Deadline Waiver Speeds the Process To Submit Requests
The Princeton Broadband Committee, with the support of the Board of Selectmen, is moving forward in identifying cable providers interested in servicing the town with residential broadband access. Informal discussions have taken place with representatives from Charter, Comcast and Verizon, three of the region’s leading providers, and the process to officially request submitted proposal documents is now underway.
Strict guidelines established under state law require a formal process that requests interested cable franchises to submit official applications to interested cities and towns for a cable television license. The guidelines include placing legal notices in both national local news media outlets that announce a 60-day period to officially notify all potential applicants of the town’s interest in licensing as a cable operator.
To hasten this process, the select board voted to request a waiver from the Mass. Department of Telecommunications and Cable of the usual 60-day requirement and reduce the response period to 45-days. The state agency granted the town a waiver on Jan. 17 that cuts the response time by 15 days and removes the requirement to advertise a legal notice in costly national publications but still requires a paid ad in the local weekly newspaper.
The paid notice appeared in the Telegram & Gazette on January 23 giving interested parties until March 10 to respond to the official request for applications. As stated in the ad copy, all applications received will be available for public inspection in Town Hall during regular business hours.
“Cable companies are well-prepared to move quickly in the application process so this reduced time frame does not adversely affect their ability to respond,” said PBC member John Kowaleski. “Pursuing cable connectivity for Princeton is now a viable option for delivering high-speed broadband applications that will not raise property taxes. We are committed to moving this process along and sharing the cable company documents with the public when available.”