I’m sending this email out to a lot of my friends and neighbors. I’m hoping that many of you will make the effort to come (and/or convince others to make the effort to come) to this year’s town meeting next week (Tuesday, May 14, 7pm) to vote in favor of spending $10,000 to obtain a design for connecting the town to broadband, and to allow a broadband entity to be formed in town. These are Articles 10 and 11 on a 30-article warrant.
I don’t know if you made it to any of the broadband committee’s meetings, but I finally made it to the most recent one, last week, and a couple of things became clear:
1) Those of us fortunate enough to have Verizon DSL right now cannot count on its continued existence. Verizon is looking to get out of the DSL business, and it appears our days with Verizon are numbered. If it breaks, they are probably not going to bother to fix it—we’re an insignificant speck on the map to them and most others. For people like me whose businesses depend on access to fast Internet service, this is a little scary.
2) Those of us not able to make use of Verizon DSL (and there are many) must depend on satellite technology, which is unreliable, unstable, and generally unsatisfactory from a business perspective.
3) The Broadband Committee is made up of a number of very sober, very intelligent, careful people who have done their homework thoroughly and deserve our trust.
4) We cannot know the exact amount that we’ll pay for this service until we have a design developed and send out for bids. The estimates are large, admittedly. However, this year’s article warrants DO NOT grant permission for establishing the fiber network in town; they merely allow an entity to exist and pay for a design proposal that can then tell us how much this work will actually cost.
Please go to https://princetonbroadband.com/ for a complete look at the committee’s work. And please, please come to town meeting and vote. It is important that we take the first steps toward solving the town’s Internet deficiencies.
Thanks for listening! I hope you don’t mind my grandstanding, but sometimes when everyone is so busy they hear only the edges of the discussion, and in this case the full story was, for me, quite compelling.
Claire Mowbray Golding