Broadband Committee
Halifax, Vermont

December 14, 2011 Minutes

The Halifax Broadband Committee meeting was called to order at 6:34pm Wednesday, December 14, 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.

Edwards moved and Becker seconded that the minutes of the November 9, 2011 meeting be approved as amended, and the motion passed 4-0-0.

Edwards reported that according to the Deerfield Valley News the school board put out two proposals for e-rate funding for internet service (one for 3.0 Mbps service and the other for 25 Mbps service). Edwards proposed whether we should start a co-op or raise funds in some other way to offset the potential cost in funding. Holtz suggested we stay in touch with the school board to try to get information on the bids as they come in and perhaps pursue additional funding methods when we know how much is needed.

Edwards noted that the Select board is in the process of annual budgeting. If the Broadband Committee seeks additional funding, we need to figure out what amount and suggest it go in the regular Select board budget. Broadband Committee members will send their ideas to Holtz by Dec 21, 2011 via e-mail. We will hold a special meeting if we need to discuss further.

Becker reported that Fairpoint has not heard anything back from the Public Service Board.

Holtz discussed the results of the broadband survey as received to date. As of December 14, 2011, 166 surveys have been received (114 from full-time residents, 52 from seasonal residents). The map overlay which indicates who wants/doesn’t want internet service is a very effective visual representation. Edwards suggested that we format the results to prepare to send them to our potential vendors.

Becker noted that the Broadband Committee note for the annual report has been sent. She also noted that copies of updated information (for Oct-March) will be available at the town meeting.

Holtz reported that he did receive some information regarding records retention. We will keep a folder of the surveys for one year at the town office in the vault. We will also keep an electronic copy of the results.

Allen asked whether we are still talking with GAW. Holtz reported that he has not been getting a response from his contact. The Committee discussed offering to combine our survey data with GAW’s online data from Halifax residents. Allen also asked whether we could get info from vendors how our results (of people who want internet service) compare with other towns they service.

Holtz moved and Becker seconded to adjourn the meeting at 7:37pm and the motion passed 4-0-0.

Respectfully submitted,

Jessica Bruno