Broadband Committee
Halifax, Vermont
August 8, 2012 Minutes

The Halifax Broadband Committee meeting was called to order at 6:48pm Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at the Halifax Town Office. Present were committee members Earl Holtz, Curtis Carroll, Gretchen Becker, and Jessica Bruno. Member of the public present was Margo Avakian.

Holtz moved and Carroll seconded that the minutes of the July 11, 2012 meeting be approved as written, and the motion passed 4-0-0.

New Business

Organization of the Committee and Addition of New Member

The Committee expressed and confirmed that no one had come forward wanting to become a member of the Broadband Committee. Becker suggested, and the Committee discussed, dissolving the formal Committee and meeting informally as a concerned citizens group. The group discussed potentially postponing further meetings until we start to see some action by Sovernet and Fairpoint in Halifax. The frequency of meetings was discussed and quarterly and semi-monthly options were weighed. Carroll expressed that we still have several issues to address as a Committee. Carroll reported that in Wilmington, on Rte 9, they are putting in a loop at every house instead of at every other telephone pole. The fiber has made it from Brattleboro to at least downtown Wilmington. The Committee will want to be involved when the lines come through Halifax. He also expressed that we will want to address the 29 homes that will still remain un-served.

Becker moved that the Broadband Committee meet every other month until the Chairman decides otherwise. Bruno seconded the motion which carried 4-0-0.

The next Broadband Committee meeting will take place on October 10, 2012.

News Becker presented a letter to the editor from the Reformer. A citizen was expressing their dissatisfaction with Fairpoint internet service claiming that the speed is not even half of what Fairpoint advertises and the service is down 50% of the time. The writer also expressed that customer service is very poor as well.

Holtz reported that Hammerquist had sent him an article about broadband access in the Dakota’s. Their broadband plan will not start until 2020.

Election of New Chairman

Holtz expressed that he would like to step down as Chairman. No other Committee member expressed interest in taking over the position full-time. The Committee members agreed that sharing the responsibility would work out best for the current members. Bruno, Carroll, Holtz, and Becker will take the responsibility of Chairman on a rotating basis for each meeting. Bruno will act as Chairman for the October 10th meeting.

Website Update

Bruno reported that she had added the town policies to the website and is working on getting the ordinances on there. She also reported that she had made some changes to the organization and layout. Instead of a lengthy list on the left side of the website, she has condensed the options and allowed for a mouse roll over to show additional options. For example- instead of listing Broadband Committee Agenda and Broadband Committee Minutes separately, the website now only shows Broadband Committee and when you mouse over it, the minutes and agenda options appear in a drop down list. She also alphabetized the miscellaneous other items that show up after the town groups so it’s easier to find things. She asked the other members to take a look at the new layout and offer any advice on organization of the data. Bruno also expressed that she had found a new layout template that may make the website look more professional and would also be easier for people on dial-up to load. There is a spot for a photograph and Bruno asked for suggestions on what signs, buildings etc people might like to see on the site. The option of using a different photo on different pages was discussed. Bruno and Holtz will take a few photos and Bruno will make the changes to the website format.

Other Organizational Matters

The Committee noted that in order to avoid quorum issues, they need to reorganize.

Holtz made a motion that due to attendance, the Broadband Committee will be comprised of people that have attended at least two meetings since the reorganization that occurred on April 18, 2012. Carroll seconded the motion which carried 4-0-0.

Hearing of Visitors

Other Business

The meeting was adjourned at 7:45 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jessica Bruno