cost
Monthly Property Tax $23.64
Monthly Service Fee (if you opt to use City's Gigabit Internet Service) $30.00
Total Monthly Cost for City Service Fee & Property Tax $54.64

Note: After 10 years the property tax would foll off and monthly fee would drop to just the service charge of $30.00.  

If the property tax issue passes in November, do I have to take the City’s service?

No.  You are free to choose any provider for your internet service.

What is the status of the property tax ballot issue?

Hudson City Council has held two readings of resolutions that would authorize placing an issue on the ballot. The resolutions will go through two more public readings prior to a vote by City Council.  The final vote to place the issue on the November ballot will be held in June. If authorized by City Council, the issue would be placed on the November 6, 2018 to let Hudson voters decide if they want to partially fund the service through a property tax.

What happens to my current TV?

The City would offer only internet service and phone service, not television programming. There are three ways to get TV programs – through an over-the-air antenna, a cable or dish network or through the internet. Many people are “cutting the cord” and viewing television programming and movies on TVs and computers through the internet, they get TV programs through their smart TV or services like Netflix, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Prime, and SlingTV.  Local channels can be received through the purchase on antennas, through which local channel programs are free.  Here’s a link on How to Watch TV on the Internet. Or, you can keep TV service from your current provider.

What about 5G small cell wireless that I hear is coming. Won't that replace this technology?

5G mobile wireless service will be the next upgrade from the current 4G.  It is years away and has many limitations, including each cell only covering a 1,000- 2,000-foot radius which creates issues getting signals to into homes and past dense foliage. It's much slower, and most important, this “wireless fiber” will never happen unless there is more fiber, in the form of fiber-optic cables, reaching businesses and homes.

But I have WiFi, I don’t need an internet service?

WiFi is a protocol to allow all the devices to connect to your home internet service.  You must have an internet service to operate a WiFi system in your home.

Would there be contracts, data caps or equipment fees with the City service?

No, there would be no contracts, no installation fees, no data caps and no equipment/modem fees or monthly rental costs.

My phone service is bundled with my internet service. How do I get phone service?

Hudson will offer phone service as part of its fiber network. Phone service would be at an additional fee.  You can keep phone service through your current provider, including landline phones. Many households are using cell phones as their only phones.

Was market research done to determine a need?

Market research that measured the viability of a fiber-optic network in Hudson and measured market demand for the service. 

  • 98% of Hudson households have internet service.
  • 7 out of 10 households believe communities need fast internet.
  • 69% would prefer the service from the City rather than other providers.
  • 78% of Hudson residential survey respondents have 5 or more devices connected to the Internet at home while 30% have more than 10 devices connected.
  • 75% of Hudson residents have experienced moderate, severe, or total disruption of their service from internet problems with reliability and speed.
  • 33% of Hudson residents are paying between $50 and $74 a month for home internet service; 11% are paying $75 to $99 a month, and an additional 28% of residents are paying above $100 a month.
  • 81% said low-cost, high-speed internet was important to the future of the local community.

How was the research conducted?

The data includes information gathered through in-person interviews, focus groups and an internet survey and a recent American Directions phone survey. The phone survey conducted eliminated voluntary response bias to a total sample size of 400 respondents (± 4.8 sample error at 955 confidence interval). The list included wired lines, wireless and cell phone numbers. Age quotas were used to ensure a robust sample across all age groups, and it was weighted to reflect the actual age distribution from the 2010 Census data. Respondents were screened to ensure that they were speaking to a decision-maker for telecommunications and entertainment services in the home. Respondents with immediate family members employed by the City of Hudson, Windstream and/or Spectrum were excluded from the survey.

Why should the City get involved with fiber internet?

The role of a municipality is to provide essential civic services for the health and welfare of its community. Hudson has the Velocity Broadband all-fiber business network in place. Broadband internet service is becoming a “fourth utility” nationwide as the technology advances continue to link more devices to the internet.

Why not leave it to the private sector?

When the City first considered creating Velocity Broadband, it reached out to the private sector. No provider was interested in partnering to install fiber. Since then, no provider has stepped forward asking to help build the infrastructure. Residents have complained about poor service and reliability from current providers and have been asking for a better, faster, more reliable alternative. Private sector companies often pick installations based on the greatest opportunity that will reap the biggest dividends for the company and focus on urban areas. In general, Hudson is not attractive to the private sector to make the investment necessary to offer a Gigabit fiber network. As a government entity, the City of Hudson is not interested in generating large profits, but instead is interested in providing a service to the community.

Will business class services be available to residents

Yes, our existing business class services will be available to residents who need them. This will include static IPs, dedicated bandwidth, and SIP trunks. A residential customer will have the flexibility to switch between residential and business services with a phone call and no equipment change out.

What about net neutrality?

Net neutrality is the principle that governments should mandate Internet service providers to treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication. Hudson will follow the 2015 net-neutrality rules and treat all traffic equally. 

Why Fiber over Copper, DSL or other methods?

Fiber-optic networks are quickly replacing copper and DSL for their faster speeds, increased bandwidth, long transmission distance, excellent reliability and better security.

Comparison of Methods

Fiber Cable DSL
Uses fiber-optic cable Uses copper coaxial cable Uses copper phone lines
Fiber direct to the home Bandwidth generally shared with neighbors Direct ISP to residences
1Gbps (1,000 Mbps) speeds 100 Mbps. No Gbps speeds available to residents now Slowest speeds. Slower for users farther from ISP
Upload/download speeds are the same 1 Gbps. Fastest upload speeds 100 Mbps download, 20 Mbps upload Lower bandwidth, higher lag times.
Greater reliability, protected from electrical interference Less reliable as fiber, subject to interference Less reliable, subject to interference

Technical Comparison: Fiber vs. Copper (cable)

Parameter Fiber Copper (cable)
Bandwidth 60 Terabits per second (60,000 Gbps) and beyond 10 Gbps
Future-proof Evolving toward the desktop CAT7 in development
Distance 12 miles + @10,000 Mbps 300 feet @ 1,000 Mpbs
Noise Immune Susceptible to EM/RFi interference, crosstalk, voltage surges
Security Nearly impossible to tap Susceptible to tapping
Lifecycle 30-50 years 5 years
Weight/1,000 ft. 4 lbs 39 lbs
Energy consumed 2W per user >10W per user