As we did with the first two town hearings, we wanted to provide an informal, unofficial summary of the discussion from the final town hearing this past week. These notes are provided below.
Questions and Comments from Residents:
Why is fiber the future? It seems old / aren’t satellites are the future?
The BBC responded that satellite communication by its nature requires radio waves that communicate over long distances, resulting in noticeable delays that make it unsuitable for use in many situations, such as telephone / VOIP and telecommuting applications. Satellites are a shared/limited resource and thus companies who operate satellite internet service limit total bandwidth use. Fiber by contrast is non-shared (each subscriber effectively gets their own line), and has very high round-trip performance. The BBC also commented that fiber systems have proven to be future-proof since they have been in operation for decades but are still considered the state of the art and are the fastest internet communication medium.
What about radio/cellular internet (4G, etc) services? Aren’t they the newest technology?
The BBC responded that while wireless systems are evolving and are good for mobile communications, they have distinct technical disadvantages when utilized to provide town-wide home internet service. Wireless bandwidth for all users is limited to the speed of the slowest connection on the network, and since many homes must communicate to a single antenna/base station, bandwidth is shared among many home to that point. This approach results in slower overall speeds and also imposed data caps, which are not issues in the high-speed, direct connection design present in a fiber network. The BBC also commented that there are other factors that make wireless systems less reliable, such as issues with varying reception. (Due to weather, foliage, and the general terrain of our area.)
Reminder: the third and final information-only town hearing will be this Thursday at 7pm at the Town Annex. This hearing is your last chance to find out more about the Princeton Broadband Initiative before we vote on it at the Annual Town Meeting (May 14). It’s also a good chance to come and voice your support!
As we did with the first town hearing, we wanted to provide an informal, unofficial summary of the discussion from the second town hearing this past week. These notes are provided below.
DRAFT Minutes – Broadband Hearing #2 10AM 4/24/2013 Town Hall Annex
Questions/Comments from attending residents:
Comment: Fiber is brittle, very expensive to repair.
The BBC responded that while the glass used in the fiber strands is indeed brittle, the fiber cable in the current plan is actually very strong, due to the outside cladding used to protect the cable. In many reported cases the fiber cable has withstood impacts that have broken accompanying electric cables. The BBC did acknowledge that fiber is not 100% unbreakable, and that special equipment is required to repair it when it does break.
Comment: Regarding real estate prices, if you look at Holden/Sterling and other towns our prices are the lowest. Resident remarked that people would avoid coming to town unless there is high speed internet access.
Comment: Unless you live on edge of town and can pick up high speed internet from a neighboring service, you are out of luck. If you have DSL on edge of town, it is very slow. Resident has a consulting company, and has unreliable service. The resident commented on having to drive to Panera Bread to submit bids for his company.
While we have the second information-only town hearing on the broadband internet initiative this week (Wed, April 24 at 10am), we wanted to provide an informal, unofficial summary of the discussion from the first town hearing earlier this month. These notes are provided below.
April 9, 2013
Town Hall Annex
Number of Residents Attending: approximately 25
Number of Broadband Committee Members Attending: 6
Stan Moss called the hearing of the Princeton Broadband Committee (herein referred to as the BBC) to order at 7:01 pm. Stan presented an overview of the project, which was followed by questions from the attending residents.
A summary of questions and comments received:
1. General questions on whether Princeton could work with a major telecom company (Verizon, Comcast etc.) rather than build their own network. The BBC explained why the major carriers are saying no to Princeton and pointed out the trend in the growth of municipal networks nationwide, including Shrewsbury as a local example.
The Princeton Broadband Committee invites all town residents to attend the first public hearings on the proposal to deliver fiber-optic Internet service to every home in town. It takes place on Tuesday, April 9 at 7pm at the town annex. This hearing is presented to help residents learn more, ask questions and voice an opinion prior to your vote at the annual town meeting on May 14.