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Technology Committee

Minutes - June 11, 2018


Chair Bill Butler called the meeting to order at 9:09 AM


Present were:  Technology Committee members Merle Bragdon, Brett Jones, Bill Butler; Administrative Assistant Stu Marckoon, member of the public Michael Risoldi.


Minutes – January 2, 2018 – Merle moved to approve the minutes as written.  Brett 2nd.  Vote in favor was 3-0.


Connect ME Grant – Stu reported the town did not receive a ConnectME grant, placing 7th out of 12 with only the top two receiving funding.  Merle asked why that might be.  Stu said the cost to benefit ratio was much lower than other projects.  Brett asked if any areas met the density standard after the Sewall Company survey.  Stu said Wolf Run did.  The committee briefly discussed the Eagle Point and Partridge Cove subdivisions and the study.


Merle asked how much the town would have to borrow to fund the last mile wiring.  Stu said he would estimate about $500,000.  Merle said that would benefit the entire community as more people would have access to high quality internet.  A discussion followed regarding how other communities set things up. Merle said he felt it should be a goal for the town to accept responsibility for wiring unserved neighborhoods.  Brett said that’s a big investment to hand over ownership to, and wondered whether it is prudent to invest in what is now a 60-year old technology. He said a cell connection might be a possibility.  Discussion followed on the future of cable TV and alternative technologies.


Merle asked about getting figures together including from Mike Edgecomb from Sewall Company and making a recommendation to the Selectmen.  There was a brief discussion about a town run ISP.  It was suggested that Consolidated Communications (former Fairpoint) could be contacted about wiring up the last mile. 


Merle said it would be good to meet on a more regular basis to try to get the process up and running.  Brett said it would help to have a goal.  It was suggested a larger committee might help.  Brett moved to recommend to the Board of Selectmen that the technology committee be enlarged to 5 members.  Merle 2nd.  Vote in favor was 3-0.


Stu asked what would be next.  Bill said the committee should determine what options there are for a plan.  Merle suggested sitting down with Charter/Spectrum.  Discussion followed.  The committee said it would like to contact Mr. Edgecomb of Sewall company and discuss what options might be available.  There was no objection.  The committee said it would like to discuss this with the Board of Selectmen, and maybe get in touch with the Town of Hancock regarding the Eagle Point area.


Franchise Agreement – Bill noted that action was delayed pending the ConnectME grant.  After discussion the committee asked that the final draft be sent to them via e-mail for a final review.  Bill moved to recommend approval of the franchise agreement to the Selectmen, pending a double check and giving the Tech Committee the option of withholding that recommendation after the check.  Brett 2nd.  Merle said the franchise fee could possibly be lower, though he’s OK with 3% provided there is some sort of budget and spending plan for the money.  After a very lengthy discussion the motion passed 3-0.


There was a brief discussion about requesting a town meeting vote to approve a bond to string cable.


School CTV Channel – Stu reported the school channel is up and running after some difficulties getting the video from the school production equipment to the CTV hookup. 


Town Hall Network – Stu reported that the computers in the town hall had stopped communicating with each other following a Windows 10 Upgrade.  He said that he worked with Computer Essentials which recommended renaming the machines, which he did, and that seemed to do the trick.  A discussion followed regarding windows updates.


Remote Access – Bill suggested using Teamviewer software to allow communications from various sites such as the school and fire department.  He said it is expensive but works well, and he would do up a proposal.


Next Meeting – The committee will meet on June 21st with the Selectmen.


There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:10 AM.


Respectfully submitted,


 Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst.