A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Ziply Fiber working to hook up Albany

Written January 30th, 2024 by Hasso Hering

A contractor’s crew for Ziply Fiber works on Takena Street near 14th Avenue on Jan. 24, 2024.

A company named Ziply Fiber is setting up a web of fiberoptic cables in Albany. For the last couple weeks or so contractors have been working on hanging the company’s overhead lines in the neighborhood on both sides of Broadway Street.

Ziply Fiber provides internet, voice and video services. It’s a subsidiary of Northwest Fiber, based in Kirkland, Wash. The parent company registered Ziply as the assumed business name in Oregon in March 2020.

In July 2022, the city council voted 6-0 to approve a franchise allowing Ziply to operate in Albany and install its lines over public property. Since then council members reported a smattering of complaints about the way the installation was proceeding.

Last October, a Ziply executive named Jessica Epley appeared before the council. At the time she was aware of only one complaint, and she referred people with concerns to the company’s consumer line.

Ziply’s biggest issue in Albany, she told the council, was the time it took to get city permits.

On Jan. 25 I emailed Epley, Ziply’s vice president of regulatory and external affairs, for an update on the company’s efforts in Albany. I’ll report on her response if and when it comes.

The franchise approved by the council on July 13, 2022, says Ziply will pay Albany a fee of 7 percent of the company’s gross revenues within the city limits.

The payments are to be made quarterly and presumably will begin after customers have started paying for service. Albany Finance Director Jeanna Yeager told me Tuesday that so far, no franchise payments from Ziply had been received. (hh)

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19 responses to “Ziply Fiber working to hook up Albany”

  1. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Here we go again – is it a fee or a tax?

    The city will collect over $5,000,000 of franchise/privilege “fees” over the current biennium.

    In theory, this money is compensation for the use of a city owned right-of-way being provided to the franchise holder (like Ziply).

    Hasso, maybe you can help us identify what city owned right-of-way is being used. The poles? Aren’t the poles owned by the electric utility who in turns leases space on the poles to others like Ziply, cable providers, and phone lines? Where is the city owned right-of-way?

    Let’s assume there is a legitimate, city owned “right-of-way” being provided to Ziply.

    The 7% “fee” the city imposes on Ziply is a cost of doing business and passed through to Ziply customers.

    The money is then dumped into the city’s General Fund. In other words, there is no relationship to compensating the city for providing a specific right-of-way, whatever that is.

    The money can be used for anything the city council wants to spend money on.

    The primary purpose here is to increase city revenue, not compensate for the cost of a specific right-of-way. This makes the franchise “fee” a very regressive sales “tax.”

    Just one more scheme to separate city residents from their money. What a racket.

    • Rick says:

      Lines over sidewalks that the resident has to pay any fees for improvement whether they like it or not. And god forbid any legal claims if someone is injured on ice,snow,or a crack in the cement. But the city charges “rent” to the franchises. What a wonderful city government.

  2. Gary Terrell says:

    Ziply came through my neighborhood (near the hospital) several months ago and installed the fiber. I am a bit surprised I still cannot get it. I am ready to ditch cable, but want good internet. So, looking forward to them getting things up and running!

    • m s campbell says:

      Gary, in our neighbor hood they ran all the wires but we had no Zipley then one day… We left Xfinity happily. we now have the same or slightly better internet but our bill is 56.00 not 114.00.
      and that includes 20.00 for house phone

  3. Wesley Kindred says:

    Well for the last 3 months they have but a huge box in this so called ” right of way” tearing up my nice grass. Working on the pole till 930 at night. The list goes on. This was done with out any notice to me or my landlord. A little respect for the people who your invading on goes a long way. I know I’m not the only one who has had issues with them.

    • hj.anony1 says:

      Makes Comcast look like Prince Charming as I re-negotiate a new 2 year deal.

      Xfinity to here and beyond says not a fanboi.

  4. Citizen of albany says:

    Vote out the council members and put people in that will represent the citizens. Looks at what Veneta city council is doing. No franchise fees for potential incoming fiber. They felt the money was best left in the pockets of its citizens.

  5. Citizen of albany says:

    Vote out the council members and put people in that will represent the citizens. Looks at what Veneta city council is doing. No franchise fees for potential incoming fiber. They felt the money was best left in the pockets of its citizens.

  6. South Albany Resident says:

    I’ve been wanting to cancel my xfinity cable subscription and use a streaming service like YouTube TV. Unfortunately, internet only through xfinity + streaming isn’t any less expensive. I’m excited for there to be a competitor in the area to counter the monopoly that xfinity currently has.

  7. Sharon DuBeau says:

    I was a bit surprised when they came to my neighborhood and started drilling to put a guy wire in my driveway! When I asked the worker for identification he did not have any. When I told him I did not give him permission to drill that hole and ask him to leave he did. I went to the city council to complain about this and found out from more than one source that there have been a great deal of problems with Ziply. One main problem is their workers don’t have ID hat shows they are authorized to to do work in Albany and frankly have done some sketchy things. When I called the police non-emergency number I found out there have been numerous complaints about them. The city council did get them to quit drilling in my driveway. I am glad that I was home to stop this! I don’t know that I would trust using them for a cable service based on what I’ve seen of their work. I do think the city council acted in good faith trying to get some competition for Comcast but unfortunately from what I’ve seen and learned they are cutting too many corners … .

  8. Jay Sheeran says:

    I got an idea. Maybe the city can use the money they collect from Ziply to repair the city streets. As opposed to taxing all of us from some kind of sales tax or gas tax to repair the city streets as discussed by the city council. What about it city council? Jay Sheeran

  9. Dala Rouse says:

    I use Century Link for high speed internet and quite happy and with haven’t used Comcast for years plus the people that come when I need them are excellent. Don’t plan to chance to Ziply.

    • Cap B. says:

      What company do you use for your TV….that is, if you have TV? Thanks.

      • shawn says:

        I have used a large antenna which pulls in HD broadcasts for my TV for over a decade, I put it when I cancelled cable all those years ago. Lots of free TV, including NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, UPN, PBS, and lots more.

        That plus streaming apps using CenturyLink or perhaps this new Ziply is more than enough entertainment.. So one can avoid Xfinity fine with such a setup.

      • Dala Rouse says:

        I use Directy and am happy with it too. It has 3 choices you can have and on holidays they usually give us free HBO, Showtime etc for the weekend. I have bee with them for years.

        • kss says:

          There’s cableTV/Satellite TV and then there’s Internet. I ditched cableTV many years ago, no regrets. The cableTV/SatelliteTV is based on subsidizing a few decent channels with lots of irrelevant channels such as shopping channels et rest. Most what I need is available from Internet and using streaming services.

  10. Jessica Smith says:

    Finally , ziply is coming to Albany my brother has it in WA state and he pays a good price, I had Comcast and I was paying over $200 a month


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