Internet Make-Ready Funding is Approved

Here’s a press release put out by the Princeton MLP this week:

$1 million for Internet make-ready gets approval

-Total of $1.2 million now allocated to prepare for town-wide fiber optic installation –

July 8, 2015, Princeton, MA – The Princeton Board of Selectman voted July 7 to move forward with borrowing the $1 million remaining on the $1.2 million approved by town meeting voters for make-ready activities necessary for installing a town-wide high-speed fiber optic Internet network. The vote was 3 to 0 with added approval from members of the Advisory Board in attendance.

The $1.2 million total represents an estimate prepared by the Princeton Broadband Committee to cover work by Verizon and project consultants for engineering studies, pole assessments and upgrades, installing fiber optic wire hangers, police details and the construction of telecommunications huts. The work will involve examining and preparing each of Princeton’s nearly 2700 poles on public ways and additional poles on residential properties that are currently co-owned by Verizon and the town light department.

The board also approved a Request for Information, which was prepared by the Broadband Committee and set for distribution to potential vendors next week.

According to Stan Moss, chair, Princeton Broadband MLP, “The unanimous vote by the board to borrow the full amount is a major step forward in bringing high-speed fiber optic Internet into every Princeton home. There are some procedural steps to process through – bond counsel approval and the loan auction by our financial advisor – before we will have the funds in hand. Consensus among board members is that things are finally moving along but there is still much to do.”

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4 comments

  1. steverehrauer

    I’m confused. If we’re improving the infrastructure before we actually have a contract for a fiber system we know we can afford, isn’t that a little cart before horse? Don’t we run the risk of spending on the make-ready work, and never actually having a realistic, affordable network provider appear to build upon that?

    • Spencer

      Initially it sounds like that is what’s happening but after seeing what infrastructure we have now it’s obvious that no matter what company and type of Internet (DSL, fiber, cable, etc) we chose, these upgrades need to be done. It makes sense that they are getting some of the work done now while still shopping for a contract, instead of waiting until later and having to do it all then anyway.

  2. mark

    I wont hold my breath.
    This has been stalling forever.
    Hopefully Charter makes another bid and this time the town actually will pay for the poles. Shouldve been done years ago.

    • John Kowaleski

      Mark,
      Charter has told us, the Town, that they are not interested. Yes, had we improved the poles in the mid 90s, we would have had Charter or Comcast. We did not. But the 2009 ice storm took down a lot of our pole infrastructure which was replaced largely with FEMA and MEMA funds. Now, instead of spending a million in 1990 dollars, we need to spend under a million in 2015 dollars. The first step with Verizon has been started. PMLD is signed up to do their part when the funding is ready. The town’s technical fiber consultants have indicated that the pole make-ready needs to be done irrespective of who builds a network.

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