The Click! Network is a valuable public asset that is currently under attack. Misinformation is a powerful threat to the existence of Click!
You can help by signing our Save Click! Petition. This petition demands a detailed accounting, showing proof, of each element contributing to the $9 million loss that TPU management claims Click Cable TV is losing per year. We call upon the Tacoma City Council and Tacoma Public Utilities Board to look closely at the numbers. TPU management has portrayed Click! Cable TV as a losing proposition, but their own financial reports show that Click! is making money. The public and our elected officials are being victimized by a misinformation campaign. We deserve better from our public utilities management. We call for the cost shifting and misinformation to be closely examined.
We ask the policy makers to dig for the truth and notice that Click earned over $3.7 million in operating profits in 2014. From those profits, Click is being charged to pay down sunk costs (Depreciation and Amortization) which are paper losses, not operating losses.
Our municipal TV and broadband network benefits all rate payers. Tacoma Power rate payers are actually benefiting from Click, even if they are not subscribers to the Cable TV Network they own! Cable rates are lower, for all, because of competition. Operating Costs have been unfairly shifted from Tacoma Power onto Click Network, resulting in artificial losses. Click is actually a money maker!
Please sign the Save Click Petition. Ask the Tacoma City Council and Tacoma Public Utilities Board to closely examine the accounting and protect our valuable public investment.
How can you help?
Stick with Click! Sign the Petition today: http://www.StickWithClick.com/Petition
Please join the Click! Network Booster Club: https://www.facebook.com/groups/stickwithclick
Spread the word, please tell your friends and neighbors!
Dishonest Cost Allocations at Click! Network by TPU Director. Tacoma City Council 9-22-15a
TPU Board Member, Bryan Flint, Admits Blowing Whistle on Click! Cost Shifting
Click Update at Tacoma City Council Study Session -September 1, 2015
Tacoma Power's needs were the Primary Purpose for building Click! Network
Advanced Stream's CEO speaking about Click Network at City Council, July 14, 2015
Tacoma City Council Member, Lauren Walker, asks "How Can We Keep Click!"
TPU Management agrees to provide the real accounting on Click Network to Tacoma City Council
Click Network can easily Upgrade and Offer Gigabit Speeds
Mitchell Shook, CEO of Advanced Stream speaking on Click Network. Tacoma City Council, June 10, 2015
TPU Management admits to allocating 100% of costs to Click! Network
Click Network is not a loser! Shifting Costs Created Click's Losses.
Is Click! losing money?
- No, Click! is not losing money. Click! is actually a very profitable business. It earned over $3.7 million in operating profits in 2014. From those operating profits, Click is paying down sunk costs (Depreciation and Amortization), which benefits all rate payers.
Why do I hear that Click! is losing money?
- Tacoma Power and Click share the telecommunications network, the operation and maintenance costs are split-up, with Click paying 75% and Power paying 25%. Tacoma Power built the network to manage its electrical system and Click uses it to offer commercial TV and Internet services -helping to offset the costs.
The sensational $9.6 million "loss" you have read about was created by TPU management shifting 100% of the costs for operating the telecommunications network onto Click! TPU management claims this was done for presentation and "planning" purposes; but, they never disclosed this important fact to policy makers at City Council -or the media. In fact, management intentionally misled policy makers by routinely presenting the erroneous "losses". The official financial statements were also withheld from the public and policy makers. However, these financial statements still show Click's true performance, as calculated under the approved 75/25 allocation formula.
Wouldn't Click! be better off in the hands of a Private Company?
- No. A private company's goal would be to maximize shareholder profits. As a public Utility, Click!'s goal is to cover operating costs and provide the lowest cost service. Click! management is very capable of running the Network, having done so for the past 18 years. Click! has brought tremendous savings to our community, in lower prices for Cable TV and Internet. A private company would not offer any advantages to the TPU rate payers and the citizens would lose control over future price increases.
Why are Private Companies trying to take over Click!?
- There are presently two unsolicited offers from private companies, Wave Broadband and Rainier Connect. They would love to take control of Click! for the next 50 years. They know that Click! is a very profitable business and would love to get their hands on it.
Isn't the Cable TV Business a losing proposition?
- Cable TV is a very profitable business. In 2014 Click! returned $3.7 million in cash to TPU from operating profits. Cable TV is a good business. Time Warner Cable added 30,000 residential pay TV subscribers in the first quarter of 2015. Comcast also reported growth, as their cable TV revenue increased by 3% (from $5.18 to $5.33 Billion) with Cable TV subscriber counts steady at 22.6 million. Comcast TV customer counts are rising in Tacoma and "Cord cutting" isn't hurting cable TV companies. Less than 1% of Click customers that cancel are "Cord Cutters'.
Will Click! be a success in the long run?
- Yes. Click is already a success. It has brought competition to the Tacoma market, resulting in lower prices and better service for the TPU rate payers. The cost for building Click is almost paid off. Click! is currently working on a project with the ISPs, known as "Plan-B". With this Plan, the ISPs are adding 6,000 ISP customers. The Plan "Resolves the financial deficit" and ensures Click's "Future Viability". Plan-B is ahead of schedule, with over 4,500 customers added already. Here are the most recently quarterly results.
How can I help save Click!?
Isn't Click! a money loser?
- Nope, cable TV and Internet services are very profitable businesses. There are very powerful, commercial incumbents (think Comcast) that don't like the idea of Click! Network competing with them and would love to destroy it. These companies would benefit from stealing or killing our valuable public asset. They have been relentless in their efforts to destroy Click! since before Click! was created -they will never stop trying. They operate similar campaigns on a national level, spending $90 million a year in lobbying against municipalities building their own networks, like Tacoma's Click!. Here is just one article, where you can learn more about their dirty deeds: https://broadbandnow.com/report/municipal-broadband-roadblocks-by-state/
I heard costs were shifted to make it appear Click! was losing money, is that true?
- Yes, The recently replaced (fired) Director of TPU, Bill Gaines, made it his own personal policy to destroy Click!. Beginning in 2014, this Director made up unofficial financials that showed huge losses -all based on unauthorized accounting allocations. Eventually he admitted to shifting 100% of the costs, from Tacoma Powers telecom plant, onto Click! Here is his admission. https://youtu.be/DDD29UWakQE?t=155
How much was shifted onto Click?
- About $5.7 million a year, of the Tacoma Power costs, were shifted onto Click! beginning in 2015. Although Director Gaines has been replaced, he left behind the nasty cost allocation methodology that is hurting Click! today. Click! is currently, unfairly, burdened with paying 94% of the costs for the telcom plant. A system that TPU needs anyway, even if Click! were to be shut down. In 2015, after the Director admitted to shifting 100% of the costs, he retained an accounting firm to bless the numbers. The best this firm, Moss Adams, could do in justifying the cost shifting was to allocate 94% of the costs onto Click! and this was the equivalent of moving $5.7. http://www.stickwithclick.com/images/Dollar-Amount-of-2015-Cost-allocation-change.jpg
Why did the Director shift the costs?
- It appears he was promoting the goals of his friends and powerful interests seeking to destroy Click! The Director was very active in the local Chamber of Commerce, and they have long been opponents of Click! In 2014, in violation of the City Councils 1997 mandate to create, manage and help Click!, Director Gaines secretly negotiated a deal to sell Click! operations to Wave Broadband, a private company. These negotiations all happened without the knowledge of City Council, or the Mayor. The entire scheme was underscored by fake news based on the fake 100% cost shifting -that created the sensational losses. Here is 3 minutes that will explain it all. Mitchell Shook, Speaking to City Council in 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa_eIUZinYQ
Wouldn't it be better to sell off this network?
- Telecom plant is a $200 million investment, it is a sunk cost that cannot be sold. It is used for Tacoma powers needs -for many things like communication between the distribution substations, feeders and the self-healing network etc. It will be needed by TPU forever. Here is a good 1 minute explanation of what it is and why we need it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDPdbmyLIO8
Do you have questions or comments?