San Juan County Gigabit Fiber to the Home: Open Letter to Opalco Board

Dear Opalco Board Members,

Privatizing the Opalco membership owned Fiber Optic Network is not recommended. Privatization will lead to narrow choices, higher prices and poor performance due to capital service requirements.

Opalco’s Board should take the following steps.

    Establish a transparent, membership based team to produce a business, technology and operations plan to deliver Fiber to the Home for all San Juan Island residents, businesses, civic organization and other Opalco Energy subscribers.
    Establish a time line which delivers to the Opalco Board, Opalco Management and the Membership, specific solutions to all objections to a Fiber to the Home project, in a transparent, inclusive, community centric manner.
    Establish an engagement with the Membership community which demonstrates the value of the Opalco fiber network to the community by periodic demonstrations of key characteristics of fiber to the home.
    Define an Opalco Membership Bill of Communications Access Rights, following similar statements, in Switzerland, Finland, Sweden. It would contain the goals of the use of the fiber optic network, and help shape local policy to suit local needs.
    Performance and costs on par with world class networks, (not just mainland)
    Freedom to choose Internet service providers over the Opalco Fiber infrastructure
    Freedom to access information and services generally available via the Internet, without redirection, special charges.
    Internet service which has predictable in speed, reliability, reachability
    Freedom to connect devices qualified by Opalco which do not harm the network
    Fund a small Opalco Membership outreach and educational project, that intends to demonstrate the right path to FTTH for the Community and the Cooperative.
    6. Consider Ballot for Annual Meeting: adjustment kWh rate + Fiber Plan Adoption

I’m willing to step up and help produce the plan, mitigate risks, engage with the community, contribute capital and labor to accomplish these goals with a Board approved membership + management team.


Alex Huppenthal
Opalco Member

(readers, please answer the San Juan Islands Broadband Survey here:
for more to March 23rd Article here

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