Halifax Broadband Meeting – 9 Feb 2011

Members in attendance: Edee Edwards, Curtis Carroll, Gretchen Becker, Greg Marget and Earl Holtz

People in Attendance: Dave Dwyer – GAW, Bob McNamara – GAW, Marilyn Allen, Howard Smith, Linda Lyon, Margaret Stoltzman, Patrick Witt, Margo Avakian

Meeting was called to order at 6:35PM

Meeting minutes were approved with 2 modifications by a vote of 3 with 2 abstains

The floor recognized two representatives from GAW, and turned the floor over to them for a overhead slide presentation and discussion:

·GAW is an internet and digital telephone provider NOT a cell phone provider, services cost $40 for 3Mbps, $50 for 6Mpbs for internet service and an additions $10 for bundling digital telephone(unlimited local and long distance) service.

·A rural provider covering 3000 square miles mostly in Vermont

·boast a 99.99% up time

·their radios can cover 3 to 5 miles in hilly and 25 mile on flat terrain.

·Presently working on installing service to Ashfield Mass. They expect the project will take 4 to 6 month.

·They do provide E911, but each home or business owner must register site.

·Business is 60 % WIFI and 40% Broadband

·They have a 7 step process and have set up a web site to detail these specifically for us: www.gaw.com/halifax

·Radio size is 4 feet 2 inches and repeaters(able to be mounted anywhere with power) are 12 inches tall

·GAW would have to make a business case based on the data from their 7 step process to their management then figure out the best approach for the transmitter radios to be located in the surrounding area.

·Safe distance from the radios is 20 cm – about 8 inches – these would be located on towers above the tree line. Repeaters are much lower power and not a concern.

·Technology is called WiMAX

·local sites include: Albany Vt., Straton Vt., and Landsgrove Vt.

Q. Where will the signal come from?

A. The engineering analysis will create a map of how best to cover the area and provide a direction into the net. If a problem exists due to hill interference, or buildings the engineers will adjust and reconfigure the net. Sites will be chosen for towers and repeaters and once permissions is granted, the installation starts.

Q. Smith asked what was happening with VTEL and Sovernet, etc.

A. GAW does not know what VTEL and Sovernet are doing…

Edwards thanked GAW for the presentation and was hopeful based on the discussion. We will review the collateral materials and even hand some out at the Town Meeting on 1 March.

WRC will try to co-ordinate several towns?

VTA/Sovernet – town office is not an anchor installation site, just the school.

The town information meeting is planned for 22nd of February, we will discuss the broadband article and funding there.

Allen asked if Colrain Ma. Is getting service. No answer is available.

Becker and Carroll to run booth at Town Meeting day.

Fairpoint is being more activity in trying to getting new customers, in Halifax.

VTEL has not answered questions and instead referred us to their web site…

We may be able to get GAW to help with a mailing to gather data as part of their 7 step process. We can not use the data we gathered in the survey as it specifically targeted Fairpoint as the vendor.

Holtz will contact C. Estep to discuss adding wording to future town plan.

From the floor:

Smith – voiced positive reaction to GAW presentation

Allen – GAW sounded like a great solution, something better and at a lower cost.

Lyon – We need to get the word out.

Respectfully Submitted

Earl B Holtz