Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We know that communities, service providers, and the general public will have several questions regarding our pricing, selection and build out process, and the Community Fiber Discovery (CFD) form. In order to efficiently address these questions, we will regularly update this page with anticipated as well as actual questions which we are receiving from different communities. If you do not see your question(s) addressed below, please email Info @ SherpaFiber.com (remove the extra spaces).

Thank you from the Sherpa Fiber team!

Find answers to your questions

When are Community Fiber Discovery (CFD) forms due?
There isn’t a firm deadline although we are requesting to receive completed submissions from municipalities by Friday, June 16th. In the current construction phase, we are only building 10 fiber networks. So, receiving the completed CFD forms earlier gives us more time to research your market and build our financial models. The more time we have to do this will likely increase our comfort that a community is the right fit for Sherpa Fiber’s model and potentially improve the chance of us building in that market.

Who can submit CFD forms?
Each municipality should only submit one application, and applications must be completed by an authorized representative of the municipality’s governing body or administrative office.

Can we send additional information besides our application?
Yes. Please attach to the email with your application or provide information on how to access the information if stored in the cloud.

Who should I direct questions to?
Whenever possible, please consult the FAQs page which we will keep updating throughout the application and selection process. If you have questions that are not addressed online, please email Info @ SherpaFiber.com (without the spaces).

Will our city have to pay for the fiber construction?
No. That is one of the best things about Sherpa Fiber’s business model. We build and finance the core fiber ring, however, we do need an anchor customer to lease fiber from us in order to “green light” the project.

Does Sherpa Fiber offer Fiber to the Home (FTTH)?
No. We are responsible for building the main fiber ring which will connect as many of the government buildings as possible and circle as much as the community as possible. Service providers will then lease fiber from Sherpa Fiber, and they are the companies that will extend fiber to businesses and into neighborhoods off of our ring. These service providers are the entities that will deliver internet and other service to each community.

What value is Sherpa Fiber bringing to the table?
One of the biggest issues for communities that are under-served or “fiber challenged” is the high cost to build the fiber backbone. With Sherpa Fiber’s model, we build this costly infrastructure and lease part of the fiber ring to service providers at a fraction of the cost for them to build it on their own. That means their cost to enter the market is substantially less which makes it easier for service providers to meet their business requirements to enter a market.

If our municipality does not lease fiber from Sherpa Fiber, will you still come to our city?
Possibly, but it will be more difficult. We are looking for municipalities that are in a position to lease fiber from Sherpa Fiber. If a city leases enough fiber from us, then our debt and equity partners will “green light” the project quickly, and your community will go to the top of the list.

How much fiber does our municipality need to lease?
It really depends on a number of variables including elements such as the the number of miles of fiber the design requires and the total cost of construction. Each market will essentially have a “magic number” that has to be met, but in our conversations with each city government, we will be very transparent once we have determined the number.

We already lease fiber from another carrier. Why is Sherpa Fiber better?
There are several reasons, and it we can’t really cover them all in our FAQs. Here are a couple of the biggest reasons:

  1. We provide you with dark or lit fiber services and you have complete control over the traffic on the fiber you lease.
  2. You control how fast of a wide area network (WAN) that you want.
  3. We will not increase your pricing when you choose to upgrade your network’s speed.
  4. The fiber strands you receive from us is 100% dedicated to the municipality.
  5. Your fiber lease with Sherpa Fiber unlocks the opportunity for Gigabit or near-Gigabit service providers to enter your community at a significantly reduced price than if Sherpa Fiber is not there.

Who will own the fiber infrastructure?
Sherpa Fiber will own the core fiber ring and offer industry standard IRUs to carriers and service providers. Our goal is to provide these IRUs at attractive and flexible pricing options that greatly reduce both your CAPEX and OPEX budgets.

Do we pay for the fiber as a lump sum payment or over the term of the agreement?
It depends on the company’s financial strength and if special requests to the design of the network are included on their behalf. The structure can be either or a combination of upfront or lease payments.

Who maintains the fiber network?
The maintenance, insurance, taxes, and compliance filings associated with the fiber ring itself are Sherpa Fiber’s responsibility.

Why shouldn’t we just build our own fiber ring in a given market?
There are several reasons actually, and they are all likely the same reasons your company hasn’t already done so. Most companies have limited CAPEX budgets (including us) and can only build into a certain number of markets at a time. In addition, as you likely know, building the core fiber backbone is expensive, and it takes a significant amount of concurrent customer demand to make the internal business case to build. We significantly reduce all of these barriers to entry for your company. Best of all, we do not compete with you for enterprise or residential customers.

What types of carriers or service providers can use Sherpa Fiber?
Any provider with the legal authority to do business in a market and state. Traditional triple-play companies, FTTH ISPs, wireless to the premise providers, and mobile carriers looking for traditional fiber to the tower or 5G small cell deployments will all benefit.

Can our company request locations for the fiber ring to pass by?
Absolutely! Of course, this is mainly a benefit for early adopters in each market who put in their requests during the network design phase of the project.

Is Sherpa Fiber coming to my community?
We hope so! We just recently launched our community application and request for information (RFI) process on April 17, 2017. The applications are due mid-June, and we plan to have a short list of 25 municipalities identified within a month or so after that date. Then, after visiting with each of those cities, we will select up to 10 of those to build Sherpa Fiber networks.

Is my city applying for Sherpa Fiber?
That is a great question! We encourage you to contact your municipality’s mayor, city manager/administrator, or other contacts on their website to find out. If they haven’t applied yet, please encourage them to do so.

Why are you only building 10 networks?
We would love to build more, but fiber networks are very expensive to construct. So we are starting with up to 10 in this phase, and then we will make plans to grow and scale faster on the second phase.

How fast is Sherpa Fiber’s internet service?
This may sound strange, but we do not actually provide internet service and do not typically service business or residential customers. Our business model is very different than the existing providers. Our role is to build a fiber network that goes around as much of a community as possible. Then companies that offer internet service lease fiber from us and serve the customers. Just because we will not be the company serving you does not mean it isn’t important for us to be in your community though. By having Sherpa Fiber’s network in your town, it means these other providers can service you for less money making it more appealing to come to your city.

How much will internet service cost?
Since we are not providing the internet service, we cannot really say, but our plan is to bring competitive and reliable service providers into each market.

Who is Sherpa Fiber?
Sherpa Fiber is a municipality fiber provider passionate about building 100% open fiber networks in as many markets in the United States as possible. We love networks … very fast, reliable, and affordable networks that benefit municipalities, the public, and those service providers who serve them. Please visit our About Us page for more information.

Who founded Sherpa Fiber?
Sherpa Fiber was founded by Allen Meyer and Darren Bonawitz. More information on their experience can be found on the Meet Our Founders page.