Phil Lambert, Qwireless general manager, asked the council to approve the upgrades, but his request received no action.
He cited two relevant issues:
“One issue — we’ve got existing services, and we’ve got reconfiguration to those services that we need to be doing,” he said. He added that a company moving in would have to “work around” Q’s existing service, which is difficult to do. He referenced FastNet, the provider who won the bid to provide services to Lyon County over Qwireless.
“Two wireless internet systems don’t usually co-mingle,” Lambert said.
Lyon/Caldwell counties received a $155,00 grant through Delta Regional Authority to provide wireless Internet service to the area.
Another “big issue to us is the county has got public funds, and those public funds are intended to be used to bring service to unserved and underserved areas,” Lambert said. He said he doesn’t want the county provider overbuilding the area Q serves.
Lambert said Q has a lease to use Eddyville’s water tower for its equipment, but Mayor Nancy Slaton said there is no existing lease.
Upon questioning by City Attorney Stephen Underwood, Lambert conceded he has no written lease approved by the city council. He indicated the fact that his company already has equipment on a city tower and is providing service to the city constitutes a lease. Qwireless bought Systems Solutions’ wireless network, a year ago. Systems Solutions was Eddyville’s previous Internet provider.
There has been confusion because of the county’s project, Lambert said. “When we bought that network, we had every intention to go out there and upgrade services,” he said, adding that Q delayed its upgrades when the county’s request for proposals for a wireless Internet provider was issued. “... FastNet won that in a fair contest, and we respect that. But as soon as that happened, we came to the city and said ‘we are ready to move forward.’”
Joey Randolph, who accompanied Lambert, explained that it is the winning bidder’s responsibility to “mitigate interference” between two competing providers. “We have tried to get their plan for mitigating interference and work with them,” Randolph said.
Underwood said the interference mitigation is a process between Qwireless and the other company. And Q should come back to the city after that issue is resolved.
Lambert said he has tried unsuccessfully to meet with the county. He questioned why the county is using public funds to overbuild a private company’s services?
Judge-Executive Wade White said Tuesday that there has been communication between the county and Q. “We’ve e-mailed back and forth several times,” he said. However, White said he declined to discuss with Qwireless the actual requests for proposals and why Q didn’t win.
The Eddyville City Council took no action.
In other business the council:
n Approved the first reading of an ordinance setting the city’s real estate tax rate at 36.1 cents per $100 property valuation; tangible rate at 62.6 per $100; and vehicles and boats at 19.9 cents per $100. The tax rates are the same as last year.
n Scheduled a special meeting to hear the second reading of the tax ordinance for 7 p.m. Thursday.
n Adopted on second reading an ordinance enacting a supplement to the city’s Code of Ordinances.
n Took no action following a closed session to discuss pending litigation.