Anyone who wishes to volunteer is urged to call chair Earl Holtz, or simply to come to the next meeting. Meetings are regularly held on the second Wednesday of each month.
Holtz reported on the June 26 meeting in Wilmington with Karen Marshall, Gov. Shumlin’s point person, in the effort to extend broadband service throughout the state. Holtz characterized the meeting as a good discussion, but said that Marshall had no new information to offer on the progress of VTel’s “Backroads Broadband” project, the primary subject of interest for the many Halifax residents attending the meeting.
Marshall did provide a list of addresses on Hansen and Collins roads which will not be covered by the VTel project and are thought to have no current access to broadband service. Holtz said that a few of the 29 households listed may in fact have DSL service. Committee member and secretary Jessica Bruno will post the list of addresses along with the minutes on the town website.
Also speaking at the Wilmington meeting, Holtz said, was the head of Duncan Cable, who discussed the prohibitive costs of establishing any system requiring wiring infrastructure. One such cost is a pole tax levied by the state.
Holtz offered to contact Rep. Ann Manwaring to request her aid in getting some specific information on just where the VTel project stands. A letter drafted by Gretchen Becker, thanking Manwaring for her efforts to date, was read and approved by the committee.
Becker and Curtis Carroll attended an eVermont meeting in Brattleboro on Tuesday, July 10. That meeting was primarily to discuss how various towns in the state have used Internet service, including the establishment of “wireless corridors” and “portals.”
Carroll noted that librarians have been active in providing assistance to users with questions on how to use and take better advantage of broadband. Becker added that the Brattleboro public library has a consultant who will train individuals in Internet use, by appointment.
In towns where the school library is also a public library, Carroll said, residents were able to make use of broadband facilities available at the school. He suggested exploring the possibility of establishing such a system in Halifax now that the school is in line to receive a fiber-optic connection through the VermontConnect program.