Broadband Committee Meeting Minutes – 1/6/20

 

Present: Paul Looney, Chair; Dick Hill, Steve Grenier, Rod Bouchard, Bob Anderson, and Peggy Pschirrer.  Absent: Dennis Marcom

 

Paul Looney opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the Selectboard office at Walpole Town Hall.

 

The purpose of the meeting was to prepare for Saturday’s Town Meeting which is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. January 11, 2020.  Rob Koester of Consolidated Communications (CCI hereafter) will be presenting along with Paul, Dick Hill and other committee members as needed.

 

The Committee has received new drafts of the contract from CCI.  Questions have been sent to Renelle L”Huillier, Bond Counsel for her consideration. The Committee will have a conference call with Renelle on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 in Town Hall at 4:00 p.m. The Selectboard Office.  The meeting will be posted as a non-public forum. The draft contract has been sent to Town legal counsel for review.

 

Dick Hill raised questions as to whether we can ignore Comcast which clearly has many subscribers in Walpole.  Can they be considered underserved?  

Comcast has ignored all our requests whether for information or for a proposal.

Questions were raised about the public benefit. Legislation has been introduced into the NH Senate which states that if Comcast or any company does not answer a community’s request for information they can be ignored.  

 

Questions were raised about the $50,000 which appears to exceed the bonding number of $1,856,100.00. CCI will pay for the served.

 

Some of CCI business customers are already on Broadband Fiber. They pay higher rates now.   Some of Comcast customers may switch to CCI.

The payment schedule which Mr. Koester showed us had an error which he has corrected. 

 

A question to be answered: how often will CCI make payments to the Town? How often are bond payments do.

 

Why is the contract for 30 years, the bond only for 20 years?   (Mr. Koester stated in December the contract had to be longer than the bond contract.)

 

The Committee reviewed and revised the Power Point presentation which Mr. Looney will send to Mr. Koester as a reminder for him to be here January 11th for the 10:00 a.m. meeting.

 

The next meeting is January 8th at 4:00 p.m. in the Selectboard Office at the Town Hall.  It will be a non-public meeting.

 

 

Peggy Pschirrer

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