Open Letter to Falmouth Enterprise regarding Mr. Steinhilber’s OpenCape comments

October 18, 2012 

Michael Bailey
Senior Political Reporter
Enterprise Newspapers
Depot Ave
Falmouth, MA  02540 

RE: Your recent profile on candidate Eric Steinhilber provides basis for clarification of a few important issues regarding his comments on OpenCape and its relationship to economic development on Cape Cod. 

The creation of this highly capable telecommunications infrastructure (OpenCape) is designed to eliminate communications barriers that stifle economic development – with direct delivery of services to businesses. OpenCape will encourage local economic development by matching major U.S. telecommunications carriers at the leading edge of 100 Gigabit per second (100G) fiber optic connectivity to ensure that businesses have the most capable possible services available today. The immediate addition of 100G to the network means that business customers will benefit from greatly increased performance and consistent upload and download speeds for everything from data transport to cloud-based enterprise applications to video streaming.  OpenCape’s high-speed services are not directly required by all businesses. Initially, it will be purchased by businesses that require high capacity, guaranteed levels of symmetrical service. Healthcare providers and scientific institutions are two likely entities that immediately come to mind. As time passes, we anticipate the availability of additional services that will be attractive to a wider group of business operators and owners—and yes, even entrepreneurs.  It is very likely that individuals who visit us or have a second home here and work elsewhere, but require a robust network to enable their business, may consider relocating here.  

OpenCape encourages last-mile retail providers to enter the market place and deliver services to small businesses and residential customers. There are opportunities for both established Internet service providers (such as Comcast) and innovative startups to deploy a variety of last-mile connectivity solutions that are optimized for the customer base they choose to serve. OpenCape will support those providers with the opportunity to use its backbone to aggregate their service needs and keep costs low. 

A still greater beneficiary of this powerful communications delivery system will be its impact on our Cape-wide educational system. Future economic opportunities will evolve from our superior educational system because of this connectivity.  Today, the collective schools on Cape Cod rank 4th in the Commonwealth.  In a few years, we have no doubt that this ranking will increase exponentially. 

Further, Cape-wide delivery of key local governmental services that increase efficiencies while saving money speaks directly to Mr. Steinhilber’s issue regarding the maze of government regulations and the time and effort it takes to negotiate them.  OpenCape will directly facilitate cost and time efficiencies—two issues that appear to directly address his concerns about our local governmental systems being more accessible and streamlined.  

All these issues relating to OpenCape-enabled economic development are not sometime in the future.  OpenCape will be complete in the early months of 2013.  The SmarterCape Partnership is working diligently to assure we take full advantage of its benefits—direct and indirect.  As we write this, town officials and IT personnel are being trained on e-permitting services. 

The train is leaving the station, and we invite Mr. Stenhilber to jump on board! 

Sincerely,

The SmarterCape Partnership 

Wendy Northcross, CEO, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce
Paul Niedzwiecki, CEO, Cape Cod Commission
Bert Jackson, Cape Cod Technology Council
Dan Vortherms, CEO, OpenCape
Felicia Penn, Vice Chair, Cape Cod Economic Development Council
John Campbell, CIO, Partners Healthcare