The Coast News Group
Community Community Rancho Santa Fe

RSF hears recent broadband update

RANCHO SANTA FE — Rancho Santa Fe Association manager Bill Overton brought members and board directors up to speed regarding the broadband and cell coverage in the Ranch.

Overton described the broadband project as being in an exciting stage.

Seven letters of intent following the board’s approval for a RFQP (request for qualifications and proposals) have been received. According to consultation recommendations, the RFQP was geared toward a public partnership model, which would be better suited for the Ranch.

Generally, the solicitation process lasts 60 days.

Considered a co-investment, this type of network model would provide a sharing of returns in where the provider would receive their amount while Rancho Santa Fe would receive any royalties.

John Honker, president of Magellan Advisors, who submitted their comprehensive fiber optic feasibility study to the Association, decided not to take part in the “letter of intent” for bidding.

“We discussed a month ago, that we might eventually discuss a waiver to allow Magellan to bid on their own,” Overton said. “They’ve decided not to bid. They would like to just continue as our consultant.”

Overton went on to say that this was Magellan’s idea and in no way did the Association pressure them into such a decision.

“They cited they wanted to avoid any potential appearance of a conflict of interest,” he said. “They have a lot of industry relationships with major providers they want to protect.”

Overton told the board that he thought it was good to continue working with Magellan as a consultant so that the relationship remains pure.

“And quite frankly, we need them,” Overton said. “It’s so complicated that evaluating proposals to get the deal done is going to require some assistance.  And I for one am very happy they’re still involved.”

On the cellular coverage front, Overton said that staff was pedaling as fast is it could on improving reception.

In the same breath, he admitted how they weren’t making progressive strides at the moment.

“We turned over every rock, sporting every opportunity,” he said.

It was Overton’s hope that staff comes back to the board and finance committee once they receive a solid recommendation which can drive this issue forward.

Overton said he would like cell coverage to mirror how Magellan Advisors is handling the fiber optics project.