Documentation completed internally by volunteers could save taxpayers $50,000
Princeton, MA – March 11, 2013 – The Princeton Broadband Committee announced it will take on the project to locate and document all of the town’s utility poles, a task required to create a schematic for an outside vendor to configure the proposed fiber optic installation. Committee members say that completing this project internally could save taxpayers an estimated $50,000 in project-related costs.
The utility pole audit involves using a handheld device such as a cellphone with Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities and a built-in camera to identify the exact location, take a visual recording of every pole and recording its assigned number. (View a pilot test map here.) The GPS data will be coordinated and incorporated into the town geographic information system for eventual transfer to a CAD-based drawing that can be used by those designing the network and installing the fiber optic cables into every Princeton residence.
“Completing this project internally will eliminate months of work it would take for an outside vendor to pursue,” said Steve Cullen, chairman of the Princeton Broadband Committee.
The Committee believes successful completion of this project saves significant taxpayer dollars and speeds up the timeline to deliver high-speed Internet to every home. “It’s a very doable project and it just makes good economic sense to do it internally,” Cullen added. The Committee believes that once the weather cooperates the utility pole project could be completed early this spring.
The project received support from all members of the Board of Selectmen when it was outlined at the March 11 meeting. Selectman Neil Sulmacy said the plan represents “a good place to start” and a “good way to save time and save money.” Board member Edith Morgan was also impressed with the notion of saving added costs and in moving the project ahead as quickly as possible.
The Broadband Committee has appreciated the tremendous amounts of feedback that we received through the Princeton Broadband Survey.
In taking the survey, several citizens voiced questions and concerns that the committee wanted to address in detail.
Some of the issues we respond to include:
- What are the next steps?
- Will the system be reliable?
- Why should Princeton be in the business of providing internet service, given past history?
- Why not get a carrier like Verizon to come in and do it for us?
- Will there be a usage limit?
We have started to compile the results of the Princeton Broadband Survey that was taken by town residents in 2013 and display the findings as infographics. The study found that the top four activities that users would like to pursue with faster internet are:
- Netflix and streaming video (124%)
- Skype and internet phone (VOIP) (112%)
- Online Backup (86%)
- Telecommuting (75%)
Infographic #5 is shown below.
Through the end of February, the participation rate of town residents to the Broadband Survey has been tremendous. However, the Princeton Broadband Committee decided to extend the survey deadline until March 15 to ensure all residents have the opportunity to provide feedback on their usage and costs of internet, communication, and media services. Survey results will provide the information needed to help develop a cost-effective plan for meeting the current and future internet needs of the town of Princeton. If you are a Princeton resident, take the survey now.