In July 2013, Christopher Mitchell interviewed Brian Skelton, General Manager of the Tullahoma Utilities Board (TUB), for Episode #54 of the Broadband Bits podcast. The Tullahoma News recently reported on the podcast in an article on LighTUBe, the municipal network serving the south central Tennessee community.
Staff writer Kelly Lapczynski reported on the network:
“We’ve made interest payments and have already started making our bond payments. Everything has been on time, with no extensions or waivers,” Skelton said in a July podcast interview with Community Broadband Bits’ Christopher Mitchell. “We’ve been cash positive the last two full years and we have now become net income positive.”
TUB built the community FTTH network in 2008 to spur economic development; new employers brought jobs to the community in part because they were attracted by the network. Access and choice improved in Tullahoma for Internet, television, and voice services. TUB also uses the network for Advanced Metering Infrastructure, allowing utilities customers to save on water and electric services. In May 2013 LighTUBe began offering gigabit service to residents and businesses.
Skelton points out to Chris that TUB has increased speeds five times without raising prices in the past five years. The Tullahoma News reports a modest increase in January 2014 was recently approved by TUB with changes in programming due content prices increases.
From the article:
Net income during the first four months of fiscal year 2014 is positive at $58,939 and Skelton says he is “100 percent confident” that TUB will continue to be net income positive throughout FY2014.
”LightTUBe is in a very comfortable position from a financial perspective. Our biggest concern at this point is the unreasonable price increases that we (and others in the video business) are seeing from many of our channel providers,” said Skelton.
Listen to the whole interview at MuniNetworks.org.