Franklin Countys First News

Jay voters to decide broadband initiative funding at Nov. 7 vote

JAY - Residents will decide whether or not to fund most of the town's share of a county-wide broadband initiative next Tuesday, with selectpersons previously agreeing to provide a smaller, up-front contribution.

A number of economic and community development agencies active in the county have been working on an analysis of high speed Internet availability. The initiative has been raising funds for a study that would identify holes in the high speed Internet coverage map and determine the cost to improve accesses. The study is seen as the possible first step in acquiring grants to support an expansion of broadband access.

The plan is expected to cost $121,000, with $43,000 of that coming from a ConnectME grant and another $58,000 coming out of the Franklin County Tax Increment Financing district associated with the TransCanada wind project and the remaining $20,000 coming from the 21 communities of Franklin County and Livermore Falls. The cost to each community was divided by total road mileage.

Jay's share of the project would be $1,913.42. Selectpersons approved $250 out of the board's $500 contingency to fund the effort immediately, then put the issue before residents at a town meeting that will make use of the November referendum. Residents would be voting on an appropriation out of undesignated funds of $1,663.42, the balance of the town's share.

Polls will be open at the Community Building on Nov. 7 from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.

The project intends to return to the towns with the data at the end of the year.

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  1. I'd be curious what they now consider to be high speed internet. We are just beyond the two mile mark of a repeater and the best we can apparently get is about 3 MB download speeds, and less so than previously but still not too uncommon to lose it when it rains. That's with DSL, phone line connection.