Broadband Committee
Halifax, Vermont

April 18, 2012 Minutes

The Halifax Broadband Committee meeting was called to order at 6:35pm Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at the Halifax Town Office. Present were committee members Earl Holtz, Gretchen Becker, Curtis Carroll, and Jessica Bruno. Members of the Halifax Website Committee present were Patty Dow, Phyllis Evanuk, and Charlene Martynowski. Members of the public present were Margo Avakian and Greg Marguet.

Becker moved and Holtz seconded that the minutes of the March 14, 2012 meeting be approved as written, and the motion passed 4-0-0.

Holtz advised that the Selectboard decided to merge the Broadband and Website committees in order to do what they can to facilitate getting high-speed, reliable, and affordable internet into town, to address questions about possibilities for cell coverage, and to work towards improving the town website.

Bruno suggested that Broadband members continue to work on their internet issues while Website members work on their items of concern. Then we can all add our items to the agenda to discuss as a group. This way we can continue to work on the matters that we were originally interested in, but can still get feedback from all members of the newly merged committee. It was agreed that we would try this and see how it works. It was also agreed that the name of the newly merged committee will be the  “Broadband Committee”.

The newly merged committee discussed concerns with the current website such as setting up separate users and passwords for access to the site, alterations so that it can be accessed by people who use dial-up, as well as formatting issues. Holtz suggested looking at South Windsor’s website to use as a guide and to get ideas for improvement.

Holtz reported that VTel will be presenting at the next Windham Regional Commission meeting. There is also another more technical meeting with VTel and the Dover Energy Committee. Maggie Bartenhagen will get us the information about the meeting dates and times.

Marguet asked about the path of the fiber line that Sovernet will be putting in. Carroll replied that it would be going down Moss Hollow, up Green River, and down Brook Rd. It will also travel up Collins Rd through Jacksonville to the Whitingham School. There will be a loop down Rte 9 as well.

Carroll would like to talk to people and business owners that might be interested in connecting to the fiber line.

Holtz also gave the group a re-cap of VTel’s timeline (December 2013) and grant funding to get high speed Internet to the last mile. Carroll reminded the group that they can check VTel’s website to see if their home is located in the area covered by the VTel grant ( Bruno will try to print a large format copy of the map.

There was a discussion about cell phone coverage in various parts of town. There was also a discussion about cell towers and potential new tower locations.

Holtz inquired whether the survey results have been sent to VTel? It was determined they have not. Becker reported that she sent the results to Fairpoint but has had no response. Holtz will send them to GAW, and Carroll will send them to VTel.

Holtz reported that he would like to add reorganization of the committee to the next agenda.

Holtz moved and Becker seconded to adjourn the meeting at 7:52 pm and the motion passed 5-0-0.

Respectfully submitted,

Jessica Bruno