By Tyler Hadyniak

323-3462

tchmaine@gmail.com

Phil Bloomstein, of the Southwestern Waldo County Broadband Coalition, recently reached out to me to describe the coalition’s two possible paths forward. According to Phil, one alternative path is forming a nonprofit regional utility, which can be simply explained as a group of towns owning and operating a fiber-optic network and then negotiating with an ISP to provide connectivity and customer service. “A good analogy is thinking of how towns provide and maintain roads and then UPS, FedEx and others use these roads to provide services to the residents,” he said. “As with any proposal the coalition develops, it is conditional on all residents receiving services.

“The other path we are exploring is contacting all the internet providers that could potentially service our towns and negotiating with them to provide services. We have begun this process and have either met or scheduled several meetings in the month of June. In this case, towns may receive and/or apply for federal and state grants to supplement the costs of the ISP to run fiber. Any financial support would be based on the condition that all the residents are served and not just the most populated areas or those that can afford to pay the costs of running fiber.

“After the coalition decides which route to pursue, we will be seeking grant funds to do a feasibility study. As a resident of the SWCBC area, joining the coalition would give you an opportunity to participate in the process as we hone in on the details.”

He encourages readers to take the coalition’s survey, found at surveymonkey.com/r/SWCBCsurvey.

In my opinion, Phil and others in the SWCBC are doing fantastic work and are tackling one of the most pressing issues facing our town. Thank you, Phil.

Finally, Unity American Legion Post 50 is having a chicken barbecue Sunday, June 27, at 108 Windemere Lane, from noon until whenever they run out of food. It will be $10 per meal (includes a half-chicken, barbecue sauce, baked beans, roll, chips, dessert and beverage).

That’s it for me this week — enjoy the sunshine!

 

 

 

 

filed under: