Rancho Santa Fe Signs Agreement to Bring Fiber to the Covenant

  • Hotwire Communications
  • Magellan Advisors
RANCHO SANTA FE, CA — Rancho Santa Fe Association and Hotwire Communications have signed a deal to provide the Covenant of Rancho Santa Fe with 10 gigabit ready community-owned fiber network.

“When we started the process, we reached out to several major providers. They wanted us to hand them millions of dollars to upgrade their own infrastructure in our community, with only marginal improvement in service,” said Ann Boon, president of the RSF Association.

"We Ought to Own it Ourselves"
“What we did was complex, yet simple at the same time," said Ann Boon, RSFA board president. "We negotiated from a simple premise: if we are funding it, and our members are going to be paying for the service, we ought to own it ourselves. In that regard, we demanded transparency from our potential partners, including an accounting for every dollar in and out. Some providers weren’t willing to offer this level of transparency. Hotwire Communications did.”

Today, the Rancho Santa Fe Association (RSFA) has executed a comprehensive letter of intent with Hotwire Communications to build and service a community-owned fiber-to-the-home network with the fastest and most innovative technology available in the world today. This announcement comes after a thorough process of outreach, due diligence, and negotiation.

The Rancho Santa Fe Covenant is home to some of the country’s most prominent names in technological innovation. However, because of its low-density and topographic hurdles, it is also a community suffering from some of the worst Internet connectivity in the country. That is about to change – dramatically.

More than 10 proposals were submitted to RSFA in response to its request for qualifications and proposals issued in late 2015. Ultimately, RSFA chose Hotwire Communications on the basis that its combination of technology, services, track-record and commercial terms provides the best partnership for RSFA as it moves forward to make the Rancho Santa Fe Covenant the most connected community in America.

When completed, the project will offer residents and businesses blazing fast Internet, with standard Gigabit and up to 10 gigabit Internet service at competitive rates. This will improve the quality of life in the Covenant, and indirectly benefit to home values and the attractiveness of the Covenant to businesses.

A Community-owned Advanced Fiber-optic Network
RSFA chose to pursue a community-owned advanced fiber-optic network structured to fit the community’s unique features and needs. The benefits of this approach include revenue sharing between RSFA and Hotwire Communications to provide a source of repayment for RSFA funds committed to support the construction of the network, enabling 100 percent of the Covenant’s residents and businesses to connect to the network and access Gigabit and 10 gigabit Internet services, ensuring leading edge quality and performance levels are met at all times and maintaining control over cost of services in the future.

“When I visited the fiber-to-the-home convention in Austin Texas in 2014, I was excited about the potential for solving Rancho Santa Fe’s Internet woes,” said Rancho Santa Fe Association member John Ryan. “Now, having seen the product of comprehensive due diligence by the Rancho Santa Fe technology committee, I can’t tell you how proud I am of the job they did to negotiate a deal that serves not only our community, but as a model for others.”


Rancho Santa Fe’s due diligence began less than two years ago, when four residents privately funded a feasibility study. The results of that study were handed over to the Rancho Santa Fe Board and its technology committee. Board members Philip Wilkinson, Kim Eggleston, and Mike Licosati, along with acting general manager Don May, negotiated the deal with the legal assistance of San Diego-based Peace & Shea LLP and technical assistance of Magellan Advisors.

“The difficulty with low-density communities is that there aren’t enough customers for the major providers to make the kinds of returns they are looking for to justify an investment in the cost of the infrastructure. I’m proud to be a part of a deal that will bring my company to the West Coast, for a community that understands the long-term benefits of investing in themselves,” stated Kristin Karp, president of Hotwire Communications.

Rancho Santa Fe Association members who participate in an early signup program can expect to pay promotional rates of about $129/month for 1Gbps (1 billion bits per second) Internet service and $299/month for a 10Gbps option and a one-time network connection fee of about $525 for 1GB Internet service and $2,000 for 10GB Internet service.

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