Board of Selectmen appoints PBC to serve as Cable Advisory Committee

Efforts to bring high-speed Internet to Princeton draws interests of area cable providers

Reprinted from Worcester Telegram:

The [Princeton] Board of Selectmen has appointed the Princeton Broadband Committee as a newly formed Cable Advisory Committee in light of developments in the town’s ongoing efforts to get broadband. The town approached several major broadband providers — Charter, Comcast and Verizon — in January to gauge interest in providing high-speed Internet to the town. Because of the conditions and size of the town, the companies came back with a quick and resounding “no,” according to officials.

The committee discovered a business option through Charter and re-opened the conversation with all of the major providers. These discussions included the potential of cable television access and, this time, the answer was a less determined “maybe,” officials said.

Under federal and Massachusetts law, the Princeton Board of Selectmen would be the issuing authority of a cable television license.

“If we choose to initiate the process, we will issue an invitation to reply,” said Selectman Stan Moss. “The key thing is what areas of town they will cover and what is their time frame.”

In this initial message, the town would tell cable providers exactly what it is they are looking for in coverage and speed. They can respond with what they can cover, or if they are willing to provide coverage at all.

“There’s only one thing to do, and that’s start the process,” said Mr. Moss.

Past survey results have shown a high demand for the service, but it will fall on the cable companies as to whether they are willing to come to the town for the first time in 25 years.

The newly formed Cable Advisory Committee said they will get the ball rolling over the next month or so, as town administrator John Lebeaux seeks experienced counsel to help with the matter.

“This is when you get on the roller-coaster and you can’t get off until you finish the ride,” said Mr. Lebeaux.

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