ALLO will be making television, telephone and internet services available to all Lincoln residents within four years, and without many of the frustrations consumers have brought to the city’s cable advisory board.
With ALLO, there will be no residential service contracts, no installation fees, and no modem fees. There will be no introductory offers and no negotiations required to get better rates, said David Young, with the city, as he described highlights of three contracts -- for a cable franchise, a broadband franchise and lease of the city conduit to deliver the services.
The advisory group offered praise and a unanimous thumbs-up recommendation to all three agreements that now go to the City Council for approval.
ALLO is about to become Lincoln’s third cable franchisee, joining Time Warner Cable and Windstream's Kinetic service.
The broadband franchise agreement is the first of its kind in the state and creates a national model for delivering broadband infrastructure, Young said.
Under the contract, ALLO will not block or throttle service or have data caps. That means the company cannot block Skype, as at least one carrier did in the past, or slow down your internet speed to allow someone paying more to get faster speeds, Young explained.
All internet service from ALLO will offer speeds of at least 100 megabits per second, and there will be an ultra-fast 1-gigabit option. Those are guaranteed floors, officials said, and not touted as "speeds up to" as is the case with many internet providers, he said.
ALLO speeds are much faster than the 4- to 12-megabits per second currently available to most households in Lincoln.
ALLO will offer a low-cost broadband service tier for $45 a month, with further discounts available to low-income residents. Advisory board members have made requests that lower-income residents have reasonable access to internet and cable.
Mayor Chris Beutler on Tuesday described the broad benefits to the city of the agreement that allows ALLO, a Nebraska-based company acquired by Nelnet, to lease fiber in the city’s 335-mile fiber optic conduit.
All businesses and residences in Lincoln will have access to the ultra-fast broadband internet service, once implementation is complete. The city has agreed to invest about $2 million over the next four years as ALLO extends service into all parts of the city.
The advisory board on Thursday learned of the specific benefits to consumers and the community of the city's newest option for television, telephone and internet.
* ALLO will create three areas with free outdoor WiFi, the specific areas to be determined by the city and the company.
* ALLO will provide free internet service to 75 nonprofits and to at least 150 government buildings in the early years of the agreement.
And the company will share all consumer complaints with the advisory board, whether they come by phone, email or other medium. The Time Warner interpretation of its cable franchise agreement that it is only required to share complaints sent as letters has been a bone of contention with the advisory group.
Under the 25-year contracts, ALLO will pay the city $3 per month for every subscriber to its services. The city expects to ultimately get between $1.4 million to $2.5 million a year in revenue from the franchise and lease agreements.
Brad Moline, with ALLO Communications, said the agreements are in line with its agreements in the western Nebraska communities it currently serves.
The company's core values, he said, are to be “exceptional, hassle free, honest and local.”