1. Yes, it's a whole new look! Have questions or need help? Please post your question in the New Forum Questions thread Click the X to the right to dismiss this notice
  2. Seeing tons of unread posts after the upgrade? See this thread for help. Click the X to the right to dismiss this notice

FAQ for SWHOA

Discussion in 'Southern Walk Announcements' started by Chsalas, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. L0stS0ul

    L0stS0ul hmmmm

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,255
    Likes Received:
    24
    The internet pricing is no longer competitive the way it is. FiOS bundled 150mbs up and down with TV and phone is $85 a month. I thought the swhoa contract required openband to be within some percentage of the competition. Did that go away when swhoa signed the agreement? If so we're screwed
     
  2. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2002
    Messages:
    5,230
    Likes Received:
    209
    That's a promo with limited TV channels... not necessarily representative of the normal pricing. For instance, my normal baseline pricing for 50/50+good TV+phone is $115 (and that includes 2 incentive discounts). My normal bill for 50/50+phone+full TV+HBO+1 DVR+1 STB = $163

    I agree with your sentiment.. but that FIOS cite is not very 1:1. And the special promos were always ignored in the price comparison in the past too.
     
  3. L0stS0ul

    L0stS0ul hmmmm

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,255
    Likes Received:
    24
    I pay $184 for 100\100 internet with no premium HD channels and a cable card for use with my TiVo Roamio. HD channel lineup is pathetic and I don't watch SD channels anymore. Telephone is irrelevant for us. I have it solely for the alarm system.

    That's not including the new swhoa pricing.
     
  4. Capricorn1964

    Capricorn1964 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,386
    Likes Received:
    39
    Like I said...they have every legal right to charge whatever price they want to because they can (and will). There is NO law that prevents them from doing so as its a supply and demand issue. If no other company will provide the services and OB is the only one providing it, they can jack up the prices as they can. I have a friend that worked for OB who said they can do what they want to do if no other company is going to provide services in that area.
     
  5. glencastle

    glencastle The Paterfamilias

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    10
    Since SWHOA was set up as a collection agent for Openband and we are now paying Openband directly (at least those that still use them), there is no longer a reason for the SWHOA to exist. If I were a homeowner with a dish, I have zero need for someone to pay for an easement on my behalf and I would be up in arms. Now I'm wondering why there isn't more resistance to this.
     
    Bandit1 likes this.
  6. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,571
    Likes Received:
    97
    We are now all individual customers to Openband. Most of us still use them for at least internet. Collections (future) is no longer performed by the SWHOA from what I understand. The SWHOA is going to purchase the exclusivity easement through some kind of payment plan so they have to manage that process to the end. IF, and that is a big IF, but if the SWHOA tries to negotiate future telecommunications providers, they will be looking to negotiate a bundle agreement as a community. There would be a new bulk billing contract for them to manage for however long the term (maybe 3-5 years).

    Comcast, or Verizon is not going to invest all the infrastructure without some kind of ROI (my opinion from what I am hearing). I think we are giving up to easily, the BoS should be working as our advocates to help us. Openband has no franchise... and here we go again, having to deal with the contract and legal processes all over again.

    But yea, until people take notice and get involved in serious numbers, we all have to attend meetings and struggle for whatever crumbs of information we can gather....
     
    Bandit1 likes this.
  7. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2002
    Messages:
    5,230
    Likes Received:
    209
    How many new subdivisions are going up every year in the county? How many are having to lock into a bulk agreement to get comcast and/or Verizon to join in the build out of the community?

    Maybe if the parties involved worked to articulate why comcast and/or verizon won't move in without an agreement, they might get more support for their ideas besides their "we have decided this is what must be done" attitudes.

    Is it because build outs post-construction are cost prohibitive due to the lack of trenching access?
    Is it because of the fear of incumbent retention rates leading to low sales?
    Is it because of technical issues?
    How does this need differ from other communities where they add service?
    What kind of online survey/data gathering could be done to help justify to the vendors you are a worthy market?

    Buying out the easement doesn't mean it has to be SWHOA...
     
    Bandit1 likes this.
  8. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,571
    Likes Received:
    97
    Well said Steve, completely agree and you articulated some of my key complaints. Without attending a meeting, it is all a mystery. Our SWHOA is already communicating with telecommunications providers. Do I know if any of these questions/concerns have been discussed?

    Have no clue... no information available other then to "attend a meeting". I think the SWHOA is under the impression that they might be able to get a negotiated (better) deal as a community? I am guessing there but that was the only reason I could think of. I don't think any provider wants to come here while Openband has the exclusivity easement.

    And does the county have options to apply pressure to get us wired? The Comcast Franchise agreement has housing density requirements... maybe that is something?
     
  9. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Forum Staff

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2002
    Messages:
    5,230
    Likes Received:
    209
    Yup.. I have a simple saying at work... "Convince me, don't dictate to me"
     
    Bandit1 likes this.
  10. Mike OMalley

    Mike OMalley Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2013
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    25
    Do you dictate that saying to your coworkers or convince them that it's a good approach?
     
  11. Capricorn1964

    Capricorn1964 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,386
    Likes Received:
    39
    Keep in mind a few of the older board members are STILL on the current board. They aren't going to entertain your questions about Sashi, ever. Even more disturbing, they have NO intention to disband SWHOA even after they finish buying out OpenBand's easements. They have stated an intention to bring in other telco providers into the neighborhood. Why in the world do we need SWHOA to select and contract a provider for all of us after killing off OpenBand's contract? Does SWHOA Board think that we individual homeowner incapable of getting our own services like we are a bunch of little kids who don't know how to decide on what's best for our own households?

    This isn't really freedom of choice for us, after all--

    In fact, I wonder if any of the telco providers will provide the board some kickbacks in exchange for getting their company into the neighborhood since it will mean a significant amount of revenue for that company (Keep in mind that OB was sharing the revenue with Van Metre in the past via an agreement between the two of them).....How can we ensure that SWHOA members would get a better deal than if the individual homeowners got the services on their own? I'm not real trusting of the SWHOA board after all this non-communication in the past, having the legal battle with Sashi to keep him off the board, etc, etc. They are going to have to work very hard to earn my trust back and I suspect they aren't going to work on it as they couldn't care less about the neighborhood since some of the older board are now in key positions on the current board (Sad, I know...its all about the power that they are addicted to.)
     
  12. Capricorn1964

    Capricorn1964 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,386
    Likes Received:
    39
    Good question and to this day, I still don't understand why SWHOA still wants to dictate to the community what provider we are to purchase services from. I suspect its all about "control"-- just like in the book "1984" by George Orwell.
     
  13. BDLNDLVR

    BDLNDLVR Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    20
    I read the SWHOA's "plans" for dramatically raising every household's dues an additional $45 per month this year and $60 in 2018 and am furious. I have lost all confidence in them. I never voted to allow them to dramatically raise our rates for this dubious purpose and do not believe they are giving the community anything of value in return for this large outlay of our money. If other internet providers believe they can make a profit by entering into our market they will, at their own corporate expense. Now that the OpenBand Contract has been removed, which was the sole purpose for creating the SWHOA, I want the SWHOA disbanded immediately. Where they obtained the idea they are entitled to our hard earned money for this irresponsible plan, is unknown. They need to survey the households involved before committing any additional funds. I predict if they do, their plan will be rejected in a landslide as it is not well thought out and appears to be very wasteful.
     
    Bandit1 likes this.
  14. BDLNDLVR

    BDLNDLVR Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    20
    FYI, for anyone not familiar with this issue, the SWHOA's plan is on page 21 of the February 2017 Broadlands newsletter.
     
    flynnibus likes this.
  15. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,571
    Likes Received:
    97
    First off, Capricorn, you are not helping the homeowners but dropping unsubstantiated accusations about kickbacks. This discussion should not resemble our politics of the day, just not useful or helpful.

    Neither Verizon or Comcast will enter the neighborhood as long as the Openband exclusivity easement remains. They have stated this multiple times over the past couple of years and confirmed recently to the Board. If we want any other provider to enter the community, it will have to be after the easement is purchased. Part of what you should be asking is whether or not these providers would provide some community incentives toward the purchase of this easement? Why not ask Verizon to provide a special deep discount or credit as part of the contract? If we can negotiate as a community, we will get a better deal (at least up front).

    Also, read the SWHOA bylaws. They have the authority to enter into a short-term bulk agreement/contract. The maximum amount of time that they can commit the community would be three years. If we want a longer-term deal at a better price, we would have to get the community to vote at like 60% support levels (check the by-laws to confirm, I am working off memory).

    I did not like the idea of getting another bulk agreement, but it is the only path that gets us out of Openband....completely. Openband will be able to raise their prices (with no controls) later this year, so I do not want to see how much they will try. We all need internet of some kind, most want TV and most want phone I think. In the long run, we need to get rid of Openband, watch them go bankrupt and get more options into the community. Our financial obligations to do this purchase, will be clear. How fast we have to pay this off will determine how long we have to drag this out, but after, our HOA fees should drop to minimal amounts after, to manage collections while we have a bulk contract. After that contract is over, we either negotiate a new one or the homeowners are on their own at that point and the SWHOA can go away.

    And I would also continue to urge the Board to improve their communication to the community. The FAQ is a start but not nearly enough. Newsletter is good too but there is so much more they could be doing with these Boards. The meetings are helpful but too infrequent and only minimal people attend. At the recent Special Meeting, we had 9 homeowners there (besides the Board).
     
  16. jcb

    jcb Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    7
    I agree with Zeratul on this.

    First, my commendations to the Board for improving their communication. The FAQ and newsletter are, if incomplete, nonetheless significant improvements compared to the history of hostility and non-communication from the Board, and I encourage the Board to identify other opportunities to be timely and transparent with the community throughout this process.

    Second, I attended the recent special meeting with views much like those already stated - get rid of SWHOA, no more bulk arrangements, etc. But I am convinced that, absent a bulk agreement, neither Comcast nor Verizon will have incentive enough to enter the neighborhood. On top of this, Openband will soon be able to raise their prices for internet - despite the technical problems that many homeowners have identified. As much as I don't want the SWHOA to continue and don't want to pay additional dues to purchase the exclusivity, I am convinced that this is the best solution to a lousy problem.
     
  17. BDLNDLVR

    BDLNDLVR Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    20
    I have a few questions:

    1. For sake of argument, if Openband suddenly dramatically increases their internet charges (which are currently reasonable for the speeds we are receiving IMHO) wouldn't most homeowners simply cancel their subscription? Wouldn't the fear of permanently losing this large, steady, and relatively risk free cash flow, restrain Openband from this apparently short sighted course of action?
    2. Can't we already obtain internet through satellite if we do not want Openband?
    3. If Openband dramatically raised their internet rates, wouldn't this make them a very attractive target for competitors, which again seems like a strong business argument for them not to dramatically raise rates and continue to offer a valued product?
    4. Wouldn't it make sense to wait and see if Openband raises rates before we aggressively expend a massive amount of our money to purchase this easment, given the fact their internet product has historically been a reasonable value to the community, ie we have been receiving a Quid Pro Quo from Openband on their internet service?
     
  18. Capricorn1964

    Capricorn1964 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,386
    Likes Received:
    39
    I didn't say that they WERE doing it...I did say that I wonder meaning that it COULD happen--again, it may never happen but I am allowed to wonder. Have you taken into consideration that OB was sharing with VM a small % of their OB revenues after giving OB the exclusivity in the neighborhood? In perception, it is not that not much different from a "kickback". I know that many a congressmen in Capitol Hill have received "quid pro quo" for their votes, etc. Happens all the time and it's hard to prove but if they get caught, they get caught. I remember some decades ago, a community property company that serviced my old community in Prince William County years ago as well as one in Fairfax County was caught by two of my former HOAs trying to win vendors' businesses by giving them kickbacks in exchange for lowering their prices on their services. A lot of the residents shrugged it off as part of doing business back then. No one got in trouble at the time except the management companies were just simply replaced by the HOAs at the end of the contract terms. How someone found out is what I don't know but I'm not so trusting of SWHOA these days since they were not so communicative with us back then....so I can't blame the homeowners for not wanting to show up at the meetings because they probably won't come away with much information to begin with.

    COMPLETE Transparency is what's missing at SWHOA.

    There is too much secrecy within the organization and unless they do a complete 180 turn and come clean and OPEN their books to the residents as far as legal costs among other things, I surmise that not many of the residents here are going to be trusting of them. Additionally, many do NOT want SWHOA to continue to exist after OB completely goes away.

    Now, maybe you can understand why I made the 'wondering' statement in my previous posting because I do not trust the board with their actions. If they COMPLETELY overhaul the board with 100% new members who have NEVER served on the prior boards, I would then think more of the residents will begin to believe in the board as long as they are 100% transparent LIKE BHOA is.

    I would say it would be safe to say that MOST --if not all -- of us would like the board to be completely transparent with us but they chose to act they way they did for the last several years. If you want more people to go to the meetings, the board needs to CHANGE their transparency big time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
  19. Zeratul

    Zeratul Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,571
    Likes Received:
    97
    Some thoughts on your questions:

    1. For sake of argument, if Openband suddenly dramatically increases their internet charges (which are currently reasonable for the speeds we are receiving IMHO) wouldn't most homeowners simply cancel their subscription? Wouldn't the fear of permanently losing this large, steady, and relatively risk free cash flow, restrain Openband from this apparently short sighted course of action?

    Why would homeowners cancel internet without some other (reasonable) option. Sure, I think a few would but internet at home is so critical I think people would complain but keep it.

    2. Can't we already obtain internet through satellite if we do not want Openband?

    Sure, that has always been an option but have you checked the speed/price? Satellite is not a good option for today's typical family needs (my opinion).

    3. If Openband dramatically raised their internet rates, wouldn't this make them a very attractive target for competitors, which again seems like a strong business argument for them not to dramatically raise rates and continue to offer a valued product?

    No - the main reason is that their equipment is not compatible with the other main providers. It would require a complete re-wire either way from what I understand. Openband also has other neighborhoods and communities so this problem is larger than just Southern Walk.

    4. Wouldn't it make sense to wait and see if Openband raises rates before we aggressively expend a massive amount of our money to purchase this easment, given the fact their internet product has historically been a reasonable value to the community, ie we have been receiving a Quid Pro Quo from Openband on their internet service?

    I don't think so because of some of the answers above. Also, if you see what Comcast and Verizon offer in bundled services, we would clearly get much more for the same or similar cost. 100mb up and down internet, along with a decent TV package can be bundled for our similar cost of $75 a month. And you get the technical and customer service of a real company. The level of innovation and future options is just not even comparable between say Verizon and Openband. Much better to get rid of them now (8-10 months) and let the community benefit over the long run.
     
    Sleepyhollow likes this.
  20. Capricorn1964

    Capricorn1964 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,386
    Likes Received:
    39
    Agree with Dave's opinions/responses. IMHO, Satellite internet is the worst thing anyone can get.
     

Share This Page