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A MESSAGE FROM SUNSET

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We know you have questions. See if the FAQs below help answer some of them. If you have others, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Sunset is still working to gain the approvals required to close on the OptiNet purchase. The target date for closing is June 1st, 2016.

Purchase Process

Sunset has notified BVU that it has selected its financial partner. This accomplishes one of the conditions of the transaction. We were pleased to do that weeks ahead of schedule. Everyone who has been following the transaction understands that the approval of the Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission and the Cumberland Plateau Company are significant steps.
The original strategy to build out the broadband network in Buchanan, Dickenson, Tazewell, and Russell involved Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission applying for the grant funds to build the network. However the commission needed an operating partner. They chose to file for their grants with their partner, BVU. As a result, BVU and Cumberland Plateau each have a 50% joint interest in the broadband assets deployed in those four counties.

The parties eventually entered an agreement that established a relationship based upon BVU operating the network. The agreement states that if BVU ever seeks to transfer its ownership and its responsibilities, Cumberland Plateau has the right to approve who becomes the new operator and they have the right to purchase BVU’s portion

BVU alternately has the right to purchase Cumberland Plateau’s interest should they ever decide to sell their portion.

We believe exemptions exist that would allow Sunset to hold the BVU interest. We have also stated that we are very open to alternative arrangements that would allow a non-profit holding the BVU interest. Our goal is to sit down with the leadership of the four counties and the Cumberland Plateau and discuss this issue.
Sunset has been awarded federal funding before, and is already accustomed to providing regular financial updates to the federal government so they may feel secure in the use and support of the assets they have funded. Government processes allow private companies to share information with the government without fear of it entering the public domain either through restricted access as confidential information or redacted for public viewing.

BVU OptiNet Employees

No, we have committed to taking nearly 80 OptiNet employees, and with the growth we intend to require for network expansion, we are going to need even more people.
Yes, we are working with multiple providers and insurance carriers to make sure that we can provide the best benefits packages possible. Existing retirement packages will be handled in the way that preserves their value the most. No one should expect to lose what they have worked for.

Current Customers

It should not affect you at all. Your price, your bandwidth, and the great level of service you’ve always received will not change because of this purchase.
It should not affect you at all. You will still continue to receive the great level of service you’ve always received.
No. In fact it will allow Sunset to catch up on The List much faster. This purchase brings about new capital and a larger workforce that will be tasked in catching up the waiting list of soon-to-be customers immediately.
We’re still combining our great service offerings, however, current customers should rest assured that bandwidths will not go down and prices will not go up because of the purchase.

Potential New Customers / Unserved Areas

We expect the expansion will include the Virginia counties of Washington, Russell, Dickenson, Buchanan, Tazewell, Smyth, Bland and Wythe. All these of course will be in addition to current areas.

Current service areas of Sunset & OptiNet:

Virginia: Lee and Wise Counties, the City of Norton, the City of Bristol

Tennessee: Hancock and Claiborne Counties with business services in Johnson City and areas of Kingsport

It will take several months to close on our purchase of OptiNet. After that, the build out process should begin as we bring on teams for construction and focus on areas of high interest. If you want to be one of the first, you need to make sure your friends and neighbors know! We expect the entire project to span at least 5 years of dedicated work.
Right now Sunset and OptiNet packages, though similar, have some differences. In the coming months we will be working on likely combining them into one set of options. Two things are for certain: bandwidths will not go down and there will be plenty of options with residential packages all the way up to 1 Gbps download.

Expect more from your service providers.


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