Broadband Committee

Halifax, Vermont

November 9, 2011 Minutes

The Halifax Broadband Committee meeting was called to order at 6:30pm Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at the Halifax Town Office. Present were committee members Edee Edwards, Earl Holtz, Gretchen Becker, and Jessica Bruno. Member of the public present were Margo Avakian and Marilyn Allen.

Becker moved and Edwards seconded that the minutes of the October 24, 2011 meeting be approved as written, and the motion passed 4-0-0.

Edwards moved and Becker seconded that the minutes of the October 27, 2011 meeting be approved as amended, and the motion passed 4-0-0.

Holtz moved and Becker seconded that the minutes of the November 7, 2011 meeting be approved as amended, and the motion passed 4-0-0.

Becker moved and Bruno seconded to amend the August 10, 2011 minutes to correct a statement, and the motion passed 4-0-0.

There was a discussion between the committee and the members of the public present explaining e-rate and the process of putting fiber out to bid. Public service board funding was discussed as well as the type of service offered by VTel through the public service board funding (4G LTE).

Holtz discussed the results of the broadband survey as received to date. As of November 9, 2011, 123 surveys have been received. It was discussed whether some renters (vs homeowners) in town should receive surveys. As we have extra available surveys, some may be sent out. Holtz has compiled a database based on the survey results and prepared slides showing a graphical representation of some of the results to present to the Selectboard. The committee discussed adding additional slides/graphs representing the following:

-The number of people interested in broadband at their homes (possibly separating full-time residents vs. seasonal homeowners).

-Cost people are willing to pay for service

-Where people use internet service

-A representation of the written comments received

It was noted that the broadband committee will still accept surveys even though it is past the November 1, 2011 deadline. When the documents are written for the town report, the “as of” date for the results will be footnoted. Becker will prepare the document for the town report and submit it to Holtz. Holtz will ask P. Dow about transparency issues related to the personal data reported on the surveys and find out where the physical surveys should be kept.

Becker shared several articles she found relative to GAW. She also read a thread from an online discussion group where a representative from GAW addressed the concerns of the group participants relative to their poor service.

Edwards noted that in the article GAW mentioned one of their problems with their projects was that they needed ‘backhaul’. Presuming that backhaul is how GAW connects to the rest of the internet, it could mean that should GAW want to bring high speed into Halifax, they would need fiber as a pipeline.

Edwards reported that a resident in Halifax gets 4G wireless service. The resident reported 4.36mbps download, and .66 mbps upload from a test at his NYC location. Edwards will formally invite him to discuss his service at a broadband committee meeting. We may also ask him to test the speed at his Halifax location.

Edwards moved and Becker seconded to adjourn the meeting at 8:05pm and the motion passed 4-0-0.

Respectfully submitted,

Jessica Bruno