FM limiting Internet Costs at $50

Discussions about Internet service providers (ISPs), the Meetinghouse Firewall, wired and wireless networking, usage, management, and support of Meetinghouse Internet
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johnshaw
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FM limiting Internet Costs at $50

Postby johnshaw » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:54 am

Our Stake President has directed that the Internet Connections in the meetinghouses in our Stake have a minimum capability of 5Mbps down and 1 Mbps up speeds. This has caused quite a stir at the FM office and we've now been told that anything over $50 a month is the responsibility of the Stake.

I realize that the number comes from the wiki, I found a line that reads Internet Costs should not normally be greater than $50, What does not normally mean?

Has anyone else encountered this not-really-defined-well number? Is there anyone else out there paying the difference out of Stake Budget Funds for Internet Connectivity.

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Postby aebrown » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:24 am

JohnShaw wrote:Our Stake President has directed that the Internet Connections in the meetinghouses in our Stake have a minimum capability of 5Mbps down and 1 Mbps up speeds. This has caused quite a stir at the FM office and we've now been told that anything over $50 a month is the responsibility of the Stake.

I realize that the number comes from the wiki, I found a line that reads Internet Costs should not normally be greater than $50, What does not normally mean?

Has anyone else encountered this not-really-defined-well number? Is there anyone else out there paying the difference out of Stake Budget Funds for Internet Connectivity.


Our stake was originally responsible for paying for the Internet connections in two of our buildings. As I recall, the monthly bill for each of them was more than $50 -- I believe it was around $57/month. When the new directives came out for FM groups paying those costs, we transitioned those billing accounts to the FM group, and they never said a word about it being over $50.

As far as I know, the official policy is listed in the Meetinghouse Internet policies and guidelines wiki page, where the Funding section says:
High-speed Internet installation, equipment, and monthly fees are now paid by area offices and facility management groups. Stakes and districts currently paying for Internet out of local unit budgets should transition those costs to the local facilities manager. Cost must be reasonable. If the cost is too high due to technology availability, Internet service should not be installed.
That policy simply says that it must be reasonable. In any case, there's no mention of stakes paying any portion of the cost. And I would trust a "Policy" page over any other page.

The wiki page I imagine you're referring to is Meetinghouse Internet connectivity, which says:
Meetinghouse Internet connections in the United States typically should not cost more than $50 per month.
It's not clear who would interpret the meaning of the word "typically", but I see no justification in anything I've read for charging stakes any amount over that. Do FM groups refund to stakes the portion of any monthly billed amount that is less than $50? Of course not. And so it seems odd to me that costs that are a bit more than that would be considered to be billable to the stake, with all the hassles that generates on both sides. But nonetheless, I can't say that an FM group is not permitted to pass on those costs; that's something the stake president may want to discuss with the FM group director.
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johnshaw
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Postby johnshaw » Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:52 am

I found an interesting article about Internet Speeds in the country, located here http://gigaom.com/broadband/the-united-states-of-broadband-location-matters/

Of note.. Utah, has the 4th highest Average Broadband Speed in the country. --> If someone decided that $50 Internet cost and draws a line in the sand, which is what my FM group is taking the comments on the board as, I question whether someone in Utah can truly determine an average dollar figure, the Church's data might be skewed based on these results. (there was a recent survey done by FM in my area...cost/speed so maybe that will be broadened).

Sadly for me, Missouri, is the second slowest state for connected speeds (Google Fiber, please change this!!!)

In areas where the speeds are higher, likely has higher adoption, driving down cost. In areas of slower connection, adoption is lower, and costs will remain higher.

Saying that in Utah, Meetinghouses can spend $45 on a 30 Mbps connection is ok, while saying that a $79 2 Mbps connection in Missouri is not 'Reasonable' seems very unequal in true distribution of the service. I hope some language can be added to the recommendations that will allow a Stake President to decide what is reasonable. An FM manager trying to keep his budget lower by nickel/dime internet connectivity seems a bad reason not to allow members of the church the benefits of technology the church is adopting.

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Postby russellhltn » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:21 am

In addition, some companies will charge the church residential rates, while others will only offer business rates.

For example, my phone company will provide 11Mbps for $26.95/month or 20Mbps at $42.95. But if you're a business, you'll pay $79.99/$199.99 respectively.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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Postby johnshaw » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:24 am

I have an interesting update to my saga, recently our FM group initiated discussions with Internet providers from a Work Order that I had created several months back. Again the costs came back high and FM talked to SLC again, and now the story is, - sorry, the Stake Can't pay the additional, and neither can I --. Well.... there was an interesting attachment to the email he sent the Stake President telling him NO. That email included an attachment containing the information about the pre-negotiated rate speeds and costs the Church promised they were working on dating back to the initial letter we all received from FM saying that Internet costs would transfer to FM. The absolute irony of the FM group telling us that they couldn't get us the speeds we wanted based on cost, while simultaneously providing the very information necessary for the FM group to provide the speeds we wanted at costs acceptable to FM blows my mind. I laughed, I cried, I mostly cried...

This information, I was told, is going through approvals to be posted. No longer will it be kept hidden under a bushel, but will be held aloft for all to see. I am hoping this will help other STS out there as they try and help their PFR's or Stake Presidents to Help the FM provide a better end user experience for members of the church.

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Postby JamesAnderson » Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:47 pm

Another thing that has happened and it's in the very earliest stages is that Google has begun to set up shop as a DSL provider and ISP. And the speeds are going to be more than enough, no more of this 7mb or whatever stuff, it's 1gb.

Five megabits is offered for free.

The first market to get it is Kansas City, and the cost is said to be around $70 a month, but even that could be negotiated like all the rest.

Might take a couple years for the competition among ISPs over speed and cost to really take off, but it's coming. The US FCC wants everyone (in the United States) to have 100mb speeds minimum by 2020 under a plan adopted in 2010.

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johnshaw
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Postby johnshaw » Fri Aug 10, 2012 3:41 am

James,

I'm anxiously awaiting GoogleFiber, my stake center has a KC, MO address, but they seem to be focused on Residential offerings. We'll see, but you are right, like UTOPIA in Utah, the stranglehold that current providers have is extremely limiting. But the real problem we have in meetinghouses is FM not knowing this information about using the National Account pre-negotiated rates.

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Postby john84601 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:44 pm

JohnShaw wrote: ...I found a line that reads Internet Costs should not normally be greater than $50, What does not normally mean?


Our Stake is in what is considered 'rural' Nevada. In most of our (5) buildings we only have one choice of providers. In (2) of those buildings it's DSL and in the other (3) it's fixed antena microwave. Consequently, we don't really have any choices (or a chance of getting a better speed or rate from a different provider). I would consider us to be 'not-normal'. Fortunately, our FM Group has abosrbed the overage of getting us decent speeds (based on what's available) without any fuss.

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Postby sammythesm » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:15 am

JohnShaw wrote:This information, I was told, is going through approvals to be posted. No longer will it be kept hidden under a bushel, but will be held aloft for all to see. I am hoping this will help other STS out there as they try and help their PFR's or Stake Presidents to Help the FM provide a better end user experience for members of the church.


Yes, this would be helpful. Mostly so that STSs can help FMs make the best decision for the building based on cost and speed. The only downside to publishing policy like this (vs the way it is now) is that some FMs may interpret that to mean that church-negotiated SPs are the only ones they can use. But what if something better, faster, cheaper comes out? There needs to be room in the policy to go with the best provider possible at the lowest reasonable rate. The problem is, most FMs have a different idea of what is "reasonable".

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Postby aclawson » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:46 am

Google has indicated that they have no interest in rolling out google fiber nationwide.


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